Michelle Li is an award-winning, veteran journalist who co-launched the Very Asian Foundation in January 2022 alongside friend and fellow journalist Gia Vang.

Her response to a racist voicemail became a global movement of unity and caught the attention of The Ellen Show. Ellen’s monetary gift of $15,000 helped start the seed money to create a non-profit focused on shining a light on Asian experiences through advocacy and celebration. Not only did the Very Asian Foundation raise tens of thousands of dollars for AANHPI nonprofits in its first 100 days, but it also launched a national awareness campaign called The May Book Project, and the Very Asian Creators microgrant program for people who needed startup funds to pivot in their careers.

A Korean adoptee, Michelle spent many years supporting adoptees through heritage camps and volunteer tours to Korea. She also launched a program to support Missouri children in foster care. This work led to a congressional award in 2010. Michelle’s reporting has been honored with a national Peabody Award, four national Murrows, and multiple regional Emmys– often for covering topics related to race or gender inequities. Her work on the Asian American experience in St. Louis during the pandemic was also named a duPont finalist in 2023. Michelle has appeared on CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC, and The Washington Post. She released a children’s book with Gloo Books called A Very Asian Guide to Korean Food.

Michelle currently resides in St. Louis with her family. She is @michellelitv on most platforms.

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