What came about in 2018, as a response to the frankly not-so-international-looking celebrated individuals for International Women’s Day in a local business publication, fueled the fire for us to become leaders in celebrating a more diverse set of women and their contributions. Thus, in the spirit of International Women’s Day, Cold Tea Collective presents its second annual list of outstanding Asian Millennial women.
For 2019, a call for submissions was made for women across North America. We were so thrilled and energized by the response. Our thanks goes out to those who took the time to nominate friends, family members, and colleagues. By no means is this list exhaustive, but our hope is for readers to be introduced, or re-introduced, to these remarkable women.
Subscribe to our newsletter here. Our exclusive interviews with some of these amazing women are published later this spring. Cover image by Cristina Martinez.
19 Asian Millennial Women You Should Know:
Aisha Amijee – Founder, Voices of Muslim Women
Aisha created her own not-for-profit organization, Voices of Muslim Women, which aims to provide a community for professional women (open to all ethnicities, but Muslim run) in Vancouver. Aisha inspires others to fearlessly live big, put her hustle where her mouth is, and most importantly she creates waves of impact in the lives of everyone she interacts with.
Amanda Nguyen – CEO, Rise & Nobel Peace Prize Nominee
A game-changer in the name of public policy and women’s rights, Amanda is a 2019 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee and the Founder & CEO of Rise, an American organization that fights for the rights of sexual violence victims. Through Rise, the organization helped draft and pass the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights through Congress — as the bill was just the 21st one in modern United States history to pass without any opposition. At 26 years old, Nguyen has now dedicated her life to reforming the laws for survivors of sexual assault. Her motivation comes from experiencing the injustices of the criminal system firsthand after she was raped in 2013.
Ann Hui – Author, Chop Suey Nation & Journalist, The Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail reporter Ann set herself on a time-sensitive mission: to understand how — after generations living in a poverty-stricken area of Guangdong, China — her family had somehow wound up in Canada. This led her to creating Chop Suey Nation: The Legion Cafe and Other Stories from Canada’s Chinese Restaurants. Ann is nominated for her writing style, boldness to ask questions, and recent articles on the origins of chop suey.
Asian Boss Girl(s) – Melody Cheng, Helen Wu, and Janet Wang
A podcast for the modern day Asian American woman hosted by Melody Cheng, Helen Wu, and Janet Wang. The podcast was started as an outlet for topics we are interested in, and for sharing stories we have as 20 to 30 something-year-old Asian American women working, dating, and living in Los Angeles. They tell it like it is, unfiltered, while bringing together a community online and in-person.
Brigitte Truong – Television Host & Lifestyle Content Creator
Brigitte is a television host and lifestyle content creator. She is passionate about teaching others mindset and confidence hacks. Through her work, she encourages women to be their authentic selves, love our authentic selves, and radiate positive vibes. She’s a host for Cineplex Movies and CHCH TV in Ontario, Canada.
Chantal Thuy – Actor & LGBTQ Ally
Chantal is a Canadian actress born and raised in Montreal, Quebec. Fluent in English, French and Vietnamese, she plays bisexual superheroine Grace Choi in DC Comics’ CW Network show “Black Lightning” (2018), further pushing for progress in diverse representation of Asians and the LGBTQ community. Chantal has also appeared on television series like “Madam Secretary”, “Pretty Little Liars”, and “Matador”.
Click here to subscribe to our newsletter for when our exclusive interview with Chantal is published later this spring.
Courtney Chew – Founder, OCIN
Fashion and brand expert, Courtney is the Founder of OCIN, a lifestyle brand and swim label that exists to connect human beings to their most open and free selves. As well, it positively impacts our communities, our earth, and our oceans by using 100% recycled polyesters from plastic bottles saved from landfill and recycled nylon in their fabrics. OCIN was named Glamour Magazine’s Top New Brand of 2018.
Click here to subscribe to our newsletter for when our exclusive interview with Courtney is published later this spring.
Jackie Fernandez – 2x Emmy Award Winning TV Host & Content Creator
A two-time Emmy Award-winning television host, journalist, and content producer for upcoming IGTV series, Ghostwriters TV, Jackie left her six-figure job in television to tell stories from the heart and imagination. A proud Filipina-Chinese woman, Jackie has worked in news markets as the only Asian journalist and broke her way through the glass ceiling for women on television.
Click here to subscribe to our newsletter for when our exclusive interview with Jackie is published later this spring.
Jennifer Zhang (aka JENerationDIY) – YouTube Personality
Jennifer is a 20-year-old YouTuber who, over the last five years, has amassed a following of nearly 2,000,000 subscribers on YouTube, and 120,000+ followers on Instagram for her fun do-it-yourself videos. More than that, she embodies the spirit of doing it yourself, by using the YouTube platform to be creative and inspire others to do the same.
Jianne Soriano – Changemaker, Internet Safety and Governance
Jianne has become an active champion in capacity-building and youth participation in internet governance discourse and devoted herself in bettering rights and welfare for minorities in Hong Kong. She’s produced a documentary “Own Voices: Breaking Stereotypes” which reflects how some members of Hong Kong’s ethnic minorities see their home and the social changes they long for. Jianne has also given speeches representing NetMission in United Nation conferences about internet safety and governance.
Joella Cabalu – Filmmaker
Joella is a Filipina-Canadian filmmaker championinig the voices of under-represented groups in film, in particular for the LGBTQ community. She has been selected to participate in numerous professional training programs, including the inaugural 2015 Hot Docs Shaw Media Diverse Voices, the 2014-2015 BC Arts Council Early Career Development, and the 2016 CBC Development Workshop for Diverse Creators. In June 2015, Cabalu delivered her first broadcast documentary “It Runs in the Family” on OUTtv network as a producer, director, and writer — and in 2016, the film screened and won awards in San Francisco, New York, Seattle, and Vancouver.
Madelyn Chung – Journalist & Masters of Music Therapy Student
Madelyn is a Toronto-based journalist, and an advocate and influencer in diversity, representation, and mental health. Her work has been featured in Flare, Fashion, Huffington Post, Yahoo! Beauty, and more. With each of her stories, we learn a little more about how to live authentically and freely, while in line with our values. She is currently studying for her Masters of Music Therapy.
Melly Lee – Photographer
Melly is a photographer who focuses on Asian actors and other stars. She has worked with clients such as Google, Warner Bros, LEGO and Harper Collins. Her photography has helped capture the beauty, grit, and energy of the young Asian Hollywood community including the likes of Jon M. Chu, Manny Pacquiao, Eugene Lee Yang, Osric Chau, Jessika Van, Wong Fu Productions, Linda Dong, cast members of Crazy Rich Asians, and more.
Click here to subscribe to our newsletter for when our exclusive interview with Melly is published later this spring.
Mia Fiona Kut – Founder, Luna Nectar & Filmmaker
Mia has experienced a successful trajectory in the past year with turning both of her hobbies into careers. She is the founder of all-natural, vegan, and cruelty-free skincare brand Luna Nectar. As well, Mia is a writer, director, and actor with her film “Sonder” earning a Best Canadian Short Film Award and nomination at the Vancouver Asian Film Festival. Mia makes a conscious effort for diversity and women in the workplace, writing leading roles for diverse women in her films.
Pamela Fu – Pharmacist & Actor
An actress and pharmacist, Pamela’s superpowers lie both in the sciences and the arts (so basically, she’s a superhero). She has a strong interest in internationalism and global development work, as well as actively promoting Chinese in film. Pamela is also part of Toronto’s writing community for Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour in TV and Film where the group hosts various talks and seminars to improve the presence of writers of colour.
Peggy Chen – Youth Engagement Strategist
Peggy is on the Board of Directors for the Alzheimers Society and YWCA Canada. She is passionate about youth development, gender equity, and social justice, while striving to make a positive social impact in those communities affected. While her experience in social impact work is impressive, it’s really the passion, drive, and heart she brings to her work that proves inspirational.
The Cosmos – Co-Founders, Cassandra Lam and Karen Mok
The Cosmos is a community for Asian women creators, entrepreneurs, freelancers, and artists to flourish and thrive. Through content and experiences, The Cosmos empowers Asian women to create the representation and culture change Asian women deserve. In August 2019, they will be bringing together women from all over North America at their inaugural Cosmos Summit.
More information about their summit, how they’re empowering Asian women and their crowdfunding campaign can be found at here.
Cold Tea Collective Co-Founder Natasha Jung will also be participating in an Instagram Takeover/AMA with The Cosmos later this spring. Click here to subscribe to our newsletter to find out more details.
Tita Collective – Ann Paula Bautista, Belinda Corpuz, Alia Ceniza Rasul, Isabel Kanaan, Maricris Rivera
Tita Collective is a Filipina-Canadian theatre group which focuses on the Filipinx Canadian experience and identity. Tita Collective is offering not only a voice to Toronto’s young Filipinx population, but also a chance to see themselves represented on stage and to see that the arts have space for people who look like them, and people who share their stories. Their ongoing work and upcoming projects work towards sharing their stories, our stories, and stories that many femmes of colour can see themselves reflected in.
Whether you’re Asian or not, if you read through all of the amazing ladies on this list, that means you’re a supporter of Asian representation and the celebration of their accomplishments and contributions. And for that, we thank you.
CALL TO ACTION
Whether it be online, in the boardroom, at a party, or somewhere else, we encourage you to do what you can to ensure diversity and inclusion of a variety of voices and opinions. Hold people and organizations accountable for representation of a multitude of perspectives.
Share this article with your friends who are in need of some inspiration, or simply share with someone who inspires you.
Happy International Women’s Day.
Subscribe for exclusive interview content with some of these amazing women and other exciting developments coming this Spring.
Cold Tea Collective is a new media platform, sharing the real stories, perspectives, and experiences of Asian millennials.
We’re passionate about providing Asian millennials a platform to better understand and connect with themselves and the world around them. We tell it from the heart, dig deeper for the truth in every story, and strive to create the best quality content and conversation.
Making Asian American media
We believe that our stories matter – and we hope you do too. Support us with a monthly contribution to help ensure stories for us and by us are here to stay.