AAPI celebrities speak out at Fast Forward 2060

by Don Tagala, ABS-CBN News
WASHINGTON DC — These Asian American celebrities are known not only for their successful careers in mainstream entertainment, but also for using their status to speak out on social issues — such as diversity in America.
“My father is African-American, my mother’s Korean — I like to say it’s like Miss Saigon but like a happy ending,” joked Funny or Die’s Brad Jenkins. “Growing up, you always had a sense of responsibility for speaking out, because that is just who we are.”
Jenkins and Bennet were both at “Fast Forward 2060,” a free grassroots event and pop-up exhibit on December 7, celebrating achievements of the AAPI community under President Obama’s administration and beyond.
Chinese American actress Chloe Bennet is known to fans as Daisy “Skye” Johnson of the hit ABC series, “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”

Jenkins and Bennet spoke Dec 7 at “Fast Forward 2060”–  a free grassroots event and pop-up exhibit part of the White House Initiative on AAPI – which celebrated the many great strides of the AAPI community under President Obama’s administration and beyond, as they look forward to the year 2060.

At the event, Bennet admitted that she even had to change her last name from ‘Wang’ to Bennet just to get more roles in Hollywood.
“I never thought I’d be able to do something like this because of who I was; my dad being Chinese and me being half Chinese,” Bennet said. “To meet young girls all over the world to come to me and say, I see myself in you and that makes me believe in myself…that is huge.”
Jenkins was President Obama’s associate director in the White House Office of Public Engagement for four years.
“This White House has been the most inclusive and the most open to our AAPI communities,” Jenkins said.
With President-elect Donald Trump getting ready to occupy the White House, these millennials say that they are worried about the White House Initiative on AAPI’s future.
“We need to be a little more outspoken,” Jenkins said. “Our community is a little culturally quiet than other communities, and I think that that that time to be nice is over. We need to be big and bold, particularly around this new administration.”
“There’s so many of us who are so concerned about AAPI issues, but there’s not enough of a major platform for everybody to get on together,” said Myx TV’s Miguel Santos “We’re doing things independently more than synergistically…the more Asian American groups get together in the media and politics and other industries, the better for the community
With more Asian American celebrities realizing their power and influence to make a change, they are lending their voices to the AAPI community to make a difference.
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