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“As a kid I was never into school, just never interested me, my grades were always borderline and I always knew my success would be something outside of the classroom. Now growing up in a chinese family this was bad because you were always expected to get 100s on every test and to be at the top of the class, this was never the case with me, I knew I needed to find something that would interest me. When I discovered powerlifting I instantly fell in love with the sport, first because I was naturally good at it and progressed very quickly and because I loved being strong, the stereotype I always heard was that Asians are weak, fun fact Team China is on top of the world in Olympic weightlifting. I always trained hard to prove that stereotype was bullsh*t, I signed up for my first meet towards the end of 2018 and I’ll always remember the shock and awe of the people’s faces in the crowd watching me lift, they just didn’t expect that much from me. I ended up taking 1st in my class that day and best lifter. I train in powerlifting to strengthen my body, my mind and to inspire others to start lifting, also to prove to my traditional family that success isn’t always in the form of A pluses on a report card. I will become an elite powerlifter and break a world record one day. I want to be an inspiration to the asian lifters in the powerlifting community.” -Allen Lau #teamlaustrength #asiansspeakup #embraceourrace

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“Being Asian has had its ups and downs. When I was younger, the only thing I could really say I was proud of was how “Asian” I was. I made sure the word was out there so that people knew I was Asian. My instagram used to be @asiandude2002, my username in all my games would be @asianboi, and my snapchat to this day is still @asiantennis. I would even purposely talk in thai to my parents in front of everyone just to flex my ability to speak an Asian language. But, as time progressed and people grew older, the world seemed to be a little angrier with me. My memory isn’t too great, but some of the events that have occured in my life are engraved into my brain. There were moments where I would notice my family, my friends, and myself getting into incidents that should not have been racially based. Whether it was getting cut in line or being physically assaulted, all of these moments happened because we were Asian. I could go onto a tangent about all the times I’ve been attacked verbally and physically but the most important thing is how it shaped my present self. All this anger in the world didn’t lead to my outrage but rather my revelation. The amount of pain and suffering that exists motivated me to live my life positively instead of stooping down to the level of these pessimistic people. It has driven me not only to show my love for others but love myself as not only a thai-american but an Asian.” -Arin Siriamonthep #asiansspeakup #embraceourrace

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Hi! We are two high school students looking to facilitate conversation between Asians and their communities in an attempt to increase awareness about racism to create unity. We hope to develop a platform where Asians across the globe can come together with support and inspiration to help others. The amount of hate crimes against Asians during the COVID-19 outbreak has increased dramatically. We see disgusting acts of racism all over the world through the news, social media, and even our own eyes. Too often the victims of these attacks aren’t able to defend and speak up for themselves. But this outbreak isn’t the only example of racism against Asians. It exists in our everyday lives – other people’s misconceptions about our culture is one of the reasons why our society has become increasingly polarized in recent years. We, as a community, cannot stand for this any longer. Embrace your heritage by sending us your story on how being Asian has molded you into the person you are today, despite the hardships that being Asian carries. It’s time to speak up. Some ways that you can help us: • Follow us and spread the word about our platform! • Everyone has a story (Direct message us yours and with your consent, we will post it with a picture that you think represents yourself well or a selfie) • Post with and share our hashtags #asiansspeakup #embraceourrace -Arin Siriamonthep (@siriamonthep) and Brian Gao (@briangao59)

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