Rising Voices Amplify centers the stories of Asian American communities in Metro Detroit

As the August 3 primary election approaches, the nonprofit Rising Voices seeks to empower the Asian American community in the Detroit metro area through voter education and outreach. To amplify their mission, the organization has partnered with artist and photographer Jarod Lew to create a historical record of Asian-American communities in the region. The current collaboration is a continuation of their Rising Voices Amplify project, which profiled leaders and residents across the state who are dedicated to organizing and elevating the voices of women and communities. communities of Asian origin.

Through images, audio stories, and videos, the multimedia company aims to document Asian American leaders in community and politics across Michigan.

Jarod Lew, courtesy of Rising Voices

Marcia Lee with her family – one of Jarod Lew’s subjects for the Rising Voices Amplify project.

It’s interesting here in Michigan. We have a very unique Asian American history and community compared to others, ”says Jasmine Rivera, digital communications organizer for Rising Voices. “So going to the various leaders of organizations that are part of the community centers and that have been involved in activism and uplifting their own communities is something that we wanted to amplify and celebrate. ”

Lew’s photograph examines the Asian American experience in the Detroit subway through the lens of community, identity and displacement. While her subject matter has captured the attention of the art community, her collaboration with Rising Voices has welcomed a mental shift to also center her intentions on giving back to Detroit in a powerful way that lifts voices.

We have to do it, ”he says. “As I photograph and collect these images and stories, I think it’s a necessity since we are so dispersed. As more and more generations of Asian Americans live in Michigan, there must be an information resource to show where we are. I think the common conversation here in Michigan is, “Where are we? “

With Rising Voices, the goal is to show just that – the prosperity and presence of Asian Americans throughout Michigan.

Learn more about the project here.


Listen: Jasmine Rivera and Jarod Lew talk about the importance of uplifting Asian-American communities through art.


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