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Anya Thakur championing inclusion as a UN Women advocate

UN Women advocate Anya Thakur on championing Asian-American representation, women’s voices and authentic, meaningful stories.

Image courtesy of Anya Thakur for UN Women.

2018 has been a watershed for diversity and as I’ve championed inclusion on the red carpet through sharing the stories of Crazy Rich Asians and To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, it was crucial to me to retain the same spirit in my work a UN Women advocate.

I created and grew GirlUp Dallas to a network of over one hundred fifty young women and girls from diverse backgrounds across Plano and Frisco to convene together and develop solutions to advocate for and empower themselves and their communities and girls around the world. And in doing so, I collaborated closely with state senators, governors, and women’s empowerment organizations in outreach efforts to lower income or underrepresented areas.

I wanted to give everyone a seat at the table and saw it as an opportunity to be educational and reflect the values of my community. Whether an opinion to voice to their peers, a foot on the red carpet or into the headquarters of UN Women, inclusion can unlock immense potential. By supporting those who need it most, I’ve made diversity, both in opinions and backgrounds, a cornerstone of my advocacy. And by telling the different stories I’ve heard and striving to retain their true voice, passion becomes our shared language.

Image courtesy of Anya Thakur for UN Women.

I’ve worked with downtown Women’s Center, Dallas Women’s Shelter, and CHETNA-DFW to provide arts and academic tutoring in Dallas, Los Angeles, and rural India to girls and young women in city shelters. By putting a spotlight on youth creativity because there is a wealth of it, I hope that my community sees the vitality of listening to its global, diverse voices and the younger generation.

Image courtesy of Anya Thakur for UN Women.

As a teen celebrity journalist, I see evolutionary parallels in Hollywood as well. From Asian-American representation and women’s voices to authentic, meaningful stories, we are witnessing a shift. And it’s one that is giving everyone a seat at the table. For those without these opportunities, I hope to help them build their own table through my work as a UN Women advocate.

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