Back in 2017, Phi Nguyen and Kavi Vu started a web series with one major goal: to increase civic engagement among Georgia’s Asian American and Pacific Islander community.
They called the project “Wake Up Atlanta.”
In their first video, posted to Facebook, Nguyen and Vu explained that low voter turnout among Asian Americans — due to “structural and cultural barriers” — was a big motivator to start the series.
“We’re stuck in what we like to call the ‘Asian apathy circle,'” Nguyen said. “Basically, Asian Americans don’t turn out to vote, and so politicians don’t care about us. And then, because they don’t care about us, we don’t turn out to vote.”
S1E1: Wake Up, Atlanta Introduction
We are two Asian American ATLiens dedicated to increasing the AAPI vote in Atlanta by educating (and hopefully entertaining) you while we navigate this important but also kinda boring space that is POLITICS.. We know, blegh, but give us a chance! Check out our intro to our brand new web-series, Wake Up, Atlanta!Huuuuuge thanks to Center for Civic Innovation and Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta for providing us this opportunity through the Ideas Challenge and our nonprofit sponsor Asian Americans Advancing Justice Atlanta for providing us with great resources!!
Posted by Wake Up Atlanta on Friday, September 15, 2017
Since the first episode of “Wake Up Atlanta” in 2017, a lot has changed.
The web series has gone viral — their first video now has more than 50,000 views on Facebook. And, according to data from the Pew Research Center, Asian American voter turnout significantly increased in the 2018 midterms.
On Monday’s edition of “Closer Look,” Nguyen and Vu joined host Rose Scott by phone for a conversation about their story, their strategies for engaging more Asian American voters and how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected their organization’s outreach efforts.
To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above.