Asian Americans Join the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has quickly become the newest social media trend of the summer, and now Asian American celebrities have joined in on the chilly fun.

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was originally created to raise money to help find a cure for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) or more commonly known in the U.S. as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.  This is the same disease that took the life of Morrie Schwartz, the subject of the memoir Tuesdays with Morrie, and is affecting Steven Hawking today.

With the challenge growing viral overseas, the ALS Association says donations as of August 21 have reached $41.8 million since the campaign began last month.  Many Asian American celebrities including actors, singers, journalists, YouTubers, and even Kollaboration alums have taken on this challenge.  Here are some of our favorite AAPI Ice Bucket Challenges:

David Choi  – Singer-songwriter + YouTuber
*Kollaboration LA alum

[iframe width=”640″ height=”480″ src=”″]

Arden Cho 
– Actress + Singer-songwriter

Eric Nam  –  Singer-songwriter + K-pop artist
*Kollaboration Boston alum

Jubilee Project  – Filmmakers + YouTubers + Philanthropists

The FuSinger-songwriters + YouTubers
Kollaboration ATL alum

Grace Su aka Peachies Blogger + Actress + Filmmaker

Michelle Wie – Professional Golfer

Wesley Chan (Wong Fu Productions) Filmmaker + YouTuber
*Former Kollaboration Star judge

[iframe width=”640″ height=”480″ src=”″]

Jun Curry Ahn
– Musician + YouTuber
*Kollaboration Chicago and Star alum

[iframe width=”640″ height=”480″ src=”″]

Ryan Higa

Lana McKissackActress + YouTuber

Jeremy LinNBA Player

Lisa Ling Journalist

[iframe width=”640″ height=”480″ src=”″]

George Takei

Maia and Alex Shibutani Olympic Ice Dancers

Ann Curry Journalist

Chloe Bennet Actress

View this post on Instagram

#alsicebucketchallenge part 1

A post shared by Chloe Bennet (@chloebennet) on

Harry Shum Jr. Actor + Dancer

[iframe width=”640″ height=”480″ src=”″]

And last but not least, our executive director, Christine Minji Chang!

[iframe width=”640″ height=”480″ src=”″]

Though many notable Asian Americans accepted the challenge, there were also plenty of nominees, such as Ki Hong Lee, Amy Okuda, and Angry Asian Man Phil Yu, who resorted to donating $100 instead of undergoing the challenge.  On the other hand, some AAPI nominees like author Amy Tan, who was nominated by Ming-Na Wen, have yet to make their move.

While the carnival fun and the celebrity culture the Ice Bucket Challenge brings may detract from its original purpose of fighting ALS, it’s undeniable that the challenge is probably among the most successful charity campaigns.  The challenge has done a phenomenal job spreading awareness of ALS in not only the U.S. but also in Asia to K-pop stars and China’s tech billionaires.  However, the question remains whether or not people will continue to donate once the novelty wears off.

What do you think of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge?  And who would you nominate?  Let us know in the comments below!

als association logo

To learn more about ALS, visit the ALS Association website.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *