Anya Thakur on her work as a teen celebrity journalist, UN Women advocate and founder of a global organization to uplift and empower with We Movement, and online editrix.
My recent speech on behalf of the United Nations and for a UN Women foundation has since been circulated to thousands of girls and young women in rural India.
The power to influence and enact change with my platform is both gratifying and humbling. Through championing women’s voices, Asian American representation and global change as among the nation’s youngest to be involved with the UN on a global level and as a UN Women Advocate, I’ve found my own voice.
As a teen celebrity journalist in the Los Angeles Times, Women’s Voices Editor for Medium, Arts & Entertainment Editor for Ariana Huffington’s Thrive Global, and Arts & Entertainment journalist for LinkedIn, media is an incredible way to share my story and enact change while amassing an audience of tens of thousands of readers and visionaries. And writing with substance and purpose is both freeing and empowering.
When working with organizations such as the United Nations, UN Women, We Movement and MetoWe, and the Jane Goodall Foundation, it was important to me to not just attach my name to an organization, but to advance it and create a lasting impact.
I’ve connected with hundreds of global leaders at the United Nations and UN Women such as Aamir Awan, UN Women’s Chief of Budget, Jianfam Zhu, UN Women’s Regional and HR Business Partner, and Alejandro Hita Fernandez, Advocacy Officer for HeforShe and Regional Campaign Coordinator for Asia and the Pacific.
When I was reached out to by representatives, I wanted to be as hands on as possible and enact change from the ground up and connect with not only the head, Phumzile Mlambo, but the interns too. Through ShePower, a global organization I founded in partnership with MetoWe and We Movement, I am doing just that by empowering girls and women in rural India and even parts of downtown Dallas through health education, self defense workshops and leadership opportunities.
As a teen celebrity journalist for multiple outlets, I am seeing my mission actualized and realized. From Crazy Rich Asians to To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, we are witnessing a movement. These are the stories our children will tell. Through my work as a UN Women advocate and as a teen celebrity journalist advocating for representation, I stand shoulder to shoulder with all the women who speak for and stand for what’s right and my belief in the power we have is continually reaffirmed.
From sharing the stories of Crazy Rich Asians stars Constance Wu, Henry Golding, Gemma Chan, and Awkwafina and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before’s Jenny Han and Lana Condor, I hope to continue to share Asian-American voices and champion underrepresented minorities. These films represented a watershed moment for representation, diversity, and visibility. And it is crucial that these gates remain open.
And as a new advocate for UN Women, it is an honor to join the ranks of luminaries like Emma Watson and Angelina Jolie, known for both their body of work and their activism, and continue to create a lasting legacy for this generation.