When 18 Million Rising (18MR) launched in 2012, there were approximately 18 million Asian Americans in the United States, representing nearly 6% of the total population and growing faster than any other racial group. Despite that, Asian Americans were, and remain, one of the most politically under–represented communities.
In 2012 young Asian Americans were yearning for a progressive political home. Our organization was created in response to the enormous untapped opportunity to educate, organize, and mobilize young Asian Americans. In a time when others ignored and erased our political power, we built an online community to foster belonging in a rapidly-changing United States. We believe that we deserve to live in a world where we can thrive. Organizing young Asian Americans is key to building a more just world.
As part of the East, Southeast and South Asian diasporas, our communities have come from many waves of immigration to the U.S. Many of us are physically isolated because our communities have been ripped apart through incarceration, gentrification, deportation, climate change, state violence, and capitalism. Creating community on the Internet has helped young Asian Americans close these gaps. For us the Internet is a place where we come together to create culture, collaborate, and build power.
Since 2012, our online and offline advocacy and cultural campaigns have highlighted the struggles of Asian American communities while celebrating our resilience. Using digital-first organizing, 18MR responds to issues of the current political moment. We mobilize our people to speak up against injustice and take action. From policy change to shifting narratives, 18MR helps define the culture of Asian America today.