When Cassandra Lam and her co-founder created The Cosmos, it wasn't just a dream — they felt it was a necessity. Her entire life, she had trouble finding Asian American organizations to be a part of, especially as a woman. Lam knew she couldn't have felt alone in her search for community and support. This led her and Karen Mok to create The Cosmos, a safe space where Asian American women can connect and feel empowered. That's why Cassandra Lam included in this special edition of Bustle's Must Follow, in which we highlight the incredible Asian American and Pacific Islander voices you need to follow on Instagram and Twitter.
Describe yourself in one line, including how you identify and what you do.
I am a universe of possibilities: a first generation Vietnamese American, daughter of refugees, yoga student and teacher, activist, empath, and CEO of The Cosmos (a global community for Asian women creators to flourish and thrive).
What do you hope people take away from following you on social media?
I hope to show others that it's possible to create the life that you never even had the guts to dream of — yeah, that BIG! — and you can do it your way. I share my authentic and unfiltered self to debunk the idea that anyone has it all figured out. My goal is inspire others to get a little messy, too!
When did you first feel that you were a voice for the Asian American and Pacific Islander community?
I don't think of leadership as something reserved for a select few or even something to be conferred from one person to another. The leadership philosophy I subscribe to puts the responsibility and power in my hands. In every moment of every day, I get to decide when, why, how, and for whom I show up. In fact, we all do! So I became a voice for my community the moment I decided that my perspective mattered and was worthy of sharing. Don't get me wrong, it's still terrifying sometimes! But I truly believe that using our voices in service of the communities we care about is a necessary form of human creative expression. We need you, me, everyone we can get to imagine a more inclusive and just world.
Who's another Asian American or Pacific Islander person you would recommend to follow on social media?
I don't think there's anyone who consistently challenges, inspires, and teaches me to expand the way I view the world more than the ever fashionable @alokvmenon! Everything they share pushes me to question what I know in the best ways possible so that I can grow my activism/feminism beyond the binary.
Follow Cassandra Lam and The Cosmos on Instagram, @cassandthecity
This interview has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.