Since May is Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month, it’s only appropriate to celebrate, Asian & Pacific Islander (API) excellence.
Gold House has unveiled its 2021 A100 List of the 100 most impactful leaders of the past year. A100 Honorees are voted on by a panel of multicultural icons including actress-singer Lea Salonga, Mastercard Executive Chairman Ajay Banga, Panda Express Co-CEOs Andrew and Peggy Cherng, actor/producer Michael B. Jordan, Disney Executive Chairman Bob Iger, and GLAAD CEO Sarah Kate Ellis, among others as well as 21 top API nonprofit groups, and hundreds of Gold House members. The A100 List launches in tandem to support We Can Do This that provides accessible knowledge about COVID-19 vaccines as communities reopen.
“Recognizing the achievements of the AAPI community couldn’t be more timely than right now. The tragic events of the recent past only serve to underscore the need to celebrate the many ways Asian Americans contribute to our country and the world,” says Daniel Dae Kim, A100 Icon Judge.
The A100 list of the most impactful leaders in the Asian community helps bolster API representation in activism, business, politics, media, technology and, of course, entertainment.
On the list is freshly minted Oscar winner, Nomadland director Chloe Zhao. Other Oscar winners and nominees from this year that made it on to the list included Judas and the Black Messiah musician H.E.R., Sound of Metal actor Riz Ahmed and Minari director Lee Isaac Chung.
Of course, the list wouldn’t complete without Vice President Kamala Harris and tennis champ Naomi Osaka. Also on the list are Destin Daniel Cretton, director of Marvel’s forthcoming Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, the movie’s star and Kim’s Convenience actor Simu Liu, Saturday Night Live’s Bowen Yang, Crazy Rich Asians star Gemma Chan, Minari producer Christina Oh, The Half of It director Alice Wu and Be Water filmmaker Bao Nguyen.
Also representing Asian Hollywood on the A100 list are Ally Maki (Toy Story 4), Auli’i Cravalho (Moana), Ronny Chieng (The Daily Show), Padma Lakshmi (Top Chef), Olivia Munn (The Newsroom), Ian Alexander (Star Trek: Discovery), Jeannie Mai (The Real), Maitreyi Ramakrishnan (Never Have I Ever), Poorna Jagannathan (Never Have I Ever), Richa Moorjani (Never Have I Ever) as well as Bela Bajara, Head of Global TV, Netflix and Phillip Sun, co-founder, managing partner of M88.
The A100 List also highlights A1 Honorees, the most impactful API(s) per category:
Activism, Advocacy & Politics: Kamala Harris (Vice President of the United States)
Business & Finance: Amrita Ahuja (Chief Financial Officer, Square)
Entertainment: Chloé Zhao (Writer and Director)
Lifestyle: Padma Lakshmi (Author, Host, and Executive Producer)
Media & Journalism: #StopAsianHate-focused journalists including Benny Luo (Founder & CEO, NextShark), CeFaan Kim (Reporter, ABC7NY), Dion Lim (Anchor & Reporter, ABC7 KGO-TV), Kimmy Yam (Reporter, NBC Asian America), Weijia Jiang (Senior White House Correspondent, CBS News)
Sports & Health: Naomi Osaka (Professional Tennis Player)
Technology & Innovation: Eric S. Yuan (Founder & CEO, Zoom)
This year, for the first time ever, those who have been an A100 Honoree more than twice (including Awkwafina, BTS, Dwayne Johnson, Grace Meng, Michelle Lee, Prabal Gurung, Priyanka Chopra, and Steven Yeun) will be inducted into the Hall of Fame—a continual tribute to their indelible contributions. To further fete honorees, Gold House will host several Future Town Halls with Facebook mid-May that explore women-led businesses, representation, and cross-cultural solidarity.
The full list of honorees can be read here.
Additionally, to celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Amazon Music and IMDb are coming together with Gold House, Pacific Bridge Arts Foundation (PBA) and Transparent Arts to present the 2021 installment of Identity Festival. Streaming live on Saturday, May 15th at 5PM PST on Amazon Music’s Twitch Channel (Twitch.tv/AmazonMusic), this year’s festival will feature performances and segments from transformational figures across the AANHPI community, including Dumbfoundead, Karen Fukuhara, James Reid, Steve Aoki, and many more to be announced. The event will also raise money to help aspiring API talent break into the music industry through PBA’s scholarship programs and the AAPI Community Fund, Gold House’s GoFundMe collaboration.
Gold House also announced that its founder accelerator, Gold Rush, will debut its fourth signature sale (dubbed “Asian Prime Day”) from May 17-31 at GoldRush.Market and in partnership with Facebook where consumers can support promising API-led small businesses via exclusive products and discounts. The newest accelerator class will also engage in a new women’s programming track, courtesy of Endowed Chair, Julia Gouw (Chairwoman of Piermont Bank), to address Asian women being the least likely to be promoted to management, as well as an intimate founder-investor matchmaking showcase.
To add to that, Gold House is unveiling its Future Network, the premier next generation API collective, to create pathways for representation and success that allow top filmmakers, actors, musicians, fashion designers, and founders to rise: through career-making and company-defining job opportunities with major industry partners as well as world-class mentoring and skill-building. The collective will also collaborate with other multicultural communities for mutual co-elevation. Applications are open now at goldhouse.org/members with the first class and major partners announced later this year.
“There’s a discrepancy between how APIs are regarded publicly and the power the community has always wielded. We’ve always been here–leading, artifying, investing, and speaking up,” said Bing Chen, President of Gold House. “And as we continue forging allyship with other communities, we must also remember that we’re only as strong for others as we are, ourselves. On the shoulders of established leaders and activists who we celebrate today, it’s time to send the elevator down to invest in even more socioeconomic opportunities for our communities: from investing in the next generation of cultural leaders to We Can Do This’ vaccination education to local community investments via our GoFundMe collaboration and the Gold Futures Grant Challenge. When things get tough, we get tougher; we’re here–and we’re here to last.”
As Asians, Latinx, and Black Americans see the highest COVID-19 attributable deaths, with frequencies at least twice that of White Americans, Gold House will help ensure community health that will lead to accelerated returns of to whatever the new normal is. Gold House is supporting the aforementioned We Can Do This to raise awareness on COVID-19 vaccines through educational campaigns with API communities that have been historically omitted due to language barriers or lack of healthcare access.
In addition to its GoFundMe collaboration that’s raised more than $5.5 million for local grassroots organizations devoted to restorative justice and millions more directly to attack victims alongside more than 100 cultural leaders, Gold House is continuing its on-the-ground empowerment through a new annual Gold Futures Grants Challenge in collaboration with Asian American Futures, a nonprofit led by philanthropists and community leaders. The challenge will increase and democratize philanthropy by engaging the public in funding projects that help AAPIs be Seen, Heard, and Empowered. Organizations can apply now at www.goldfutureschallenge.org.
“Our hope in launching the Gold Futures Grants Challenge is to inspire philanthropic giving, volunteerism, and social innovation among younger generations of AAPI,” says Joanna Kong, AAF Board Co-Chair. “Through our website, the public will be able to learn about and get involved with local and national projects that will help create a better and brighter future for AAPIs.”