There are countless accomplishments to be celebrated every May during Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, and Gold House — a nonprofit collective that seeks to promote equity and more authentic Asian and Pacific Islander representation — is always ready to shine a spotlight on amazing APIs whose influence has made profound impacts on their respective industries.
This year’s celebrations reflect a stunning show of resilience, with the API community responding to a horrifying period of anti-Asian racism with strength that carries over into highly visible, boundary-breaking successes across every area of American society and culture.
Gold House has announced its annual A100 list, which “honors trailblazers who are at the forefront of this ‘New Gold Age,'” a statement from the organization reads.
As usual, it includes some very recognizable names in entertainment, politics, sports, and lifestyle: entertainers Olivia Rodrigo, Hailee Steinfeld, Simone Ashley, Charithra Chandran, Ashley Park, and Simu Liu; athletes Sunisa Lee and Chloe Kim; artist Chella Man; influencer Bretman Rock; and Editors-in-Chief Puja Patel of Pitchfork, Sarah Burke of Them, and Versha Sharma of Teen Vogue.
The honorees also include people that may not be household names, but you’ve undoubtedly noticed their impact: CEO and founder of DoorDash, Tony Xu; the co-founder and CTO of Patreon, Sam Yam; puppeteer Kathleen Kim and her Sesame Street Muppet Ji-Young; the president of Paramount Animation and Nickelodeon Animation, Ramsey Naito; and the CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA, Sofia Chang.
“Growing up in America, I didn’t realize until relatively recently that embracing and celebrating my Asian American identity was imperative to my happiness and existence as an artist and human,” honoree Ashley Park exclusively told Allure in a statement. “I am extremely proud and grateful to be recognized amongst this year’s A100 honorees, who inspire me and so many. When we see others like us, pushing the boundaries of what anybody thought was possible, we too know there can be a place and path for us, and I’m deeply honored and touched to be part of a collective that amplifies and celebrates Asian American diaspora through storytelling.”
Some especially big names are being honored this year with special awards. Dwayne Johnson, Mindy Kaling, and Michelle Yeoh have been named A100 Legends, and eight honorees are being inducted into the A100 Hall of Fame, including Eva Chen, Gemma Chan, H.E.R., Kelly Marie Tran, and the members of BLACKPINK.
Speaking of names, Gold House will now feature the proper pronunciation of the A100 honorees’ names in their native API languages. The action is part of a campaign with Procter & Gamble that aims to shift perceptions of belonging in America. “This campaign will not only empower APIs to embrace their identity with pride but also encourage others to learn, understand, and correctly pronounce API names,” Gold House’s statement says.
This is also the first year that Gold House will celebrate the honorees in person at the Gold Gala, The inaugural event, co-hosted by Meta, will take place in Los Angeles on May 22, 2022. “The night’s theme, ‘The New Gold Age,’ reflects the current era of unparalleled API brilliance, even in the face of continued violence and racism against our community,” Gold House’s statement reads.