McDonald’s Spotlights Barrier-Breaking Asian Pacific American Stories During May

May 10, 2021

McDonald’s Spotlights Barrier-Breaking Asian Pacific American Stories During May

In partnership with Dear Asian Americans and the Center for Asian American Media, the #WeAreAPA photo series is celebrating the depth and breadth of the community this Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

(CHICAGO – May 10, 2021) – May is a meaningful time for Asian Pacific Americans as we celebrate their achievements and contributions to this country. This Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM), McDonald’s is shining a light on the beautifully diverse APA community through unique stories being told by the #WeAreAPA photo series. This new series starts today in partnership with Dear Asian Americans (DAA) podcast and the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM).


We respect your privacy.

To view this content, we require cookies to be enabled.

Accept & Continue


#WeAreAPA is spotlighting eight people through seven stories. These stories are those of trailblazers in industries less traveled by Asian Pacific Americans, whose work and paths exemplify the rich and varied experiences within this community and country:

  • Carol and Andrew Chin – Carol, a Chinese immigrant from Venezuela, and McDonald’s franchisee, with her son Andrew, a former professional baseball player
  • Kana Hatakeyama – a Japanese-American actor and CAAMfest 2021 filmmaker who explores her experiences of living in Japan and the U.S. in her works
  • Steve Kim – a Korean-American and formerly incarcerated University of Southern California professor who founded Project Kinship, a prison reform and human rights advocacy organization
  • Mike Magpayo – a Filipino-American and current head basketball coach of University of California, Riverside, and the first-ever Asian American Division 1 basketball head coach
  • Sapna Pandya – a queer Indian-American pandita (Hindu religious scholar and marriage officiant) who is reimagining inclusivity within South Asian faith and cultural traditions
  • Georgina Pazcoguin – a half-Filipina New York City Ballet dancer who is leading the charge to remove "yellow face" in ballet
  • Sunmi – a non-binary diasporic Korean cartoonist whose zines and upcoming graphic novel inspire other Asian American youth

“Every day at McDonald’s, we strive to uplift the communities of which we are a part,” said Jimmy Ferguson, an Austin, Texas McDonald’s franchisee and chair of the Asian McDonald’s Operators Association (AMOA). “And during this important month, with the APA community in the spotlight now more than ever, we’re honored to amplify these powerful stories that showcase the diversity and strength of our community.”

Up to three stories will be featured weekly on DAA’s Instagram, while CAAM’s social channels will post select content throughout May. Each feature will include a set of portraits that represent their story, and a complementary interview that will highlight life lessons and what it means to them to be APA today.

“Dear Asian Americans is rooted in authentic and diverse storytelling,” said Jerry Won, founder and host of Dear Asian Americans. “We’re excited to partner with McDonald’s to tell seven stories of perseverance that will inspire others and also show the strength of the APA community.”

Independent photojournalists Eric Lee and Emanuel Hahn, whose work has been featured in major national publications, captured each person and their story. Lee and Hahn’s personal ties to the APA community provided an authentic point of view that aided in capturing the complexity of each story.

As a company that serves diverse communities, McDonald’s is committed to celebrating and bringing awareness to important moments that reflect the communities we serve. McDonald’s has previously celebrated Asian Pacific American Heritage Month with APA Legacy, a series of public service announcements highlighting Asian-American changemakers, that aired nationally for more than seven years.

Be sure to view DAA’s Instagram weekly to read the seven powerful stories over the next few weeks.

Sunmi, a graphic novelist, sketches a cartoon at their home. Sunmi’s story is the first feature of the series, read it here. Be sure to view DAA’s Instagram weekly to view the remaining six powerful stories over the next few weeks.

About McDonald’s USA Community Efforts

The McDonald’s #WeAreAPA photo series is just one of many company initiatives created to connect with the communities McDonald’s serves. These efforts also include hosting webinars such as Classroom Convos, which focus on topics currently impacting Asian and Pacific Islander American students, the HACER® Education Tour, which provides information to navigate the college application process, the Black & Positively Golden Mentors Program, which pairs industry leaders with up-and-coming changemakers in the same fields, and the Archways to Opportunity program for restaurant crew which provides educational resources to eligible employees at participating U.S. restaurants. Together, with franchisees, we are creating opportunities to feed and foster our communities.


About McDonald’s USA
McDonald’s USA, LLC, serves a variety of menu options made with quality ingredients to nearly 25 million customers every day. Ninety-five percent of McDonald’s 14,000 U.S. restaurants are independently owned and operated by businessmen and women. For more information, visit, or follow us on Twitter @McDonalds and Facebook

Our Latest Stories