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Credit: Lindsay Wu

Community Builder: Runner-up
Natasha Jung
Co-founder and executive producer, Cold Tea Collective

When Natasha Jung picks up the phone, she warns me that she’s starting to get contractions. “I’m trying to go about my day as normal as possible,” she says, without a hint of stress in her voice. “You don’t know when the heavy hitters will start.”

For Jung, it somehow seems like just another day juggling responsibilities. The Richmond native had built a career in marketing when, in 2016, a gig as a host with the Vancouver Asian Film Festival sparked her interest—and an idea.

“I had a very eye-opening experience where I really felt seen, heard and understood for the first time by watching these short films,” she says. “And it kind of inspired me to tell my own story and invite others to tell theirs as well in other mediums.”

So Jung and a few friends launched online publication Cold Tea Collective with a mandate to tell stories for, by and about Asian millennials. The site, which takes submissions from contributors across North America, participates in campaigns like last year’s partnership with Dove and U.S. media and entertainment outlet Refinery29, focused on highlighting Asian Canadian women and their experiences with self-esteem and body confidence.

In addition to Cold Tea, Jung works in communications for Vancouver-based food delivery service Fresh Prep (though she recently took maternity leave) and sits on the advisory committee of the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade’s Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Council.

“I’ve always been about building community and storytelling in some way, shape or form,” she says. “On a lot of these lists, you see people who are experts working in their industry for decades. But I think for me personally and for many millennials, the reality is that you end up in a lot of different roles throughout your career.”