Meet Managing Director and Bestselling Author Belinda Lei


In 2019, approximately only 9% of main characters in U.S. books were of Asian descent, 12% were Black, and only 3% of total books included a LGBTQIAP+ character (CCBC).


When minority kids do not see themselves in the books they read and the media they consume, they begin to feel like their stories don’t matter. Act To Change’s Managing Director Belinda Lei felt the same way growing up, and she is now changing the narrative for the next generation, with her best-selling debut novel, Not THAT Rich

Gossip Girl meets Crazy Rich Asians in this satirical, juicy and dramatic debut novel about a group of private high schoolers in an affluent Southern Californian suburb. The novel reached Amazon’s #1 New Release and #1 Bestselling status within a week of publishing for Asian American YA Fiction and Immigration & Emigration Fiction. 

Having been raised to almost imitate the model minority stereotype—the myth that all Asian Americans are a law-abiding, hardworking, overachieving, silent, and also (in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic) a virus-spreading minority group, Belinda is hoping to shatter the model minority myth with her novel while also supporting AAPI youth in her role as Managing Director of Act To Change. 


In a recent blog post about “Why it’s important to have a diverse bookshelf,” Belinda writes: 

“By writing Not THAT Rich, I wanted to present a set of fun (and dramatic!) experiences that also exposed young adult readers to a cast of characters that reflected my world growing up – one that reflected the ethnic suburban enclaves that were part of my world. My hope for the book is that it emphasizes the diversity of Asian American culture, but also offers up the common challenges that teenagers all experience today – educational and familial pressures, identity struggles, and peer pressure.”


Having been brought up in a strong Asian American community like the San Gabriel Valley, Belinda got to witness firsthand the many different shades of being an Asian American as the daughter of first-generation Chinese immigrants. And many around her face the following dilemmas:

    • Where is personal identity in between two distinctly different cultural identities?
    • What does it really mean to be Asian American?
    • What’s the right way to be Asian American?

These are the questions that many characters in Not THAT Rich ask themselves on a regular basis. The truth is that there is no one single, or one correct way to be Asian American. That’s the myth that Belinda’s book is aiming to change.

Every Asian American, every child, every person has a unique identity and story, and there is no need to fit into a mold. Not THAT Rich inspires every child to shine and be their true selves without any qualms.


Interested in learning more? Check out Belinda’s journey at and the e-book or paperback on Amazon. Connect with Belinda on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.

Act To Change Welcomes New Members to its Board Of Directors 

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to give rise to reports of bullying against people of Asian descent, anti-bullying non-profit Act To Change is pleased to announce new additions to its Board of Directors:


  • Josef Canaria, Michigan Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence
  • Elaine Dang, Engagement Manager, McKinsey & Company
  • Jamie Lok, Public Health Analyst, US Department of Health and Human Services
  • Anthony Reyes, staff member, United States Senate
  • Nancy Tien, Education Consultant with Education Powered, Election Coordinator with Dallas Kids First


This past month, Act To Change celebrated its two-year anniversary as a nonprofit. As the only national nonprofit with a primary focus on ending bullying among Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) youth, Act To Change’s work includes programming for youth, caregivers, and educators; coalition building and advocacy; and data. The organization leverages an interdisciplinary approach that spans education, public health, and civil rights. Co-founded by actor, author, and activist Maulik Pancholy, Act To Change originally launched in October 2015 as a public awareness campaign under President Obama’s White House Initiative on AAPIs.


“I’m thrilled to welcome this high caliber group of individuals to Act To Change’s Board of Directors,” says Pancholy. “With their tremendous talent and passion, we’re looking forward to building upon our previous successes and making sure we can help all AAPI youth feel safe and proud of who they are.” 


The new board members have hit the ground running. They were each instrumental in planning Act To Change’s second annual anti-bullying youth conference, Youth Rising, held last October during National Bullying Prevention Month. The youth conference featured TV personality Tan France, author of Loveboat, Taipei Abigail Hing Wen, actors Hudson Yang and Ashley Park, and host of Nickelodeon’s Blues Clues and You! Josh Dela Cruz, along with AAPI youth leaders from schools across the country.


Read more here about our new board members.