We’re excited to celebrate Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month by recognizing the rich history and achievements of Asian and Pacific Islander (API) people, their unique life experiences, traditions, and incredible impact on culture. With the rise of anti-Asian hate crimes, now more than ever it’s important that we come together to support and uplift our #APIFamily.
Throughout May and beyond, TikTok is honoring the impact and resilience of our API community. We’re spotlighting this year’s API TikTok Trailblazers and their stories, API artists creating music on the platform, new in-app stickers, and TikTok LIVE programming that showcases the pride and influence of the API community.
Meet the 2022 API TikTok Trailblazers
This year’s API TikTok Trailblazers are creators who are shaping entertainment, culture, content, and trends both on and off of TikTok. They were nominated by the TikTok community for using their platform to educate, entertain, and advocate for the API community. Throughout Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, our 2022 Trailblazers will share their stories and showcase the #APIFamily through creator spotlights and LIVE programming.
Photo credit: TikTok/Angella Choe
- @ashyizzle (Los Angeles, CA) – Ashley Yi is a proud Korean American who believes the camera eats first. Whether it’s sharing words of wisdom in her car or giving a boost of serotonin with her quirky facial expressions, you can always count on a tasty meal in front of her.
- @davidwma (Brooklyn, NY) – David Ma is a commercial director and filmmaker who creates short films, commercials, and viral content on TV and social media. He’s known for taking people behind the scenes on his sets and sharing his creative process and unique approach to filmmaking.
- @dermdoctor (Willmington, NC) – Dr.Shah is a practicing Dermatologist whose passion for skincare education led him to start his social media journey in 2020. Using his motto, “education, not influence,” he empowers people to make informed decisions about their skin health, mixed with the right amount of humor and fun.
- @drewafualo (Los Angeles, CA) – Drew Afualo is known as the crusader of women and many other marginalized groups on TikTok. With her no-nonsense, humor-driven approach, she is empowering so many people to stand up to misogyny and bigotry of any kind.
- @dynah.tui (O‘ahu, Hawaii) – Dynah Tuia’ana is a young Pacific Islander who is always looking to share culture, smiles, laughs, and PI values on TikTok. She started out on the app simply inspired by others to get up and dance, and realized she loves having a positive impact on those near and far through content creation.
- @erikakullberg (Los Angeles, CA) – Erika Kullberg is an attorney, personal finance expert, graduate of Georgetown Law, and now one of the most followed lawyers on social media. She discovered her passion for educating others about personal finance after paying off over $225,000 in student loans in under 2 years, and she creates content on TikTok to empower others with financial knowledge. After spending years as a corporate lawyer, she founded Plug and Law, an online legal company making legal more accessible for online business owners and entrepreneurs.
- @foodwithsoy (Los Angeles, CA) – Soy Nguyen empowers her audience by exploring the intersectionality between food, culture, and mental health. She embraces food from different cultures, recommends her favorite spots and food hacks, and shares educational content revolving around her Vietnamese-American identity through her mom’s recipes.
- @jikariasisters (New York, NY) – The Jikaria Sisters (Omika, Rishika, and Aashika) are a sister trio from NYC, who share content that blends their South Asian and American identities. From dance and music, to fashion, beauty, culture, and promoting social causes, the Jikaria Sisters aim to break barriers and create inspiring content.
- @justthenobodys (Torrance, CA) – Just The Nobodys is a podcast where two brothers (Ryan and Daniel Omoto) talk about pop culture, science, and everything in between, with a goal of building more Asian representation. Just The Nobodys represents not having to be a “somebody” to make a difference in the world — their platform showcases family friendly content inclusive to all races and communities.
- @k8sabz (Los Angeles, CA) – Hina is a Japanese, non-binary lesbian who creates comedic and fashion content on TikTok, and focuses on bringing light to lesbian culture and the intersections of their identities. To Hina, the most important thing is bringing representation to their communities, especially young queer Asian folks who never saw themselves in the media.
- @kukombo (New York, NY) – Kukombo is a Chinese-American creative based in New York City with an interdisciplinary artistic background in fashion design, filmmaking, music production, and photography. In his TikTok videos, Kukombo takes his audience on an unexpected adventure through his cinematic take on cosplay.
- @vivxue (Fremont, CA) – Vivian Xue is a first generation Chinese immigrant who started her career as a software engineer but found her true calling as a nail artist. She’s built an audience on TikTok from sharing her creative nail art and behind the scenes clips of making reusable press ons for her clients.
#APIFamily TikTok LIVE Programming: Throughout May, we’ll host an exciting lineup of themed LIVEs and in-app programming featuring trailblazing creators including Hina, singer-songwriter laufey, API-owned SMBs, non-profit organizations (Act to Change, Stop AAPI Hate, Hate Is A Virus) and entertainers across the #APIFamily TikTok community. Stay tuned into @TikTok for more info on our LIVE schedule lineup!
Supporting Our #APIFamily SMBs: Asian-owned small businesses had one of the longest recovery periods following COVID19 lockdowns. In March 2020, API-owned businesses saw revenue decline and combined with an increase in anti-Asian hate sentiment, bouncing back has been difficult. Throughout it all, we’ve seen the API community lean on TikTok as a source of positivity and strength. This includes API-owned small businesses who have leveraged the platform to share their stories, reach new customers, and emerge even stronger as COVID restrictions lift.
Throughout Asian and Pacific Islander Month, we’re spotlighting API-owned SMBs that have built community on TikTok and driven real-world impact. We’re also hosting our first-ever API Night Market: Live Shopping event hosted by @ashyizzle on May 24 from 8 pm – 10 pm EST on our TikTok For Business channel. Each of the businesses below will take part in the LIVE: Cocokind Skincare, Immi Ramen, Chunks, Sanzo, Sassy Woof, Sani, Everydaze, and TamTak Jewelry.
Celebrating TikTok’s Internal API Community with ARISE: As we celebrate our API community on TikTok, we’re also honored to recognize our community of API employees who are blazing trails and celebrating the everlasting impact of the Asian and Pacific Islander community year-round. ARISE, TikTok’s employee resource group (ERG) empowers our very own internal API community through company initiatives and supporting causes that foster inclusion, solidarity, allyship and education across TikTok’s employee base. This year, our ARISE family will be celebrating API Heritage Month with a special internal speaker event series set to elevate the voices of API employees and shed light on the spectrum of the API experience, featuring guest speakers across the creative industry.
Tune in to World Sounds of API Music: Join us in recognizing the unity, power and boundless creativity of API music artists across our Asian and Pacific Islander community. We’re bringing music fans a special lineup of in-app programming, including a full suite of API music playlists that will showcase our very own API music talent across genres. Our #APIMusic lineup will feature playlists from artists like Tesher and Thuy, along with #JapaneseMusic and #Jpop programming in-app on our Sounds Page.
Join us in celebrating the impact and legacy of Asian & Pacific Islander culture alongside our #APIFamily on TikTok.