One of the unfortunate outcomes of the COVID-19 pandemic, has been the dramatic rise in Anti-Asian Hate crimes throughout the world. In response to these acts of Anti-Asian hatred and discrimination, a group of ambitious high school and university students banded together to organize a meaningful forum to motivate Canadian youth to find their voice and actively participate in our democracy. Their inspiration has resulted in the birth of the Youth Forum For Asian Representation.
I was fortunate to serve as the Co-Chair of this event alongside several of my peers on the Executive Committee of the Youth Forum For Asian Representation.
The purpose of the Youth Forum was for young Canadians to learn from leaders of our community, listen to what our peers are doing, and be part of positive change. The theme, “Representation Takes action” was chosen to communicate to fellow youth that we are the generation that needs to step-up.
The forum, held virtually on May 29, 2021, was immensely successful in securing an impressive panel of speakers from the Vancouver business community such as Dr. Brandt Louie, Hon. Bowinn Ma, Hon. Bardish Chagger, Carol Lee, Ken Sim, Mi-Jung Lee, Jenny Kwan, Michael Lee, and more. With over 1000 attendees across Canada, the forum reached a wide and diverse audience, inspiring all to take action. Over the course of the day, panellists engaged in discussion on how young people can leverage their voice, navigating culture barriers in positions of influence, and staying connected to one’s heritage.
The fight against prejudice and racism is a long journey and we intend to continue this conversation moving forward in partnership with all of our supporters through the YouthTalkNation platform.
If you are a young Canadian with a passion for social change, the Youth Forum encourages you to join the mission this summer as we strive to create a youth-led report on racism and discrimination within our schools. As many cases of hate crimes and microaggressions are left unreported, we believe it is important for us to have accurate data to reflect the situation in our communities.
The Youth Forum For Asian Representation was just the first of many necessary steps in the process towards a more inclusive, equitable, and diverse future. This journey does not end here. Our team at the Youth Forum, along with members from the YouthTalkNation will be working together in the near future to carry this momentum forward whether it be through another forum or another means; we will continue to inspire and motivate others to take action.
For those who were not able to attend the live forum, we have made a concise version of the event that captures the key messages and dialogue. We also created a “Call To Action” Video that is attached below. Please see the two videos for more.
- Summary Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbobT5UfQbI
- Call To Action: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Am29p13A6Qw
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/asian.representationforum/
Head Girl, Class of 2021