Michelle Li Headshot
Report a problem with this profile
[email protected]

Michelle Li        

Co-Founder of The Very Asian Foundation; Veteran Journalist

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 nonprofit focused on shining a light on Asian life through advocacy and celebration. Not only has The Very Asian Foundation raised tens of thousands of dollars for AANHPI nonprofits in its first 100 days, it is also launching a national awareness campaign called "The May Book Project."

A Korean adoptee, Li 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. Li’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. Li has appeared on CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC, and The Washington Post. She is releasing a children’s book this fall with Gloo Books called "A Very Asian Guide to Korean Food."

Li currently resides in St. Louis with her family.

Speech Topics


How do you handle adversity? When Michelle Li received a racist voicemail, she could have internalized it and moved on. Instead, her reaction sparked a global moment of unity and launched a foundation that now helps all people bring their full humanity to the table with a "Very Asian" experience.


How do you lead when you've never seen anyone like you lead in a particular role? What challenges do you experience making space for yourself and for others? How do you show up? There are actionable ways you can create more opportunities for yourself and others.


Mothers and women of color specifically still fall behind in terms of pay equity, gender equity, and growth opportunities. Women fell behind in historical ways during the pandemic. How do we find ways to continue to work in a more equitable way?

Media Matters

Let's talk about representation in the media, the power of journalism, and the key to owning narratives in your own community. Why is this so important and what can we do to ensure that our communities are represented with more compassion. How does this shape the society in which we live? How can we be better storytellers?

Media Consulting

How do we own our own narratives? How do we talk to people with a camera? Why would my story be of value? It's important to understand the importance of storytelling in a way that supports your brand.

Related Speakers View all

More like Michelle