In honor of AAPI Heritage Month (May 2021) we launched the Our Stories Are Your Stories (#OSAYS) awareness campaign and video series to highlight the unique voices and stories of our AAPI community to encourage understanding, empathy, and connection. The increase in visibility of anti-Asian racism and xenophobia this past year opened deep wounds for our AAPI elders and served as a painful reminder to younger community members that past discrimination persists.
Members of all minoritized groups know what it feels like to be seen as the “other,” rather than as a fellow human being with a unique and valuable story. Members of our AAPI community descend from over 50 countries, with different languages, customs, and cultures. Our community includes 5th generation American citizens and recent immigrants. Some of us are also White, Black, Indigenous, and Latina/o/x. And each of us has a story.
· Lift up our AAPI family and remind them they are seen, valued, and not alone.
· Shine a light on different stories that make up the AAPI experience, past and present, to
· Dispel misconceptions and foster understanding of the diversity of stories within the AAPI community; and to
· Demonstrate that the stories of our AAPI community are not unlike your own.
Our goal was to spread this message far and wide in partnership with hundreds of companies, nonprofits, and individuals.
It was our priority to tell as many diverse stories of AAPI leaders, celebrities, essential workers and community members as possible through video storytelling. We wanted to showcase the leading AAPI voices in the greater Seattle area to help foster cultural understanding, empathy, and connection. AAPI community members descend from more than 50 countries, representing five generations to recent immigrants. The campaign also invites community members to submit their own stories to bring people closer together in our shared humanity.
We created :30 shortform social media posts in addition to long form profiles for our website and pushed out one a day for the entire month of May 2021, AAPI Heritage Month.
We called upon our network and contacts to support the campaign and were overwhelmed by the response from individuals, corporations and creatives. In the beginning, the campaign grew organically and we asked our friends and family to share our campaign by:
· Using our handles #OSAYS, @OurStoriesAreYourStories, @WingLukeMuseum.org
· Sharing out our launch video, psa, and interview videos on your social channels (and tag us)
· Creating and sharing your own videos of yourself, your employees, friends, and family – we will cross promote
We also prepared a Toolkit with instructions for anyone to create their own AAPI story video, share on social media, and include in The Wing Luke Museum’s oral history archives.
It was important for us to put together an all-AAPI crew and to pay them as close to market value as possible. Their expertise and generosity inspired all of us.
A sampling of local AAPI leaders and essential workers featured in this video series include: Doug Baldwin, Gary Locke, Lana Condor, Dr. Vin Gupta, and many more.
We chose the the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience (wingluke.org) to be our fiscal and social media partner so that the campaign would live beyond AAPI Heritage Month and become a part of the museum’s permanent oral histories archives. The museum's mission is to connect everyone to the dynamic history, cultures, and art of Asian Pacific Americans through vivid storytelling and inspiring experiences to advance racial and social equity.
Our Stories Are Your Stories is the brainchild of a group of 5 AAPI women who led the project as its volunteer executive team. We are mothers, sisters, daughters, wives, friends, founders, musicians, artists, athletes, activists, executives, leaders, volunteers, American citizens, and strong and proud descendants of Asian immigrants
In April 2021, we met to discuss the Atlanta shootings and other anti AAPI incidents across the country. We wanted to do something to help - help our AAPI community members who were suddenly feeling isolated, othered, and afraid, and help erase the artificially constructed divisions between us by demonstrating that we are more alike than different. That our stories are your stories.
Over the course of just 5 weeks, we met on weekends and evenings and simultaneously envisioned, developed, funded, and executed this truly “grassroots” #OSAYS campaign
We distributed a community impact report to thank our many supporters and participants. Here's a summary:
50 AAPI talent, faces, and stories were included in this campaign of produced and DIY videos.
1 Launch Video (2:12) and PSA (:30); 13 Long-Form Profile Videos; 15 Short Form; 9 DIY Videos are now in the Wing Luke Oral History collection.
33 AAPI and 10 ally team members worked on OSAYS
:30 PSA was carried on KING5 TV, Root Sports nationwide, Seattle Mariners. Seattle Sounders FC game broadcasts.
#OSAYS was featured in AdWeek, The Seattle Times, NW Asian Weekly, South Seattle Emerald and every Seattle TV station
AAPI-led agency, Milli handled organic media on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
LinkedIn had a 6.85% engagement rate in a world where 2% engagement is average. Facebook alone had 600,000+ impressions. Tim O’Mara, Copacino Fujikado Director of Engagement Strategy, said, “We’ve never seen a campaign that received 100% positive comments.”
All the Seattle professional sports teams amplified our stories. Macklemore posted the 2-minute video on his IG Stories. Similarly, Doug Baldwin was our big Twitter-verse winner with 281 likes/31 shares.
www.ourstoriesareyourstories.com received 6,300 unique visitors - an average of 3+ minutes on the site with 522 button clicks on the Toolkit. Thanks to Mitsui Creative for their beautiful work on brand design and website.
Heartfelt gratitude to all who stepped up to support this campaign with grace, generosity, and enthusiasm on such short notice. The community's response surpassed alll expectations.
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