Jeannie Mai and rapper Jeezy are using their upcoming nuptials to support Asian and Asian American communities.
“The Real” host and her fiancé announced Thursday they created a charity wedding registry in partnership with The Knot to support Stop AAPI Hate, an advocacy group started last year to support members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. The registry is set up in the form of a GoFundMe with The Knot Registry to receive donations to go toward the organization.
Last month eight people – most of them women of Asian descent – were killed in three shootings at Atlanta-area spas before police arrested a 21-year-old man suspected of being the gunman. And in New York City, police have arrested a man for allegedly punching, kicking, stomping and hurling anti-Asian insults at an Asian American woman in broad daylight Monday as she walked down the street. The recent incidents sparked public attention about the rise in attacks against Asian Americans amid the spread of coronavirus.
In an interview with The Knot, Mai, who is Asian American and whose parents immigrated from Vietnam, said her relationship with Jeezy, who is Black, is bonded in part by the passion they share to give back to their communities.
“It’s not just the recent events that make me mindful about our distinct cultures, for Jeezy, everything — from his upbringing, experiences, struggles and his position in this white-centric country — is a learning curve for me; and, vice versa,” she said.
Many celebrities like Trevor Noah, Olivia Munn and Ken Jeong have used their platforms to speak out against anti-Asian hate and to donate in support of the Asian community. In February, Mai told USA TODAY about feeling “sickened to (her) stomach” when she thinks about the rise in recent attacks against Asian Americans.
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“I’m sickened to my stomach and filled with so much anger and pain, just when we’re already aware of racist attacks and our systemic racism that spawns across the world and especially in our country for our Black brothers and sisters,” Mai said. “What have we not learned from 2020? And now why are we attacking our most vulnerable that are already trying every day just to survive COVID?”
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“It’s no longer enough to say, ‘I’m not racist.’ We need to be anti-racist, and that’s harder,” Mai told The Knot.
Contributing: David Oliver, Brett Molina