A photo of an Asian man standing in front of a store in Oakland Chinatown. There is a long golden and black dragon mural to the right of him. He is standing in front of a green wall, below a sign written in Chinese.
A photo of an Asian man standing in front of a store in Oakland Chinatown. There is a long golden and black dragon mural to the right of him. He is standing in front of a green wall, below a sign written in Chinese.
Photo Credit: Isabella Chen

This article was translated into Japanese, thanks to Michi Yoshikawa and Sumire.

In recent weeks, there have been over 20 attacks on Asian businesses and people, mostly elders, with little to no coverage from the mainstream news outlets. Videos documenting such attacks have been circulating, mostly through individual social media accounts of Asian activists, celebrities, and journalists (thank you Amanda Nguyen, Dion Lim, Dr. Kiona, Daniel Dae Kim, Benny Luo, Lisa Ling, and Daniel Wu for being among the first public figures to use your platform to mobilize others). They show a 91-year-old Chinese man being shoved to the ground


Image of “I Voted” Stickers from Pexel

With the U.S. Presidential Election less than a week away, I am sure many of you are feeling anxious and nervous about what’s to come. I know many of our clients are anticipating both the election results as well as how the event will impact their teams and the company’s overall culture, morale, and path forward.

Some have asked me for guidance on whether or not to address the election in the workplace and if yes, how to do so in a way that won’t further fracture the workplace. …


An image of text “Asians in Tech for Black Lives Matter: A Call to Action” with photos of Ellen Pao and Michelle Kim
An image of text “Asians in Tech for Black Lives Matter: A Call to Action” with photos of Ellen Pao and Michelle Kim
Asians in Tech for Black Lives Matter: A Call to Action by Ellen Pao and Michelle Kim

We are members of the Asian and Asian American tech community who stand in solidarity with the Black community. We acknowledge white supremacy and anti-Black racism in tech, and we call on our Asian and Asian American colleagues to use our relative privilege to demand change.

Our community has faced heightened anti-Asian racism during the COVID-19 pandemic, including slurs and violent attacks rooted in white supremacy. We cannot fight the force of white supremacy without also fighting against anti-Black racism. We have benefited greatly from Black community activism for decades, from the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 that opened…


A picture of a notepad with text: checklist yes/no with checkboxes
A picture of a notepad with text: checklist yes/no with checkboxes

So your company has been interested in doing more DEI (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion) work for some time now, but the leadership team never got around to really committing to it.

Your company website’s career page has an upbeat vibe, stock photos of diverse teams, a non-controversial statement about diversity, perhaps a few quotes from your token employees of color, and some photos of office pets.

With the pandemic, you’ve had to switch gears to thinking about remote work, budget cuts, and supporting your employees adjust to the new ways of engaging.

And then a series of traumatic and devastating news…


This post is a follow-up to 20+ Allyship Actions for Asians to Show Up for the Black Community Right Now.

Read this article in Japanese (translation by Michi Yoshikawa).

Poster from 1960s — Yellow Peril Supports Black Power

It would be a massive missed opportunity if we fail to make the connection between the stories of Amy Cooper and Tou Thao and our daily behaviors. It’s easy to dismiss these as isolated incidents perpetuated by “racists” — but none of this is just one person’s racism coming to light and none of us is innocent.

We all perpetuate anti-Black racism in our daily lives. We can’t fight anti-Black racism…


In light of #AhmaudArbery and ongoing police violence, how can the Asian and Asian American community show up for our Black siblings?

Read this article in Korean, Chinese (simplified), Tamil, Malayalam (by The Social Understanding Initiative) or Japanese (by Michi Yoshikawa). Other Asian languages coming soon!

#Asians4BlackLives at a Seattle protest in support of Black Lives Matter Photo: Jama Abdirahman/The Seattle Globalist

As I observe collective trauma, pain, sadness, exhaustion set in, I’m also witnessing so many Asian folks at a loss for how to show up for the Black community in solidarity right now.

Maybe you feel awkward posting about anti-Blackness. Maybe you feel like it’s not your place. Maybe you feel like you’re going…


Desk with a laptop, coffee cup, glasses, and a hand holding an iphone.
Desk with a laptop, coffee cup, glasses, and a hand holding an iphone.
Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com

Hey you.

Remember the day you finally quit that soul crushing job because you knew you could do so much better? I mean, that was some brave ass shit if you really think about it.

Remember those days and nights, the weekends, the dawns you felt like working didn’t feel like working because you had dreams to build? My other founder friend says, it’s like you’re “lit on purpose.” Yeah, I remember those days. …


an image of a yellow poster that says “more love” “less fear” on a wall
an image of a yellow poster that says “more love” “less fear” on a wall
Image source: Unsplash

It’s 1:30am and I’m lying in bed scrolling through my Twitter feed. So much is happening and changing every minute — and while I’m aware of my mental health taking a toll from all the news consumption, it’s difficult to satiate my need for more information and clarity.

With so much uncertainty, so much out of control, fear begins to set in.

“Is my business going to be okay? What should I tell my team? What’s our runway? Do we really need Asana premium (yes, we do)? Omg do I have enough toilet paper?”

Over the last few weeks, and…


Image Source: CDC

These are external communications Awaken sent to our clients in response to COVID-19 (coronavirus). Parts of the communication were redacted for confidentiality reasons. We are sharing our communication to help other business leaders respond to this uncertain time.

Email #1: Sent on March 5, 2020

Dear Community,

During this uncertain and anxiety-inducing time, we’re committed to communicating proactively with all of our clients and extending our support as we navigate these complexities together.

While the overall risk of COVID-19 within the U.S. …


Photo by Robert Katzki on Unsplash

Over the past 2 years, hundreds of organizations have reached out to Awaken, with specific requests to support their Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) challenges and initiatives.

In 2019 alone, we’ve been contacted by nearly 500 different organizations’ leaders — from concerned employees to CHROs, Chief Diversity Officers to CEOs — who shared their concerns, visions, and desires to create a meaningful change in their organizations.

As the CEO of Awaken, I spent about 800 hours last year speaking (using an actual phone, not just my laptop, *gasp*) with different stakeholders from these organizations — of all sizes and industries…

Michelle Kim

Co-Founder & CEO @ Awaken | Activist | Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Advocate | Keynote Speaker | Writer www.visionawaken.com

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