Seattle-area high school students create all-digital magazine focused on AAPI issues


As we celebrate Asian-American Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Q13 News highlights two King County high school students who run an all-digital magazine called What we are going through.

Jeenah Gwak of Bellevue is 16 and attends Newport High School. Hope Yu of Seattle is 17 and attends Garfield High School.

These two young women are Korean-American and felt compelled to create What we are going through as a safe space in the wake of increased attacks on the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community.

“There was a lot of violence against Asian Americans, like a lot of anti-Asian sentiment,” Gwak said. “I wanted to create a safe media platform to share these stories.”

Gwak and Yu have been working together since last summer as co-founders and co-editors of the post.

So far, three issues have been published, and each of them follows a theme that expresses itself through poetry, art, personal anecdotes and media corners.

The last issue published in March focused on Asian American Women in Film, Politics and STEM for Women’s History and Empowerment Month.

“It’s a place to meet new people and experience, especially if you don’t have contact with a large Asian American community,” Yu said. “It doesn’t matter race or ethnicity. , gender identity or sexual orientation that you are, you’ll find somewhere in this writing and you’ll be like hey, I identify with that. “

Almost a year after posting their first issue online, Gwak and Yu said What we are going through Today has around 700 to 800 readers worldwide, including the United States and some countries in Europe, Asia and even the Middle East.

The next issue of What we are going through will be published online at the end of June and will focus on gender and gender identity. Watch the following video to hear an exclusive preview of the upcoming magazine and Gwak and Yu’s hope for the publication’s future.

Magazine cover of the March 2021 issue dedicated to Women’s History and Empowerment Month

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Amanda P. Whitten

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