#Breakthebias: Celebrating Cold Tea Collective’s Women Members

Cold Tea Collective team members share about #breakthebias for Women’s History Month

Last year, Chloe Zhao made history by becoming the first Asian female director to receive the Best Director award at the 2021 Oscars. Sandra Oh was the first actress of Asian descent (in 39 years) to win a 2019 Golden Globe for Best Leading TV actress for her role in Killing Eve. And that same year, Naomi Osaka became the first and only Asian tennis player to become the world’s number 1 ranked female tennis player.

See also: 10 Filipinas who made history that you should know about

Every year that we celebrate International Women’s Day, I think about reaching a time where the accomplishments of women are normalized, rather than a rarity. 

See also: The dehumanization of Asian women: deadly narratives

To celebrate International Women’s Day, we profiled four Cold Tea Collective staff and asked them what this day means to them. 


Ashley J. Chong, second generation Korean American/third culture kid 

Women history month

What do you think it means to be an Asian (American/Canadian) woman in 2022?

On guard (due to rise of anti-Asian racism) but also not alone. 

This year’s IWD theme is #BreakTheBias. What are some ways you want to break the bias when it comes to being an Asian (American/Canadian) woman?

My first reaction to that theme is what is the bias and who is setting the bias? The answer changes depending on who you’re asking. I think though, fundamentally breaking the bias means showing depth and possibilities and being multidimensional. Biases tend to flatten and simplify; therefore, to break it, we must be our most full, vivid selves. 

I just moved to Seoul for grad school and being here introduces new standards and ways of being. My sense of self and identity will likely grow, stretch, break, mend, and expand while I’m here and I hope that through it all, I don’t compromise who I am. 

Who is an Asian woman that inspires you with how they are breaking the bias?  

Hyeyung Sol Yoon: violinist, community organizer, educator. At the end of her chapter as being part of a string quartet, Hyeyung launched into a new chapter of creating and cultivating communities for classical musicians. @hyeyungsolyoon and her organizations are @amva_music (Asian musical voices) and @open.space.music

Lan Samantha Chang: author, director of the Iowa Writing Workshop. Not only are her books incredibly crafted, she also is at the helm of emerging American literature, curating and cultivating space for diverse writers. 

Eunbi Kim: pianist, cofounder of @letsbespoken (mentorship program for women in music). I had the pleasure of speaking with Eunbi during a conference and was drawn to her project Murakumi Music, a collaborative project marrying music in Murakami’s book with recitations from said books. @eunbikimpiano 

Authors who are creating books I wish I had growing up: @literarylyla @ktzhaoauthor @junehurwrites @katchowrites @_sarahsuk 

Artists / Musicians who are amazing and inspire me : @rinasonline @audreynuna @chungha_official @tvn_mamadol (women in entertainment industry who are mothers and stepped back from industry but who reunited to release a single together) @dlwlrma (singer IU)


Alicia Cheung, a second-generation Chinese Canadian

Woman history month #breakthebias

What do you think it means to be an Asian (American/Canadian) woman in 2022?

For me, to be an Asian Canadian woman in 2022 means to be resilient – resilient in breaking the bamboo glass ceiling in the workplace, resilient in carrying on the legacies of the women who came before us, resilient in standing up and fighting for Asian women who may not have a voice or who may be vulnerable.

This year’s IWD theme is #BreakTheBias. What are some ways you want to break the bias when it comes to being an Asian (American/Canadian) woman?

I want to help break the bias by amplifying success stories of Asian Canadian and Asian American women, fighting the model minority myth in my day-to-day life, and setting an example in my workplace — participating in diversity and inclusion initiatives, calling out racial and gender inequality, and setting an example for others.

Who is an Asian woman that inspires you with how they are breaking the bias?  

My favourite CTC story written by a woman is Natasha’s article “Holding corporations accountable to diversity and inclusivity”:  

This article strongly resonates with me because it’s so easy to ‘cancel’ someone or a group of people, but in reality, it should be reframed as the approach to keeping and holding individuals and companies accountable.


Cecilia Huang, first generation Taiwanese Canadian

Womens history month

What do you think it means to be an Asian (American/Canadian) woman in 2022?

That we don’t fit in one mold. We can be many things at once and continue to evolve into different versions of ourselves. We can be quiet and vulnerable, but also outspoken and assertive. We are more united than ever, as the digital world brings us closer together.

This year’s IWD theme is #BreakTheBias. What are some ways you want to break the bias when it comes to being an Asian (American/Canadian) woman?

To break the bias, I challenge both myself and those around me to stay curious and ask questions. Part of breaking any bias, not just towards Asian women, is to be open to learning and listening. I am committed to amplifying diverse and real stories about Asian women. Not only does storytelling empower others, but sharing experiences will help to build a strong community of support. This way, we can lean on one another and lift each other up.

Who is an Asian woman that inspires you with how they are breaking the bias?

@jameelajamil
@sophfei
@asianbossgirl


Ayoung Kim, first generation Korean Canadian

Cold Tea Collective Womens history month

What do you think it means to be an Asian (American/Canadian) woman in 2022?

We’re oscillating two extremes. While wariness grows with each new development of violence against the community, there is also a sense of being able to see yourself in the mirror for the first time. This moment of recognition is welded to a sense of adventure and beginnings, there’s just spools and spools to unravel. It seems more important than ever to have a space to process all these very strong emotions and to chart the next step. 

This year’s IWD theme is #BreakTheBias. What are some ways you want to break the bias when it comes to being an Asian (American/Canadian) woman?

This reminds me that although minority status opens us up to being victims of bigotry and bias, it does not enlighten oneself on their own prejudices or potential privileges. By paying attention to what we pay attention to, we can address biases that remain within our own communities in order to crack open our own inertia and make room for something new. As much as I commit myself to diversifying narratives of Asian American/Canadian women by telling stories that flesh us out as people, rather than caricatures, I would like to contribute in some capacity to addressing anti-blackness within the Asian community at large.

Who is an Asian woman that inspires you with how they are breaking the bias?

Yoon Yeo Jung, @jameelajamil, @Stephycha, @happy_jae_jae @iamsandraohinsta, Yuri Kochiyama


International Women’s Day is a time to celebrate women everywhere, but it’s also a time to remind ourselves that we need to continue empowering and uplifting the voices of women every day. In order to achieve equity, diversity and inclusion, we need to reach a point in time where women aren’t overlooked and “firsts” don’t exist anymore. 

What are some ways that we can all break the bias?

Feature Credit: CU Denver News

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.

accessible

The future of Cold Tea Collective depends on you.

People chatting at the Making It documentary screening.

This site uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. By continuing to use this website, you consent to the use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy.

Scroll to Top