Michael Huang, 30’s
Current Role: Owner / Director of Strategy
What racial, ethnic, cultural community or communities do you identify with?
When and how did your family come to the United States? Where were you born?
My parents immigrated from Taiwan as students. I was born and raised in Seattle.
What are the strengths and challenges of being Asian, Asian American, and/or Pacific Islander?
Otherness has always been a challenge - feeling out of place or not a part of the "in group" has been a weight I've carried since I can remember. Finding communities with people and interests like me changed the way I viewed myself and my heritage.
Realizing that my background was something to be proud of helped me to be aware of my own unique strengths and eventually helped me see that in others which now drives the work I do, the way my company hires, and the way I approach the world.
What is your proudest accomplishment?
My agency, Milli, started out as a personal creative endeavor. In the 6 years we've been around, it's grown into much more than my own vision but a place made up of the many visions of the diverse group of people we've put together. I wake up every day amazed and inspired by how Milli has become its own special thing and a great place to work.
What is one thing you learned or appreciate from your family growing up?
Resilience. From my grandparents fleeing a war-torn China to my parents braving a country where they barely spoke the language and knew no one all to uplift their families - these are feats that I could never match in my own privileged life but I can at least carry the legacy of their strength through all that I do.
Do you speak your family's native language? Why or why not?
I do. Partly because I was raised by my grandfather to a certain age as my parents worked - and he only spoke Chinese. But also later on as I traveled back to Taiwan frequently to see family and friends. Finally, I decided to learn Chinese formally and solidify my skills because at that point... why not?
What advice do you have for the younger generations in our Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander community?
Being different is hard. Discrimination is real. The worst of all of it manifests itself as self-doubt and self-hate. Be aware of this (you don't need the answers right away), find community, and push through. Eventually, you'll have the capacity to help others like you or in worse positions. We all need to leverage our positions of privilege to help others. Not only is it the right thing to do - it's the best way to build self-worth and connections between our communities that the world so desperately needs.
What gives you the greatest joy in life?
Creating and helping others. Especially being able to do both at the same time.
Are there any projects you have created that you'd like to share and promote?
This year, we released our first "passion" project as a company called, TIDELANDS. It's a mini-documentary series highlighting young creatives of color in the Northwest. Check it out on Instagram.
If you would like to share your voice as a person of color, please read the directions and fill out this form here. All ages, backgrounds, and generations welcome. Thank you!
Who are we?
Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander voices in our communities.
This is a section for AAPI specifically because, coming from our Khmer culture, we often feel invisible in various spaces from school to the media.
We want to show the ways in which we are the same and different, and that all of our backgrounds and experiences are valuable to learn and celebrate. Let's uplift each other!
Charles Calvino Hang
Danielle Bopha Khleang
Emma S. Buchanan
Firda Amalia Herryanddhy
Grace Bora Kim
Justin Cardona (JCool)
Kaitlin Kamalei Brandon
Krystal M. Chuon
Lina (Spring Roll Fever)
Mei Mei Long
Melissa Khoeum Barnett
Note K. Suwanchote
Sam "Smushipig" Javier
Samrach Sar, Esq.
ចាប សាត Sath Chap
Sotheara Jeffrey Lim