Following a spike in anti-Asian prejudice, stereotyping, and violence that made international headlines earlier this year, Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month (AAPIHM) has taken on a new meaning.
Through narratives centred on heritage and tradition, pride and religion, sacrifice and perseverance, all captured at this pivotal moment in time, the month of May has been dedicated to recognising the numerous contributions and traditions of this unique community.
The entertainment community, among others, has taken notice, with several launching a variety of activities to commemorate the annual month-long event that acknowledges the achievements of the AAPI community in America and around the world, as well as providing a window into the lived experiences and different cultures of the Asian diaspora.
Raja Kumari, a multi-platinum rapper-singer-songwriter-dancer who will also appear on unique billboards and hoardings in prime locations across New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, has been tapped by Spotify, Instagram, Amazon Prime, and YouTube for their respective worldwide AAPI campaigns.
The Grammy-nominated performer will be featured on Spotify's AAPI content centre, with her music appearing on numerous playlists including Dope AF, a compilation of work from leading cool Asian, feminine women across the diaspora; ORG, which presents the latest indie sounds from Asia; Desi Favorites, a curated list of Desi hits from South Asia and around the world; and AAPI Pride, which promotes artists that are Asian American or Asian Pacific Islander.
She was featured in the “Proud to Be AAPI” social media campaign, where she shared her reasons for being proud of her ethnicity.
She will be featured on YouTube Music's main playlist "Celebrating APAHM" and the YouTube Spotlight channel as part of the celebrations, showcasing what it was like for her growing up and living in North America while "juggling many cultures, languages, and customs" and how those experiences impacted who she is.
To keep the conversation going about her Asian-American experience, she'll be spearheading Instagram's #RethinkOurInfluence campaign, expanding her feed to include picture series, reels, and hero films that aim to debunk the model minority myth.