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Community Conversations: Juneteenth, 2021

We sat down to talk with our community, continuing our series, which amplifies the voices and stories to help inspire others. You can also read our 5 Things To Know About Juneteenth post from last year.

MONIQUE IDLETT-MOSLEY

BUSINESS PIONEER + PHILANTHROPIST 

Q: Why is educating yourself about history crucial in evolving as a community? 

M: With Juneteenth, I think it's important to understand the scope of hundreds of years of enslavement. Research [Juneteenth] and know that we still live in a nation that hasn't come to terms with its truth. We have obligations as human beings to acknowledge that truth.

JAMES DAVIS 

QUAY DISTRICT MANAGER 

Q: As we honor + celebrate Juneteenth, what is one way you think individuals can do to practice allyship? 

J: To put it simply, listen. Listen to all of those around you and genuinely hear and try to empathize with their experiences. We’ve all come from different paths, and it doesn’t cost you anything to hear someone out and take a moment to attempt to place yourself in their shoes.

MUNROE BERGDORF

ACTIVIST + MODEL

Q: June marks the celebration of International Pride Month + Juneteenth. Being that you identify as both gender queer and Black—for you, how are these two moments inherently intertwined?

M: Juneteenth is a holiday to commemorate the end of slavery in the United States, but the fact that it also takes place during Pride Month is a poignant reminder of the multi-layered complexities of existing as a queer Black person. Not only do we face queerphobia, but also systemic racism in the form of anti-Blackness.

LOVE IS QUAY 

The only way to fight racism is to be actively anti-racist—educate yourself, speak up, donate, take action. There is no neutral position on racism. 

COMMUNITY 

We believe that all people—regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, or creed—deserve respect, opportunity, and love. 

 

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GO BEHIND THE SCENES: DESIGNER FRAMES

Extra cool. Extra fine. Extra luxe. It’s all about the details—YOU’RE IN LUXE.

Introducing the luxe collection of sunnies made from extra-fine materials + dressed up in extra-good features. Premium frames, luxe details, polarized lenses for just $85. 


Go behind our new collection with product designers Colleen + Adesha. 


The design process starts by identifying key runway looks. Then, our in-house designers break down those trends, make mood boards, and sketch to ensure each frame is thoughtfully created with our squad (and quality) in mind.  

Our Product Team went straight up premium developing each style’s construction + components when designing the Luxe Collection. They incorporated the most high-end acetates, lenses, and hardware for that head-turning look + feel. 

SHOP THE LUXE COLLECTION 

 

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COMMUNITY CONVERSATIONS: AAPIHM FT. THE QUAY FAM

In honor of Asian American + Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we're celebrating the power of resilience and standing with this vibrant community united as one but made up of many. 


We're spotlighting the people, their experiences, and the cultures that fuel this diverse group—kicking it all off with our Quay employees.  

ADESHA: FUELED BY CREATIVITY  

What is your heritage? Chinese  

What does AAPIHM mean to you? It's a time to empower and be empowered by all of the amazing people in the AAPI community. It is a reminder to be noticed, seen, and proud of who you are every day.  

ALYSIA: FUELED BY HELPING OTHERS  

What is your heritage? Chinese  

What does AAPIHM mean to you? It's a time to intentionally appreciate the diverse culture, influence, and history of the AAPI community. Personally, it reminds me to remember the journey and sacrifices my Grandparents and immigrant parents took to provide a better future for their family.  

CAMILLE: FUELED BY PRIDE  

What is your heritage? Filipino + Indian  

What does AAPIHM mean to you? It's a chance to recognize + remember that the AAPI community is so diverse and expansive that we don't always realize how much of society has been touched by it.   

What is a piece of AAPI history people should know? Most people are probably aware that the heavy Spanish influence in Filipino culture comes from centuries of Spanish rule, but because of its geography, there was also a lot of influence from Chinese, Hindu, Muslim, and even American cultures (to name a few!), and all in different parts of the country too.  

CATHY: FUELED BY HUMANITY  

What is your heritage? Chinese  

What does AAPIHM mean to you? It's a time to reflect on the struggles my ancestors went through to make it to America. As a first-generation American, it is important to me to honor Chinese traditions and pass them on to the next generation, so our culture isn't lost or "watered down."  

What is a piece of AAPI history people should know? NYC Chinatown was formed around the early 20th century with a surge in immigration. Because the Chinese weren't granted basic civil rights at the time, they had to form their own communities and support system to survive. It holds a special place in my heart as that is the support system that my family leaned on.   

CHELSIE: FUELED BY OHANA  

What is your heritage? Hawai'ian + Filipino  

What does AAPIHM mean to you? It's a time to honor and appreciate my culture. Growing up in Hawai'i, I lived in a very diverse community. Because everyone comes from different backgrounds and has different beliefs, this taught me that just life is too short to judge anyone and to respect and support everyone for who they are. 

CYNTHIA: FUELED BY MY ANCESTORS  

What is your heritage? Filipino  

What does AAPIHM mean to you? Heritage is what has survived from our history. What exists today. This month reminds me to discover more untold/erased stories of my ancestors and to pay tribute to them by preserving and keeping the culture alive for future generations.  

What is a piece of AAPI history people should know? Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have played an integral role in US history since the mid-1800s. From Filipino "Manongs" spearheading the fight for fair wages to healthcare to the 20,000 Chinese men who helped build the Transcontinental Railroad, AAPI communities have helped advance labor and immigration laws, as well as the growth of American industry and agriculture.  

DANIELLE: FUELED BY UNCONDITIONAL LOVE  

What is your heritage? Filipino  

What does AAPIHM mean to you? It means discovery. A lot of what I learned about the Filipino culture was from seeking it out myself in college through friends and joining the Filipino club…go Samahan 

What is a piece of AAPI history people should know? The history of the Philippines includes over 100 indigenous tribes or ethnic groups. Because they primarily reside in the mountains, they managed to retain their cultural identity from Spanish and American colonization.  

EDHEL: FUELED BY FAMILY  

What is your heritage? Filipino  

What does AAPIHM mean to you? It means being proud of my culture.  

JEREMY: FUELED BY SELF-EXPRESSION  

What is your heritage? Filipino  

What does AAPIHM mean to you? It's about recognizing a strong community and uniting them to create a voice that truly highlights what being an Asian American means.  

What is a piece of AAPI history people should know? My grandfather, Mario O'Hara, has had many contributions to the film industry that were defining points in his career and defining points in the Asian community. Through his repertoire of awards, he built a community for Asians in the entertainment and film industry that allowed for the visibility of Asian entertainment internationally.   

JILL: FUELED BY COMMUNITY  

What is your heritage? Filipino  

What does AAPIHM mean to you? It's about visibility and recognition. The AAPI community is comprised of so many different ethnicities, cultures, and languages. The diversity and uniqueness of our individual cultures are never recognized, let alone celebrated. AAPI Heritage Month is the opportunity to make those invisible visible.  

What is a piece of AAPI history people should know? San Francisco's International Hotel is an immortalized symbol of identity, solidarity, self-determination for Filipinos. To its residents, the I-Hotel was a sanctuary where those, young and old, could gather and enjoy a shared feeling of unity. On August 4, 1977, the forced evictions left hundreds of residents homeless and stripped a community of a cultural hub. Its destruction-fueled movements for affordable housing in San Francisco.   

JIONA: FUELED BY MY VICTORIES  

What is your heritage? Filipino  

What does AAPIHM mean to you? It means embracing the different cultures we all share and celebrating our past and upcoming future.  

What is a piece of AAPI history people should know? Fe Del Mundo, a Filipino Pediatrician, was the first woman to be accepted into Harvard Medical School. She also founded the first Pediatric hospital in the Philippines and was the first woman to be National Scientist of the Philippines in 1980.  

JUAN: FUELED BY CREATIVITY  

What is your heritage? Filipino  

What does AAPIHM mean to you? It means we get to share a little bit more of our culture and traditions with everyone. So much of who I am comes from my family and their roots in the Philippines.  

What is a piece of AAPI history people should know? An often-overlooked part of history is the role of Asian and Pacific Islander women in World War II. Judy Bellafaire, a curator of the Women in Military Service for America Memorial, said, "Lots of Japanese and Chinese women were trained as interpreters and translators, and some Filipino American women put their lives on the line as members of the underground resistance in the Philippines."  

KOA: FUELED BY POSITIVITY  

What is your heritage? Hawai'ian + Puerto Rican  

What does AAPIHM mean to you? The Hawaiian Culture has brought (and shown me) peace and love.  

LEA: FUELED BY FAMILY  

What is your heritage? Filipino  

What does AAPIHM mean to you? It means celebrating and honoring Asian American's who contribute to the history, culture, and community we live in.  

What is a piece of AAPI history people should know? Most Asian American's grow up in bi-lingual or even tri-lingual homes. I have so much respect for my dad, who speaks English, Tagalog, and Ilocano. I've always looked up to him and how he's managed to learn English after already being fluent in two other languages.  

MARIEDHEL: FUELED BY COMMUNITY  

What is your heritage? Filipino  

What does AAPIHM mean to you? It means visibility—being seen for our culture, our past and our present, our contributions to cultures and society, and acknowledging the vast community that gives back.  

MARK: FUELED BY THE SUPPORT OF FAMILY + FRIENDS  

What is your heritage? Vietnamese, Chinese, Filipino  

What does AAPIHM mean to you? It means being proud to be Asian and not being afraid to show my culture or traditions.  

MARLESE: FUELED BY FAMILY  

What is your heritage? Cambodian  

What does AAPIHM mean to you? As a Cambodian-American, I think it is really important to share our stories about our culture and learn more about our history. With the rise of violence among the AAPI communities, we must come together to learn about our fellow Asian Americans' experiences to educate ourselves and help fight against racism and discrimination.  

What is a piece of AAPI history people should know? Asian-American seniors are the most financially vulnerable group, with 1 in 4 living in poverty. Refugee communities, including Cambodians and Vietnamese, experience higher rates of poverty. The truth is Asian-American communities need help, but the model minority myth completely outshines the struggles experienced by so many.  

ROW: FUELED BY HUMILITY  

What is your heritage? Filipino  

What does AAPIHM mean to you? It means recognition and inclusion.  

What is a piece of AAPI history people should know? AAPI history month was coined in May to recognize two milestones: the first Japanese Immigrants in May 1843 and the contributions of 20,000 Chinese workers in the completion of the transcontinental railroad in May 1869. Conversely, this is to silently recognize the sufferings of the same Asian Americans who helped build the road brought on by the Exclusion Act of 1882 and the Massacre of 1871.  

Whatever it is that fuels you, we move forward to defend, support, uplift our Asian American + Pacific Islander community internally and externally today and every day.  

STOP THE HATE, FUEL THE LOVE  

The only way to fight racism is to be actively anti-racist—educate yourself, speak up, donate, take action. There is no neutral position on racism.  

COMMUNITY IS QUAY  

We believe that all people—regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, or creed—deserve respect, opportunity, and love. 

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WINNERS OF THE $120,000 SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM

This is why we partnered with Saweetie this past April when we launched our second Education is Quay Scholarship Program. We received thousands of entries, and due to the unprecedented number of essay applications (and incredible videos submitted), we decided to award money to even more winners.

$120,000 USD to help fuel the dreams of 12 scholars because we believe your vision has the power to change the world.

Our 12 winners wrote an essay on how the money would help fuel (and further) their education. Then semi-finalists were asked to create a video on what self-expression means to them. Meet our scholars and see some of what they had to say:

    DIAMOND B.

    The ability to express myself has allowed me to cultivate this experience and transform into the confident warrior that I am today.

        HEIDI T.

        I would use this scholarship towards gaining additional knowledge and experience aimed at advancing healthcare accessibility and quality of care through courses at my university as I complete my biochemistry degree.

            VIENNA S.

            self-expression is key to my well-being. It's the way I tell the story of who I am, how I feel and what I believe.

                LILIANA G

                 

                I aspire to earn my Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Neuroscience and earn my Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Social Psychology before I turn 26. I yearn to investigate how group behavior and human cognition influence public policy.

                    GABRIEL S.

                    Self-expression is like the soul's fingerprint. It is in the way that we speak, the way that we dress, it is even in the way that we move.

                        FEBIE L.

                        Anyone who is willing to dedicate their life to nurturing another life should have every opportunity to do so. I wish to educate myself on assisted reproductive technologies that help couples overcome infertility.

                            KEANU C

                            Possessing a selfless attitude, good problem-solving skills, good communication skills, and commitment to patient advocacy are all the things that have led me to choose nursing.

                                ENRICO D.

                                One day, I stared at myself in the mirror, told myself I was enough, and burst into tears. I am my own person. I am valid... I’m loving myself, living in the moment, and embracing love and support from people who offer it.

                                    MAE J.

                                    I plan to someday go beyond advocating, learning, and researching; I’m determined to become a clinical psychologist who provides direct support to individuals who struggle with mental health issues.

                                        LAIBA Z.

                                        I believe that people shouldn't have to hide themselves to blend in with the crowd. I finally gained the confidence to not let the opinions of others stop me from expressing myself.

                                            VANESSA S.

                                            My self-expression is constructed by little dots of my cultural experiences that have created the person that I am today.

                                                MYRA J.

                                                I will graduate with my Bachelors at the age of 19 due to my persistence in high school and I have begun my Master’s degree program. I also started a company named “Mexituras” to help bring awareness to Artisans in Mexico who make $1 for every hour worked.

                                                   

                                                  SCHOLARSHIP CRITERIA

                                                  • Must be located in the US, District of Columbia, Australia, New Zealand 
                                                  • Must be at least 16 years old at the time of application  
                                                  • Applicant's educational goals have a clearly defined purpose + mission, plus a specific use for the funds as explained in your application  
                                                  • Applicants must attend or plan to attend a two-year or four-year college, university or vocational/technical school

                                                  TIMELINE

                                                  • April 14th Scholarship open for applications
                                                  • June 9th Scholarship application period ends 
                                                  • July 1st  Semi-finalists are notified + given their video prompt 
                                                  • July 15th Final due date for video entries 
                                                  • On or around August 2nd Recipients will be notified + announced

                                                  SELECTION PROCESS

                                                  • First-round written submissions are reviewed + semi-finalists will be invited to a second round, where they will create a one-minute video submission. The Quay team will review the group of finalists from the second round to select final winners.  
                                                  • Twelve (12) winners will each receive $10,000 USD for a total of $100,000 USD in scholarships. All fifty (50) semi-finalists will also receive merchandise gift cards, redeemable for one (1) pair of sunnies or blue light glasses ($85 value).

                                                  EVALUATION CRITERIA

                                                  Semi-finalists Answers will be evaluated in the following proportions: use of funds (20%), writing ability (20%), creativity (20%), originality (20%), and overall excellence (20%).

                                                  Finalists Answers will be evaluated in the following proportions: answers video prompt question (25%), creativity (25%), originality (25%), and overall excellence (25%)

                                                  WRITTEN APPLICATION QUESTIONS

                                                  • Full name  
                                                  • Email  
                                                  • Phone number 
                                                  • Physical address, including country 
                                                  • Anticipated high school graduation date 
                                                  • Birth date  
                                                  • Annual household income 
                                                  • Ethnicity  
                                                  • Essay 1 (250 words or less): What are your educational goals, and how would you use this scholarship to support those goals?  
                                                  • Essay 2 (250 words or less): Self-expression is a core value at Quay. What does self-expression mean to you? 

                                                  Submissions are now closed, and the winners have been notified. Thank you to everyone who participated.

                                                  Have more questions? Contact quayscholarship@educationdynamics.com

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                                                  THE HISTORY BEHIND THE SAUCE

                                                  It goes by many names—Black excellence, Black joy, the sauce, etc.—whatever you call it, it’s threaded throughout our Black History Month features, and we’re ending our Drip Series by highlighting the history behind the sauce. 

                                                  We spoke with Dr. Robert P Robinson who has served as a K-12 educator for 11 years, teaching at public high schools. His field of study is in Africana Studies & History of Education with a focus on the Black Freedom Movement, Curriculum, and Instruction. 


                                                  We’re using our platform to amplify the causes that are important to our community internally + externally, donating $25,000 in honor of Black History Month to: 

                                                  • The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.: America's premier legal organization fighting for racial justice. 
                                                  • Therapy for Black Men: An American organization working to help change the narrative around Black men seeking mental health support, helping them find the resources they need. 
                                                  • Therapy for Black Girls: A US-based online space dedicated to encouraging the mental wellness of Black women and girls. 
                                                  • Plus, we provided 300 pairs of blue light glasses to Black Girls Code, an organization based in New York + the Bay Area dedicated to teaching girls ages 7-17 about computer programming and digital technology. 

                                                  COMMUNITY IS QUAY 

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