Jason Y. Lee, 23, Eric Lu, 24, and Eddie Lee, 25, of The Jubilee Project have created 25 videos in the last year that have raised over $23,000 for 11 non-profit organizations. Their integration of entertaining online videos with philanthropy raises money in addition to making viewers aware of important issues like deaf children in America, human rights, education for the underprivileged and HIV/AIDS to name a few.
Asian Avenue catches up with Eric Lu and Eddie Lee to get insight into the brains behind The Jubilee Project. Lu just finished his first year of medical school at Harvard University and Lee works at the White House in Asian-American outreach. Jason Lee is a management consultant in New York City, but is currently in Zambia.
The Jubilee Project has been around over a year now. What are your feelings on the progress you have made? You started out just making videos for fun and now you have over 14,000 followers.
What do you like best about working on the Jubilee Project?
Lee: The whole directing process- coming up with this story idea and then seeing it come to life. It’s pretty exciting to see your passion and your story come true, and to reach out to people and make them happy.
What are some setbacks you have encountered?
Lu: I like to think that The Jubilee Project is my full time job and school is my extracurricular.
What advice do you have for young people and individuals in the Asian-American community who want to make a difference?
Lu: It’s cliché but there’s definitely some level of truth in it. Seize the opportunities that are presented to you and don’t be afraid of either getting uncomfortable, taking risks or just getting out of your own element.
What else can would you like our readers to know about The Jubilee Project?
Lee: This is a pivotal time in society and in the Asian American community. People are going to look back at this era as a time when young people stood up and did phenomenal things. It’s kind of like our civil rights generation like it was for African-Americans in the 1960s. It’s not going to be to that extent but it’s going to be this generation that really breaks through that “bamboo ceiling. “ You’re going to see people do incredible things in entertainment, in business, in medicine, in politics, what have you. We want to empower folks, give them the resources, the inspiration and the imagination to dream big dreams. And if we can get one person to think that way, then I think we’ve been a success.
Look for information on The Jubilee Project’s college tour of the U.S. in the fall and their new video exploring college life and Asian-American stereotypes perpetuated by the main stream media in the coming months. You can visit jubileeproject.org and follow them on Twitter, YouTube and Facebook.