AAPI Heritage Month: 19 Inspiring Quotes From Hall of Femme Honorees

In a world where representation and visibility matter more than ever, it's essential to highlight the voices and wisdom of Asian American and Pacific Islanders. 

From groundbreaking pioneers to modern-day changemakers, AAPI women have defied stereotypes, shattered glass ceilings, and left an indelible mark on history. To celebrate AAPI Heritage Month, we've curated a collection of quotes from some of our AAPI-identified honorees that encapsulate their perspectives on identity, culture, activism, and the human experience. 

Ready to be inspired? Raise a glass and keep reading.

BERNICE CHAO - Co-founder, Asians in Advertising

“Advertising has a huge responsibility for making a difference in changing public perceptions. For instance, it was a huge pain point growing up not seeing representation from the AAPI community or strong independent women. Now, as marketers, we have a chance to include them in the stories we tell, being considerate of diversity on camera and behind the camera.”

HELENE SERVILLON - Cannabis VC, JourneyOne Ventures

“I break rules, I think against the grain, I ask questions, and I love doing fun things that make me feel alive. By doing so and being me, I hope that it inspires others to do the same for themselves.”

SANA AKHAND- Writer, speaker, and coach

“I truly believe in the power of community over competition. Once we heal our scarcity mindset and understand there is an abundance of wealth, joy and success for all of us, it becomes second nature to uplift and support each other. Instead of being jealous of others, I look at that feeling as an opportunity to be inspired by what someone else has achieved and proof [of] what is possible for me. Celebrating each other's wins lifts all of us up.”

NATASHA WONG - Co-founder and CXO, Before Noon 

“Uplifting other women starts with witnessing my own thoughts, words, and actions. Through self-discovery and breaking patterns, I can listen and show up for the women in my life with compassion and love.”

SHIVANI SIROYA - CEO and Founder, Tala

All people deserve equal access to products and services to allow them to build the lives they want. But we don’t all start from the same place because of a trust deficit created by systems, industries, and economies that weren’t designed for everyone to succeed. Radical Trust puts people at the center of our decisions, so that we can create a more equitable future.”

MISASHA SUZUKI GRAHAM - Speaker, author, and host of Dear White Women podcast

“Since becoming a parent, one of my primary goals is to make sure that this world is better for our kids than it has been for me. All the work that I do is designed to be just that: making this world better for our kids through real equity and belonging. We have to start those conversations as adults, but the kids give me hope, and the kids are who we need to keep at the forefront.”


“What drives me every day is creating opportunities for women, particularly BIPOC and LGBTQ+ women who are often underrepresented in our industry. We need a platform to share our stories, be visible and shine! Whether that's through mentorship, advocacy or something as simple as making connections, opening doors for other women is something I will never stop doing.”

HAEJIN CHUN - Chef and Founder, Big Bad Wolf

“[Being raised by Korean immigrants] gave me grit, cultivated independence, and showed me the power of resilience and hard work — but more importantly, [it gave me] the opportunity to redefine the narrative of a first-generation Asian woman.”

DEEPALI VYAS - CEO and Founder, Fearless

“The purpose of my life is to entertain, educate, counsel, inspire and empower others by sharing my knowledge and experiences — a sherpa helping others climb their mountains.”

HILARY YU - Founder, Our Dream 

“As a Chinese American woman who lost a parent pretty young, I identify with challenges that are out of our control and also feel a sense of responsibility and agency to find solutions in areas where we can influence outcomes — which is why I strongly believe in supporting BIPOC founders in and out of cannabis. We all deserve every opportunity to turn our dreams into reality.”

NAJWA KHAN - CEO and Founder, dalci

“I don't measure success in monetary terms. To me, success is being able to do what I love, build something from nothing, and being able to contribute to society.”


“When we are in positions of power, the best way to uplift other women is to bring them along with us. In my everyday life, I uplift other women by prioritizing the value of emotional intelligence, something that in many corporate structures is known as ‘women’s work.’ There's value in care, value in empathy, and value in sharing the human experience. Women can be powerful but not rigid, cunning but empathetic. When we allow ourselves to show our multiplicity, we uplift other women to do the same.”

ORCHID BERTELSEN - COO, Common Thread Collective

“For me, success is the ability to drop the ladder down behind me to elevate other women and help them achieve their professional dreams. I also want to be able to show up for my loved ones in the way that I want to and that they deserve, this especially applies to my 5-year-old daughter. I want her to be proud of me and the way that I move about the world.”

MICHELLE YIN - CTO and co-founder, Discz

“Life is hard! But the one thing that gets me out of bed is just persevering. I know that I can't give up; I have to keep going. I want to set a precedent for other girls and women that you can go after your wildest passions, that nothing can stop you, and you can achieve whatever success means to you if you just keep going, even when others are telling you no.”

MITA MALLICK - Head of Inclusion, Equity and Impact, Carta

“Be grateful for what you have while continuing to work hard for what you want to achieve.”

GLORIA CHOU - PR and Communications Expert 

“I believe everyone should have equal access to opportunities and resources, not just those with money or well established companies. The economy is built on small businesses. Communities are built on small businesses. This is the group of people I'm dedicated to helping — as long as new businesses are being started, I'll be here to support and teach them.”

TIFFANY YU - CEO and Founder, Diversability

“Part of why I love working at the intersection of disability inclusion, social justice, and diversity, equity & inclusion (DEI) is that I'm always learning. And having grown up disabled in a world that wasn't built for disabled people, I have had to get creative with how I navigate and adapt situations and experiences to work for me.”

MONICA SAMUELS - VP of Sake and Spirits, Kome Collective

“My Japanese heritage is very important to me, so being able to do something that enables me to give a voice to Japanese artisans who are so incredibly humble, and to educate the US audience to be able to appreciate the labor of love that goes into craft sake, makes my work feel very true to self.”


“As women, it's so important that we support each other and lift each other up. I strive to amplify other women's voices, bring more women to the table, and advocate for women's career advancement. I also try to show up as my authentic self. Hopefully, this will show others that you don't have to fit into a specific mold to be successful.”