Nothing brings people together across cultural divides quite like food, so what better way to combat hate and harassment than by sharing stories over a good meal?
That’s the idea behind multicultural agency Intertrend’s new “#MakeNoiseToday” campaign, which brings Asian foodies and other influencers together to share recipes and speak out against anti-Asian discrimination.
Launching Monday, the social-based campaign features restaurant owners like Tyson Ho of Brooklyn BBQ hotspot Arrogant Swine and Lindsay Jang of Hong Kong’s Yardbird and Ronin.
But it’s not all foodies. “#MakeNoiseToday” also features healthcare workers like virologist Chil-Yong Kang, creatives like partner of platform International Secret Agents Dan Matthews and diversity and inclusion advocates like Aerica Shimizu Banks, who oversees social impact at Pinterest.
Intertrend employed its in-house nonprofit Creative Class Collective and communications strategy consultancy Good Morning to craft the campaign. The Asian American Advertising Federation (3AF) and International Secret Agents partnered on the campaign as well.
The May launch is timed to Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month but was also designed to address the recent uptick in anti-Asian sentiment related to Covid-19.
“When Asian Americans take our individual or collective stories out of the silo, we strengthen the discourse that is so needed at this moment to fight back against the rise of xenophobia and racial attacks against Asians,” said Intertrend president Julia Huang. “‘#MakingNoiseToday’ is just one way of encouraging Asians to speak up and be heard.”
On Instagram, the campaign kicked off a project called Recipe for Change on May 2. Each week, a different food influencer is invited to share a recipe and their thoughts on combatting anti-Asian bias. Health food brand Mylk Labs founder Grace Cheng offered up her puppy-shaped cookies in one post, and in the next post said, “The world does not need hate, now or ever, and being Asian, white, black, Hispanic, etc. does not matter right now.”
The “#MakeNoiseToday” campaign has some big goals for the future. Intertrend hopes to work with educators on a toolkit to address bullying and racism, saying on the campaign’s website that “many Asian American children and teens (and their parents) fear going back to school in anticipation of being targeted and ridiculed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.”
The firm also hopes to launch a small business initiative to support Asian-owned businesses hit hard by both discrimination and quarantine shutdowns.