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California 100 Partners With Activate California, Epic and Nextshark Media to Commemorate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

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In celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM) this May, California 100 partnered with three inspiring and innovative organizations working to lift up the AAPI community in California and beyond — Activate California, Empowering Pacific Islander Communities (EPIC), and NextShark Media – to challenge young leaders, especially young people of color – to envision, strategize, and act on building a more innovative and equitable future. Through a series of creative prompts released across all three partners’ social media platforms, the challenge invited young people to dream big and share their wildest hopes, visions, and ideals for the future of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders. 

Followers were invited to create and post original short videos, illustrations, collages, narrative, or other creative art in response to one of the following prompts:

Throughout the month, California 100 followed along as partners and communities throughout California shared their creative visions; here’s a small selection of the responses:

California 100’s campaign partner Empowering Pacific Islander Communities (EPIC) adapted the challenge to reach their own networks, and released a series of expanded prompts that called upon the wisdom of past generations to help build visions for the future, including: 

  • We knew we were liberated when… 
  • What kind of ancestor are you training to be?
  • “What tokens of our land shall we store in ourselves?” — a line from Kathy Jetnil Kijener’s poem The Butterfly Thief


The responses were varied and powerful, and emphasized how Pacific Islander communities are preparing to be radical elders and ancestors. The range of responses inspired this culminating creative piece by storyteller Kiki Rivera and visual artist Angel Halafihi.

The goal of California 100 is to lift up and support transformative ideas, people and projects that accelerate progress with a focus on inspiring a vision and strategy for California’s next century that is innovative, sustainable, and equitable. In addition to sponsoring original work, the California 100 Platform will promote the best of what is happening in California. Through these various projects and activities, California 100 seeks to move California towards an aspirational vision—changing policies and practices, attitudes and mindsets, for a more vibrant future.


Activate California, a program of Asian American Futures, is an initiative committed to transforming how Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are represented in the media, in our communities, and in our democracy by building AAPI power and multi-racial solidarity.



EPIC is a national organization that advances social justice by engaging Native Hawaiian & Pacific Islanders in culture-centered advocacy, leadership development, and research. Executive Director Tavae Samuelu is a California 100 Commissioner. 


ABOUT NEXTSHARK is a leading media destination for Asian Americans covering news, business, politics, entertainment, and culture that reaches up to 30 million people per week on social media. NextShark has been cited by The New York Times, Business Insider, The Washington Post, Forbes, BBC, CNN, Fox, and more and has led coverage of anti-Asian violence since the beginning of 2020. Founder and CEO Benny Luo is a member of the California 100 Advisory Council.