Third Act with Liz Tinkham

The Accidental Activist with May Lee

May Lee is an award-winning journalist and professor who became the Accidental Activist in the wake of anti-Asian hate early in the pandemic. Join Liz as she talks to May about her journalism career in the US and Asia, and how she’s pivoted her voice and platform to tell the important stories about issues in the AAPI community.

may lee

Third Act Podcast

Your first act is school, your second act is work, but have you thought about what you’re going to do in your third act? Join host Liz Tinkham, a former Accenture Senior Managing Director, as she talks to guests who are happily “pretired” – enjoying their time, treasure, and talent to pursue their purpose and passion in the third act of their life.

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The Accidental Activist with May Lee

may lee

On today’s show, Liz talks with May Lee – The Accidental Activist, another Forbes 50 over 50 Impact winner. May grew up in Dayton, Ohio. As she tells it, as one of very few Asians in her community, she defied the Asian stereotype by becoming a television journalist rather than a doctor or lawyer. She had a humble start in Redding, California, learning her craft by doing everything—including carrying the 50 lb camera to her stories. Her success there led her to much bigger TV jobs, both in the US and Asia, where she launched The May Lee Show to highlight stories of Asian women.

Today, she continues that show as a vlog on YouTube. However, the show has changed a bit in the last 18 months. As the pandemic started and anti-Asian hate began to rise, May pivoted her show to tell the important stories about issues affecting the AAPI community. May also teaches a journalism course at USC on how Asians are portrayed in journalism.
Join Liz as she talks to May about what needs to change in education, government, and corporations to wake up America on these issues.

1:59 The Forbes 50 over 50 Impact List
3:13 Growing up in Dayton and heading to Miss Porter’s
7:47 Carrying the camera in Redding
9:37 Career growth in Asia
11:45 Launching The May Lee Show
16:49 Becoming The Accidental Activist
19:39 What needs to change
22:16 Launching the Asian American history in Journalism class at USC

You can find more information about May Lee on LinkedIn. Watch her show at The May Lee Show.

If you enjoyed the podcast, please subscribe and share a review. Engage with more stories of those finding fulfillment in the third act of their lives on Liz Tinkham’s Third Act podcast at

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