RUN AAPI

RUN AAPI

RUN AAPI is a political home for young Asian American and Pacific Islanders who are bold, unapologetic, progressive – and online. Founded by Chloe Bennet and Brad Jenkins, RUN began as a social convening space for up-and-coming Asian influencers shocked by the 2016 Trump presidency. Fast forward to 2022, we

RUN AAPI

RUN AAPI is a political home for young Asian American and Pacific Islanders who are bold, unapologetic, progressive – and online. Founded by Chloe Bennet and Brad Jenkins, RUN began as a social convening space for up-and-coming Asian influencers shocked by the 2016 Trump presidency. Fast forward to 2022, we have built a cultural hub of young, multi-disciplinary creatives, activists, and storytellers, all collectively organizing to mobilize our communities into their political power. We believe our community is on the precipice of another historic breakthrough: by challenging how we are represented in everyday life, we are claiming a once-in-a-generation opportunity for young AAPIs to strengthen their political and cultural identity. Our mission is to create and amplify innovative digital campaigns, build narrative networks, invest in new leaders, and advance cultural change at scale, while collaborating with state and local organizations to sustain our impact year after year.

About the Organization:

RUN AAPI is a political home for young Asian American and Pacific Islanders who are bold, unapologetic, progressive – and online. Founded by Chloe Bennet and Brad Jenkins, RUN began as a social convening space for up-and-coming Asian influencers shocked by the 2016 Trump presidency. Fast forward to 2022, we have built a cultural hub of young, multi-disciplinary creatives, activists, and storytellers, all collectively organizing to mobilize our communities into their political power. We believe our community is on the precipice of another historic breakthrough: by challenging how we are represented in everyday life, we are claiming a once-in-a-generation opportunity for young AAPIs to strengthen their political and cultural identity. Our mission is to create and amplify innovative digital campaigns, build narrative networks, invest in new leaders, and advance cultural change at scale, while collaborating with state and local organizations to sustain our impact year after year.

organizational budget

$100,000 - $500,000

existence for

0-5 Years

The Issue:

Young people are shaping politics like never before, and well, they just keep voting. However, mainstream media and politics are continually failing to understand the basic facts of who we are let alone what it means to be Asian in America. This lack of representation perpetuates deep ignorance and false narratives undermining our political consciousness and the true influence of young Asian voters.
In 2020, RUN conducted the first nationwide political opinion-poll solely focused on uncovering the perspectives of young AAPIs, ages 18 to 34, where it was revealed that the key barrier to voting was a lack of motivation. Continuing this study two years later in Arizona, we also found:
  • 68% of AAPI youth have not been contacted by a political campaign to get involved.
  • 51% of AAPI youth do not strongly feel a sense of community within the AANHPI community.
Young AAPIs have failed to be seen as part of the new rising progressive electorate. When this happens, we are not taken seriously as a cultural and political force; we are told that our vote is irrelevant. While traditional politics has historically excluded our community, we have built our own safe spaces to foster representation. By emboldening creatives who have developed these spaces to identify their political power, we can better harness the untapped potential of the young AAPI electorate that has not been felt, seen, or heard in the past.

The Solution:

RUN is bringing digital innovation to challenge traditional political outreach. This means renewed imagination, new systems, and political intervention with young AAPI creators driving this strategy – our collaborators and our pulse-on-the-ground.
Our team has developed a first-of-its-kind creator-to-politics pipeline, inviting more non-political AAPI creatives (our generation of trusted messengers) to own their role in the movement and shape our culture of participation. By investing in our people first, we have developed this model of incubating political change agents that can be applied state to state. We have piloted this program in 2022 with an inaugural slate of diverse creatives. In 2023 and 2024, along with our state partners, we will curate a place-based creative cohort who live in Nevada, Arizona, Michigan, and Texas.
RUN’s “curriculum” is designed to empower this creative cohort through in-person and virtual convenings, monthly workshops with leading industry experts, and culture-first campaigns on emerging platforms. We’re taking it one step further by creating paid opportunities for them to flex their newly acquired skills and work directly with organizations on the ground. The interim goal: equip our creatives to be confident in weaving their political identity into their content and art, and become decision-makers in how they participate in politics and how they activate their audiences. The long-term goal: expand our political influence in every election year and make it clear that we don’t just show up at the polls – we show up for ourselves and our communities in our everyday lives. Local change leads to big impact.
By focusing on empowering creatives to own their political identity, we are challenging transactional get-out-the-vote partnership models, with transformational relationships that can stand the test of time. Our program develops creatives into political changemakers, puts money directly in the hands of creatives rather than platforms, and brings new individuals into the civic engagement space.

Get Updates about the Gold Futures Challenge

Join our email list to receive challenge updates!