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Bonus Episode: St. Louisan Shayn Prapaisilp shines light on anti-Asian discrimination

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Jasper Paul PR
Shayn Prapaisilp is the owner of the St. Louis businesses King and I Thai, Chao Baan, United Provisions and Global foods.

Shayn Prapaisilp has lived in St. Louis his whole life. His family owns beloved restaurants and stores in the city — King and I Thai, Chao Baan, United Provisions and Global Foods Market. He and his family are an integral part of the community. But many people don’t see that.

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Lisa Feng
/
aafederation.org
St. Louis according to Shayn Prapaisilp, illustrated by Lisa Feng.

Though Prapaisilp was born and raised in St. Louis, many people view him as an outsider because he’s Asian American. Now, he’s taking part in a campaign that highlights the discrimination many Asian Americans face. It focuses on the question they are often asked: “Where are you really from?”

“It's really diminishing of my personal life experiences,” Prapaisilp said of the recurring query. “I wasn't born in Asia, you know — I grew up here my entire life. And a lot of my experiences are shaped around St. Louis.”

The campaign features prominent Asian American people throughout the country talking about their hometown in the U.S. Each of them is paired up with an Asian American artist who depicts their story and hometown on a poster.

“What I was trying to kind of illustrate with this is that, even though we do come from different places and have different backgrounds, to me being a St. Louisan is such a large part of my identity that I really am proud of and wanted to show it off in my unique way,” Prapaisilp said.

You can buy Prapaisilp’s St. Louis poster at aafederation.org.

Shayn Prapaisilp on his hometown

St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is hosted by Sarah Fenske and produced by Alex Heuer, Emily Woodbury, Evie Hemphill, Lara Hamdan and Kayla Drake. Jane Mather-Glass is our production assistant. The audio engineer is Aaron Doerr.

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