POC Culture is launching the #ShangChiChallenge to send kids from the Boys & Girls Club of the San Gabriel Valley to a free screening of Marvel Studios’ Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings!
Every child deserves to feel seen. They deserve to see themselves represented on screen as strong, worthy, and as the superheroes that they are! Proper representation of different cultures is critically important for all children so that they understand that people of all colors and backgrounds are to be embraced and valued. The release of a blockbuster film like Shang-Chi has the opportunity to make a powerful impact on the way that Asian children see themselves.
As an Asian American kid who was born and raised in the San Gabriel Valley in California, I rarely ever saw myself represented properly on screen. Asian characters were only visible to be laughed at (Long Duk Dong in Sixteen Candles). It was embarrassing. Seeing Bruce Lee in Enter the Dragon for the first time was a revelation. An Asian starring in a U.S. film and kicking butt! Bruce Lee showed me and countless other kids that we can be heroes too. Enter the Dragon came out in 1973 and we need something for the next generation. Especially with the recent anti-Asian racism, we need to lift up the Asian community.
Shang-Chi is the first ever Marvel film starring Asian heroes, made by Asian filmmakers and celebrating Asian culture. It is an exciting moment for the Asian community, and moreover, it’s hugely important that Asian children be given the chance to watch this film.
The Shang-Chi Challenge seeks to send 125+ children from the Boys & Girls Club of San Gabriel Valley to a private viewing of Shang-Chi. All proceeds will go towards a screening on Saturday, September 4th for the children and chaperones of the Boys & Girls Club of SGV and refreshments. Any additional funds raised will be donated to the Boys & Girls Club of SGV to support their ongoing educational programs.
We’re partnering with this organization because the San Gabriel Valley is a suburban area of Los Angeles with one of the largest Asian populations in the United States, making the Boys & Girls Clubs of SGV uniquely well positioned to support Asian children. It’s also the community where I grew up, and I know how much a film like Shang-Chi will mean to the kids there.
A private screening will also be safer for the children. All attendees will be masked and temperature checked, and the kids will be watching with their community.
It is the mission of the Boys & Girls Clubs of West San Gabriel Valley & Eastside to enable all young people, especially those who need us the most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.
All children deserve a good education, a healthy lifestyle, and the chance to have a positive influence on their community. Boys & Girls Club of West San Gabriel Valley serves the communities of Monterey Park, Alhambra, Rosemead, San Gabriel, and Montebello. In addition, we now also serve the East Los Angeles community, including Boyle Heights and Lincoln Heights. In partnership with the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, we have units at Ramona Gardens, Estrada Courts and William Mead Homes public housing sites.
Our three primary goals are:
- Assure our youth advance in grade and graduate with a plan for the future
- Assure our youth develop healthy lifestyles…forever
- Help youth develop into participating citizens with outstanding character
The Boys & Girls Club of West San Gabriel Valley delivers exciting and educational programs to over 6,000 boys and girls each year. The Club is full of promise for the youth of our community. It is a place where kids can play, have fun, experience joy, laugh, and learn about themselves and the larger world they live in.
The Black Panther Challenge:
A Shang-Chi film wouldn’t exist if Black Panther had not blazed the trail in 2018. Similarly, this initiative is inspired by the overwhelmingly successful Black Panther Challenge created by author and activist, Frederick Joseph. Joseph is also a co-founder of the Shang-Chi Challenge.
Ron is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of POC Culture. He is a big believer in the power and impact of pop culture and the importance of representation in media.