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Dear White Women

Dec 13, 2022

It’s December, the time of year when it seems like regardless of whether you celebrate Christmas or Hannukkah or Kwanzaa or anything else or nothing at all, our schedules get busy. And lots of times, this busyness centers around food, be it potluck gatherings at work, holiday parties, big family dinners, or even coffee and treats with friends - because food brings us together as human beings better than almost anything else.

But what happens when the foods you have are scoffed at by the folks around you? How does it feel to be made to feel “different” from the other Americans around you based on your cultural heritage? How do you get kids to try new flavors and learn real history, let’s be honest, at this stage in the melting pot game, what makes something American, anyway? We’re here to talk about all that and more with an award-winning veteran journalist Michelle Li - who also created the Very Asian Foundation after a super shocking (now viral) viewer comment in response to her comment about dumplings on television.

What to listen for: 

  • The viral video after a voicemail from a White woman that inspired the launch of the Very Asian Foundation
  • “I won’t let you yuck someone else’s yum” - and the importance of food in identity
  • The role that books play - there’s a huge book recommendation list! - in helping folks connect with their identity and the shared history we experience

About Michelle:  Michelle Li is an award-winning, veteran journalist who co-launched The Very Asian Foundation in January 2022 alongside friend and fellow journalist Gia Vang. Her response to a racist voicemail became a global movement of unity and caught the attention of The Ellen Show. Ellen’s monetary gift of $15,000 helped start the seed money to create a nonprofit focused on shining a light on Asian experiences through advocacy and celebration.  Michelle spent many years supporting adoptees through heritage camps and volunteer tours to Korea. She also launched a program to support Missouri children in foster care. All of this led to a congressional award in 2010. Michelle’s journalistic work has been honored with a national Peabody Award, several national Murrows, and multiple regional Emmys– often dealing with race or gender inequities. Michelle has appeared on CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC, and The Washington Post. Michelle currently resides in St. Louis with her family. She is @michellelitv on most platforms. A Very Asian Guide to Korean Food is her first children's book.