Davian Nguyen, a co-founder of the Bay Area-based, Asian American-focused media company Jackfroot, died on March 6, according to multiple online posts.
Nguyen, who was also known as David, was 37. In 2010, he helped found the popular online forum Jackfroot, which quickly became a major player featuring news, food and entertainment topics about Asians and the Asian American community. Jackfroot has multiple Instagram accounts with roughly 500,000 followers in all.
Recent stories on Jackfroot range from coverage of anti-Asian racism in America and updates on North Korea’s nuclear capabilities to lighter topics like a Vin Diesel look-alike in Thailand.
According to AsAmNews, Nguyen’s body was found on Hassler Parkway in San Jose, and the Santa Clara County coroner is still investigating the cause of death. It has been reported that Nguyen died by an apparent suicide, as he was believed to struggle with mental health issues.
Since the Stop Asian Hate movement began, the issue of mental health in Asian communities has come to the fore. The topic has gained get more attention as trauma builds from constant exposure to videos of violent incidents and public safety concerns.
In a pinned post on its main Instagram account, Jackfroot asked fans to share memories with Nguyen. The featured story say “RIP King.”
RIP David 🏻 aka @jackfroot 💔— Betty Yu (@BettyKPIX) March 8, 2023
I still don't want to believe it's true. I'm in disbelief and heartbroken you're gone. You cared deeply about the Asian American community, and tirelessly amplified our stories and exposed many hate crimes that would otherwise be ignored. pic.twitter.com/9Oem7lvS0c
Many friends of Nguyen—including KPIX’s Betty Yu and other Bay Area Asian American media reporters—have posted messages mourning his death.
In February, Jackfroot helped promote a story published by The Standard about a Chinatown family living in a single-room occupancy, and a related fundraising effort on its account.
The Standard reached out to Jackfroot and to Nguyen’s family, but both declined interviews at this time.
If you are thinking about suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255).
Han Li can be reached at [email protected]