We're looking for a Cosmos Social Media Strategist!
 
 all the sisterhood team vibes, guaranteed!

all the sisterhood team vibes, guaranteed!

APPLY HERE by Dec 1!

What You’ll Do:

  • Oversee social strategy for The Cosmos’s social accounts (starting with Instagram!)

  • Grow followers and engagement consistently across all accounts, positioning The Cosmos ahead of our competitive set by:

  • Defining key metrics for social media growth, set and track progress towards KPIs goals, and provide monthly reporting of trends and learnings

  • Developing relationships with influencers, brands, and strategic partners, assist in community outreach

  • Work closely with Design, Book Club, Community, and Merch teams to conceptualize, optimize, and execute branded posts and Stories

  • Ideate and evolve the way we approach new content types and formats

  • Art direct collaborations with Asian woman artists for Instagram

  • Produce and execute Instagram-led events in NYC (!)

What You Bring To The Table

  • A record of growing Instagram accounts in a substantial manner, both in followers and engagement

  • A self-starter with a positive attitude and creative problem solving skills

  • Proven ability to handle a high-volume workload and work outside a “9-5” schedule

  • Comfort working with a partially remote team

  • A creative eye and/or creative background to maintain elevated and unique aesthetic

  • Interest in keeping up with social media trends to help The Cosmos stay ahead of the curve

  • Left and right brain love -- love for the creative and accurately measuring what’s working

  • Natural curiosity and passion for current affairs, media, culture, art, women’s issues, and Asian American issues

  • Proactive about pushing the envelope on what’s possible!!!!!

What You Love About Your Work

  • Autonomy to lead your own path and creative vision!

  • Transparency, openness, and honesty - there is no hierarchy and everyone’s ideas/opinions are valued

  • An opportunity to be part of our journey to building the first national (someday, global!) community dedicated to Asian women

  • Supportive Asian women team members who champion you and operate like chosen family

  • Power to influence the creative and social voice of a fast-growing brand

  • Dad jokes and other gif-oriented humor!!!

Cassandra Lam
Introducing SISTERLAND, a delightful pop culture podcast

 

by Karen Mok, Co-Founder of The Cosmos

Every Sunday night I head over to my friend and Cosmos community member Leah Nichols’s home to stream the newest episode of Insecure on HBO. We live 1.8 miles apart. I get that nostalgia for high school days, like you’re just going to your friends house to hang (after that homework is done, I’m Asian y’all), no agenda, time is infinite and everything in life is possible. 

I binge watched two seasons of Insecure one weekend in May. I needed to someone to talk to about it, and the universe gave me Leah. I first met Leah on The Internet when she published the 100s AZNS list, an experiment to test if it was possible to identify 100 culturally influential Asians (it is). I didn’t make the list but I made a lifelong friend and now podcast co-host. 

Until today, I’ve tried to hide my fascination with pop culture. And only until the release of Crazy Rich Asians and the think pieces that followed did I realize why. I had never seen an Asian person talking about pop culture in a thoughtful and decidedly human way. I grew up on a steady diet of Entertainment Tonight, Extra, TMZ, US Weekly, People, Teen Vogue, American Girl, Highlights Magazine. Pop culture was a noticeable escape from the realities of the racism that still lurked the streets in the South. It helped my family feel more normal, more American, but in an escapism kind of way. We never saw people who looked like our family. And so I learned pop culture wasn’t for me. This was further affirmed by my failure to secure an audition to be Cho Chang in the Harry Potter movies. 

Talking about pop culture in Leah’s kitchen is the most fun I’ve had in a long time. And that is due to the brilliant buzz of Leah herself. An award-winning filmmaker, Leah works to celebrate connections across differences and expand media representations of underrepresented communities. She is best known for her short film 73 QUESTIONS (2017) which won the 2018 Social Impact Media Awards (SIMA) Creative Activism Award.

Today I am excited to announce our podcast collaboration SISTERLAND. We just did one episode, sitting on her bed, brilliant and buzzed, so we don’t have the big mission figured out yet. But *we* will be commenting on things pop culture, film, television, media, and celebrities. SISTERLAND won’t explicitly focus on Asian pop culture and media, so no, this is not a podcast for understanding K-pop.  We think it’s important to have Asian commentary on pop culture and media *in general*. 

Episode 1 is “To all the media I loved before”.

 

Here's what you can expect:

  • Being ASIAN IS AWESOME. 
  • Can Asian Women have boobs and curves without slut-shaming and fetish-inducing? 
  • We compete on how many times we can watch To All The Boys I Ever Loved in one weekend. 
  • We coin the term “Asian American escapism”  
  • Lana Condor and Leah Nichols are adoptees with white parents. We discuss how they relate to “Asian American”
  • We friend request Yaeji...

Mentions!

  • To All The Boys I Loved Before (film)
  • Crazy Rich Asians (film)
  • Searching (film)
  • Friday Night Lights (TV Series)  
  • Something New (film)
  • Dear White People (TV Series)

Musical selection by Yaeji (we'll be featuring up and coming Asian artists so send us your recs!). 

Take a listen and tell us what you think. We take comments and questions at sisterlandpodcast@gmail.com. If you send hate or trolls we will banish you, thanks!! 

How do we talk about our Health & Wellbeing as Asian Women?

 

The Cosmos was born when we imagined a community where naming our fears, uncertainties, anxiety, and doubts was not only supported, but normalized. Along the way, we’ve realized the need for a new vocabulary — one that empowers us to celebrate our livelihood, encourages our right to flourish and thrive on our own terms, and welcomes the reality of being perpetually in progress.

This is what makes The Cosmos’s approach to Health & Wellness different. We’re challenging stigma and creating a new way to talk about stigmatized topics like mental health, anxiety, intergenerational trauma, fertility, and sex and pleasure through The Cosmos Health & Wellness Workshops in San Francisco and New York City. Our workshops are a platform for the diverse perspectives of incredible leaders like the founders of BetterBrave, the co-founder of the popular co-working app Croissant, the co-founder of fertility app Carrot, and the amazing instructors at O.School, just to name a few.

Our workshops are intentionally 101 level because we believe easy access to health information is a human right.

Every Cosmos workshop challenges stigma by offering a supportive space to not only talk, but also amplify our voice on topics that affect our community as well as our friends, family, colleagues, and neighbors.

The Cosmos Health & Wellness Series is an unapologetic call to action to practice wellbeing, on your terms. Health and Wellness impacts all pillars of life, and it is a pre-requisite for achieving one’s fullest potential. We’re self-aware that our perspective will not speak to every Asian identity. That’s why we’ve started our Create With Us program to provide a platform for community members to share their unique skills and story with the community. We need more stories at the table, and we want to hear yours.

Why Health & Wellness? Well…

“Asian-American women suffer alone. They suffer quietly, and they die quietly. And even if they die, nobody makes a fuss about it.”
— Dr. Hyeouk Chris HahmAssociate Professor of Social Work at Boston University and Founder of AWSHIP (Asian Women’s Health Initiative Project), a five-year study funded by the National Institute of Mental Health.

Asian women are dying as mental health goes untreated. Asian women suffer in silence when stigma, cultural taboo, and pressure to succeed make it challenging to talk openly about mental health, much less ask for the care one needs. Research shows that Asian Americans are 2–5x less likely than white Americans to seek mental health services, and this statistic disproportionately affects our community, young and old.

This is the kind of news that keeps us up at night. But things are looking up. Internet bloggers, activists, and nonprofits are calling out inequities in the healthcare system and advocating for care that considers cultural differences. National media is raising awareness for the work of individual therapists and organizations like Asian Community Mental Health Services.

Is now the right time? We’re starting to see Asian women on magazine covers,bringing the bread home on Netflix, and working movie billboards. The resounding conclusion:

We need more research and stories of the experiences of different Asian communities, and we need more spaces led by people in our community.

So we got into a room and made a list of every health topic that’s ever felt hard to talk about: sex, orgasms, birth control, intergenerational trauma, egg freezing, mental health, anxiety, stress, imposter syndrome, being invisible, unseen, unheard. We thought about the big elephant in the room: America’s healthcare system is not designed for minorities. What happens when the English language doesn’t offer a vocabulary for immigrants and refugees to express their condition? Communities of Cambodians, Hmong, Laotians, and Bangladeshi Americans, who face higher rates of poverty and less access to health insurance, are met with higher financial barriers to access.

We’ve heard that this type of community is new. And we want to be clear: this is not a sorority. If you’ve been searching for belonging and space to feel celebrated for who you are, hear us: you’re not alone.

If you’re in New York, San Francisco, or Denver, come meet us at one of our workshops. For our LA crew, you can hang with us at our immersive 3-day Retreat in Joshua Tree.

And if you’re in any other city, you can join our community and meet the honest, open, supportive women leading this community. It’s not us — it’s every member who’s led a workshop with us (20 by the end of the summer!), every member who’s out there challenging norms and narratives with her hustle, every member who’s asking herself what it means to flourish and thrive, and helping others in her life do the same. The Cosmos is here for you, and because of you.

Special thanks to David Y., Dr. Lisa C., Stephanie K., and Bessie C. who reviewed drafts and helped us put pen to paper!

“Who is the Asian American Woman?”

 

Being Asian American carries the weight of two worlds.

Each of these worlds is vast in its own right, rich in history, culture, nuance, languages, values, and templates for survival. As children of immigrants and/or refugees, we learned from a young age to navigate the tangible boundary between home and America. Sometimes, this boundary was permeable, allowing us to weave in and out to cobble together our own path. Other times, crossing this boundary came at a cost. These public and private transactions that we engage in daily, by virtue of who we are and what we represent, serve as reminders that we possess some inalienable otherness within.Our multiple identities are separate yet inextricably intertwined. This complex relationship is sometimes illustrated by the hyphen found in “Asian-American”.

For this initiative, Cassandra Lam and I are interested in the single blank space in between. It symbolizes the freedom to create anew, the capacity for fullness in emptiness, the eye of a storm long brewing, a clean slate ripe for definition and color, an opportunity to build a bridge to connect our distinct worlds. Sharing this intentional language is important because we believe that choices — including, but not limited to, the nomenclature we use, the tone we use in conversation, the people we elect to represent us — signal to the world how we’d like to be seen or treated.

Our partnership behind this soon-to-be-announced initiative comes at a time when we’re seeing Asian and Asian American women gain incredible momentum in the public sphere. In 2017, we got an all-Asian leading cast for Crazy Rich Asians with Constance Wu at the helm.

We also got Awkwafina in Oceans 8, Kelly Marie Tran in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and Mindy Kaling in A Wrinkle in Time. These are strong indicators of representation shifting in our favor, but we must continue to be relentless in our resistance and persistent in our demands. We can’t move the needle alone. We need to organize at the grassroots and connect the creators, change makers, entrepreneurs, and leaders across communities, industries, and locations. Together, we have the power, knowledge, and support to build what we need not just to survive, but to thrive. So on Nov 29, we began with a single powerful question:

“What does it take for an Asian American woman to flourish and thrive?”

From the overwhelmingly positive responses to our FB and Instagram posts, we’re optimistic that we’re not the only ones thinking about these issues. We’ve heard from over 60 Asian and Asian American women from New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Shanghai, St. Louis, Vancouver, London, Toronto, and beyond who shared their doubts, questions, and hopes. These voices and conversations became the foundation for our mission statement.

Our Mission

  1. To bring AAPI women together to create a new paradigm that considers our diversity as people, our well-being as individuals, and our right to thrive on our own terms
  2. To form genuine connections within our diverse community, cultivate new friendships and partnerships, and establish a supportive network of AAPI women dedicated to learning and growing together
  3. To realize our potential as creators and harness our collective agency to build new narratives, activate and inspire our communities, and build sustainable infrastructure to drive larger-scale impact

Our Call to Action

If this resonates with you, we want to hear from you. We’re organizing a Kickoff Retreat for AAPI women in Seattle, WA from Jan 26–28, 2018 as a next step in building this collaborative movement.

Get in touch with us for more information: www.bit.ly/LetsTalkAAPI

About Us

Karen Mok is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of Disorient, a media platform dedicated to telling the stories of immigrant and and minority creators. Her expertise lies at the intersection of media, technology, and global communities. Prior to founding Disorient, Karen led international expansion at Stripe, a $9B fintech company; was COO of a global community of creative entrepreneurs called Sandbox; and launched the media news app Timeline, which was named one of Apple’s Best New Apps. Her motivation to build experiences that connect cultures and communities is rooted in her personal experience as the daughter of immigrant parents born and raised in a small town in the American South.

Cassandra Lam is the founder of Akin, a digital storytelling platform that collects, shares, and elevates anonymous short stories. Through storytelling, Akin strives to inspire dialogue and empower the creation of new realities as told or witnessed by our storytellers — ordinary people who endure and achieve extraordinary things. Cassandra’s love for storytelling as a tool for changing lives and narratives flows directly to her work in big data consulting at Opera Solutions, education, and social justice. Earlier this year, she completed an 18-month fellowship with Revive the Dream Institute, where she partnered with Edbuild, a nonprofit focused on bringing common sense and fairness to the way states fund public schools, to author a case study on the current politics of school funding. As a first-generation Southeast Asian woman, proud daughter of Vietnamese boat refugees, and San Gabriel Valley native, she carries a legacy of stories that informs her perspective, activism, and passions.

Definitions

We are constantly reassessing and expanding our definitions to prioritize using up-to-date, intentional, and inclusive language. If you see an opportunity to further expand any of the below, please message us.

Asian American women: Inclusive of self-identifying women, femmes, gender nonconforming, queer, and transgender individuals of Asian, Pacific Islander, and South Asian descent[0].

Creator: An individual who dares to imagine a bigger, bolder, and better world; who refuses to settle for the status quo; who recognizes her power to shape, change, or build a brighter future for herself and her community.

[0] Reference: http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/09/08/key-facts-about-asian-americans/

Comments, questions, ideas? Don’t hesitate to contact us directly. You can find us on Twitter @cassielam and @kmok88. Thank you for reading!

Originally published on Medium

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