Carmel Valley Teen Directs Documentary to Help Heal Racial Divide

The eleven-minute documentary focuses on Asian Americans’ COVID-19 contributions in the face of anti-Asian sentiment

NBC Universal, Inc.

The coronavirus has not only caused the death of hundreds of thousands of people, but it's also fueled xenophobia and racism against the Asian community.

Now a Carmel Valley teen is hoping his just-released documentary will help to heal the racial divide.

In his eleven-minute, virtually-shot documentary titled, “The COVID Relief Effort From Asian Americans,” 18-year-old Canyon Crest Academy senior Derek Ma turns the camera on the good things Chinese Americans have done and contributed during the pandemic.

"As an Asian American myself, it was sad to see other people like me facing discrimination for something completely unjustified during the COVID-19  pandemic. With so much negativity around the Asian American community, I wanted to create something that was, in contrast, positive and follows all the  good contributions that we made as Asian Americans," said Ma.

 The documentary on YouTube shows how Chinese American organizations have donated money and equipment to San Diego organizations during the pandemic.

Like the American Chinese Culture and Education Foundation, which in April gave $10,000 dollars in donations and personal protection equipment to the Family Health Centers of San Diego.

The documentary also showcases a San Diego robotics team called "The Clueless," made up of Chinese American high school students.

The Clueless were featured by NBC 7 in April, showing how they switched gears from building robots to using their 3-D printers to make face shields for health workers.

“Although we are Asian Americans and the virus did come from China, I don’t believe we are at fault for the impact the virus has done. I just wanted people to understand that even though we’re Asian Americans we’re trying to help too,” said Ma.

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