Unapologetically Me with Joy Kim
Sometimes a message is so important that you need more than one way to communicate it.
Law student Joy Kim saw the recent rise in anti-Asian American and Pacific Islander hate crimes and decided to take action. As a way to give back to the AAPI community and raise awareness around the anti-AAPI racism, Joy used Custom Ink’s Fundraising platform and custom shirts to spread her message across the country—and raise money to help end anti-AAPI hate crimes. Using the phrase “Unapologetically Me” emblazoned across t-shirts, sweatshirts, and hoodies, Joy could support a crucial cause and create a way to communicate this message wherever she went.
The message ‘Unapologetically Me’ was deeply meaningful to Joy. “[‘Unapologetically Me’] is my way of saying that I will no longer apologize for taking up space or feel bad for looking different, speaking a different language, or coming from a different culture than my non-Asian counterparts. I also felt like that phrase was something many could relate to, whether they are Asian or not. As more racial injustices come to light, minorities should not feel the need to apologize for wanting equality in this country,” Joy explained. The phrase is printed in a handwritten-like script across t-shirts, sweatshirts, and hoodies along with “#stopasianhate” in order to drive the message home. Creating this custom gear to spread the ‘Unapologetically Me’ message for Joy’s Fundraiser was extremely important to her. “Custom gear allows me to express myself and show support for a cause I feel extremely passionate about. It also allows me to show my solidarity to others without even having to say anything,” said Joy.
Choosing the Hanes Comfort Garment Dyed line of products as a way to offer quality construction at an accessible price point, Joy could ensure that people supporting the Fundraiser would have comfortable options to showcase the message on a regular basis. The Hanes ComfortWash Garment Dyed T‑shirts were offered in a range of colors like Cypress Green that worked well with Joy’s design, and the Hanes ComfortWash Garment Dyed Crewneck Sweatshirts and Hanes ComfortWash Garment Dyed Pullover Hoodies were great as warmer options for supporters. And even though Joy was new to creating custom apparel, she still made it happen with a little outside assistance. “Don’t be afraid to ask for help! I did not know how to put together the design idea I had in my head, but the people I worked with at Custom Ink offered me various options and their expert advice to come up with the perfect products!”
The ‘Unapologetically Me’ Fundraiser raised funds for the Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus (AAAJ-ALC) which is a nonprofit organization that features various programs supporting the Asian American community. They cover everything from legal assistance to voting rights to advocacy for media representation. As the first legal and civil rights organization to aid lower-income Asian Pacific American communities since 1972, the AAAJ-ALC focuses on immigration, employment and labor issues, housing advocacy, and civil rights issues, amongst many other challenges that the AAPI community face. All these programs are offered in a myriad of languages to be as inclusive as possible and to ensure that this group is well represented. With Joy’s background in law and the message of ‘Unapologetically Me’, the AAAJ-ALC was a great cause for the Fundraiser to support. “With the recent rise in anti-AAPI hate crimes, I wanted to help my community in any way possible. When researching organizations to support, I came across the AAAJ-ALC, and I was amazed at all of the incredible programs it provides.”
With the ‘Unapologetically Me’ Fundraiser, Joy could share her message and support a meaningful cause. A certain amount of money from every t-shirt, sweatshirt, or hoodie sold went to the AAAJ-ALC, and supporters could also donate extra, or simply donate to show their support. The Fundraiser’s message resonated with people all across the country, and people could even leave messages along with their donations for Joy and others. As the Fundraiser launched shortly after a series of anti-AAPI hate crimes that made national news, it was heartening to read messages of encouragement and solidarity from supporters.
The Fundraiser raised $400 that went to the AAAJ-ALC, thanks to Joy’s “Unapologetically Me” design. The ability to create and share custom apparel with a meaningful message while raising awareness around a valuable cause meant that the Fundraiser went beyond just raising money—it made a powerful statement without the wearer even needing to say anything.