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ABC7's Dion Lim makes list of 100 Most Impactful Asians

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Two Bay Area women are in the national spotlight as Asian and Pacific American Heritage Month kicks off, including our very own Dion Lim!

Video Transcript

KRISTEN SZE: Welcome back. This being the start of May, and Asian-American Pacific Islander Heritage Month, one of the most influential organizations of Asian-Americans called Gold House is recognizing the most impactful Asian-Americans of this past year. Now Gold House just released its A100 list. And you might recognize a few faces on that list. There's Kamala Harris, vice president, and oh look. There's my colleague ABC 7 News anchor Dion Lim right there in pink. Dion, congratulations.

DION LIM: Thank you so much. Never in a million years did I ever expect to get this recognition, and nonetheless be next to Kamala Harris.

KRISTEN SZE: I know, right? That's great positioning, Dion. When did you find out? And what was your reaction? I mean, I know you said you never thought in a million years. But really, what did you think?

DION LIM: Yeah. I found out probably about a month ago. I got an email. And to be honest with you, I had to read it two or three times because I thought, is this a scam? Is this for real? Because you look at the list of people who are on this and it really is quite an honor.

KRISTEN SZE: Yeah, no. Congratulations. We are so proud. Gold House, by the way, we said is the most influential nonprofit collective of Asian and Pacific Islander founders, creative voices, and leaders. And they have a big platform. About you Dion, I'm sorry I'm going to embarrass you here, Gold House says, Dion is passionate about amplifying voices of color and had led the charge in shedding light on the hate and assaults targeting Asian-Americans in the Bay Area. Her work has resonated across the country on ABC News Live, Nightline, Good Morning America in 2020.

In what ways do you think the long overdue attention on what Asian-Americans have always faced has made a difference?

DION LIM: Yeah, Kristen, it was described to me by a law enforcement official that the hate, the discrimination, the xenophobia that we have seen in the Bay Area is actually our area's dirty little secret that it has been going on for decades. So I think the biggest achievement is the fact that people are paying attention. To be on this list with so many other prominent Asian-Americans shows that the world is watching, and that we are having those conversations. Maybe it sounds a little bit cliche, but having those uncomfortable conversations and getting comfortable with it, even in your everyday workplace, is so important.

And that's happening. So it's baby steps. I always say it feels like some days it's two steps ahead and 10 steps back. But at least we are moving forward.

KRISTEN SZE: All right, Dion. We have about 20 seconds. But I got to ask you, who do you admire most on that list? I know there's so many of them you admire. But who would you pick out?

DION LIM: Oh boy. Talk about putting me on the spot. I can't even pick one person. I have to say I have to admire, it is the people who fly under the radar who do not have as much prominence maybe in Hollywood for example. Even in the tech realm, speaking of the Bay Area, Garry Tan of Initialized really has led the charge in having conversations. And it's those people who are in positions of power that are actually doing something, not just the representation that you're seeing on an everyday basis, such as on the air, but it is the people who are making the decisions that count.

KRISTEN SZE: All right. Absolutely. Folks, check out goldhouse.org and join us over on Facebook Live right now where Dion and I will continue to chat. We'll take a short break on the air.

- End commercial break.

KRISTEN SZE: OK Dion, I'm going to embarrass you further here.

DION LIM: Oh my gosh.

KRISTEN SZE: Thanks for being such a good sport. Eric, can you pull up goldhouse.org and go to the A100 list? Oh, OK. So we're going to pull up the list and kind of the-- you know how they have that stylized it's like the "Wall Street Journal". You know how they have the sketch, it looks like a crayon drawing almost, a pencil drawing I should say?

DION LIM: Someone else mentioned that to me too.

KRISTEN SZE: Right. So I want to pull that out because I thought that was so neat. I don't know how they did it. Do you know how they did it?

DION LIM: You know what? I don't know. But oftentimes there is a filter, for example.

KRISTEN SZE: There it is.

DION LIM: OK, there it is.

KRISTEN SZE: Oh, this looks so great.

DION LIM: Yeah.

KRISTEN SZE: Yeah.

DION LIM: This way, it kind of all looks very uniform. And I know if anyone who's out there is a user of Snapchat or Instagram, there are these filters that you can put on so it gives that uniformity. And I think it's nice. It adds a little bit of a distinction to everyone's bio and headshot.

KRISTEN SZE: Everybody looks great. Oh look, there you are in that row with Eric Yuan, the founder of Zoom, Vice President Kamala Harris, and Kimmy Yam, another journalist who's also done so much reporting.

DION LIM: If I can just interject real quickly, I have to give a shout out to CeFaan Kim who is my counterpart.

KRISTEN SZE: Oh yeah. Go back the other way for CeFaan Kim.

DION LIM: Yeah, if you scroll up, you'll see CeFaan.

KRISTEN SZE: The other way, he's at the top.

DION LIM: And we've gotten to know each other quite well during this process. He does what I do except for WABC in New York City. And he has been working tirelessly with his sources on the street for years there. But finally, the world is paying attention like I mentioned. So his work is resonating like it has not ever before. It's really special.

KRISTEN SZE: Yeah. It is great. CeFaan is amazing as well. And he's right next to Chloe Zhao, of course Oscar winning director. That is a who's who list of A100 list. So folks, check it out on goldhouse.org. And Dion, congratulations once again. That's just fabulous.

DION LIM: Thank you. And thanks to you, Kristen, for paving the way for all of us in journalism as well to represent.

KRISTEN SZE: Oh, you are so kind. All right, we'll see you back here at 4:00, 5:00, 6:00, whenever you have a story.

DION LIM: Whenever.

KRISTEN SZE: Whatever.

DION LIM: All the time.

KRISTEN SZE: Just all the time. All right, see you later.

DION LIM: Thanks.