CAPE (The Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment) plays an important part in slowly dismantling white supremacy and promoting racial diversity on screen by “championing diversity by educating, connecting, and empowering Asian American and Pacific Islander artists and leaders in entertainment and media,” according to their mission statement. Members of CAPE include but are not limited to east Asians, south and southeast Asians, pacific islanders, and people of mixed race with an Asian descent as a part of their identity.
Mere presence of AAPI on the media is not enough; in fact, limited and selective identities that get portrayed on the media have a harmful effect on debunking racial stereotypes, for anything done by a person of color on screen leads to tokenization. It is hard to form solidarity for the people under the AAPI (Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders) umbrella. By developing a network of Asian American producers, actors, writers, etc., a solid ground of support network can instill and strengthen the sense of cultural identity in the individuals involved in the media, which could seep out into their works and potentially influence even a broader range of audiences.
CAPE serves as a meeting place for AAPIs in the entertainment industry, a place to support AAPI representation in the media. CAPE gives voice to actors, writers, directors, producers, agents, and executives, both emerging and established, and has helped improve the landscape, relevance, and empowerment of AAPIs in the entertainment industry. It also has educational programs and opportunities that allow networking among the AAPIs and building of personal relationships in a field in which they are constantly marginalized. It offers executive programs such as the Young Leaders Fellowship that serves to train future executives in skills such as interviewing and Executive Networking that allows high level executives and creators to form communities. There are creative programs such as the I Am Campaign that celebrate the Asian Heritage by sharing inspirational stories of AAPI influencers, New Writers Fellowship that nurtures developing writers in the media, and Educational Panels that hosts executive forums to offer insights and advice on how to thrive in the entertainment industry. CAPE provides resources for Asians who seek to break into the media in all aspects, from creating movies and dramas to starring and directing in them.
CAPE’s existence alone acknowledges that non-white narratives exist and are significant enough to be broadcasted to the whole world. This subtle but surely powerful influence will most likely contribute in raising the voice of people of color, especially Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, to ultimately dismantle racial oppression.