May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. The special month celebrates and pays tribute to the contributions generations of Asian/Pacific Americans have made to American history, society and culture.
Asian Pacific American Heritage Month originated in 1978 when Congress passed it. This law directed the President to issue a proclamation designating the week beginning on May 4, 1979 as Asian Pacific American Heritage Week. President George H.W. Bush later issued Presidential Proclamation 6130 on May 7, 1990 designating May 1990 as the first Asian American Heritage Month.
Every May, we ask our member organizations what they are doing to acknowledge and celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.
This is a great way to highlight some of the great work they are doing and to hopefully inspire you as you plan your own Asian Pacific American Heritage Month initiatives.
Many of our members have switched to virtual programming in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic. They have been able to adequately adapt by hosting events that foster further employee engagement despite not being able to gather in-person.
Read on to see what they shared.
Please see a summary of our activities below:
We are including information in our monthly e-newsletter from Julie Osborne, Vice President, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion to all Employee Resource Groups and employees signed up for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion news and information, including an overview of Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month.
Through our Asian Leadership Network Employee Resource Group, we will host two virtual events, a kickoff with trivia and live panel discussion featuring leadership.
We also plan to acknowledge via social media posts in May.
This May, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and Employee Engagement are proud to recognize and celebrate Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month with a series of virtual events highlighting the culture and contributions of the API community.
The month kicks off on Thursday May 7th, with Telling Our Story: API History and Health, a webinar led by Iyanrick John who is the Senior Policy Strategist for the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum. Iyanrick will share the history of the API community in America, reveal some fascinating facts and statistical trends and highlight some of the health issues and trends facing the API community.
The following week, on Thursday May 14th, we will be hosting a virtual conversation with author Frances Cha about her newly released book If I Had Your Face.
Frances is a former travel and culture editor for CNN in Seoul. She grew up in the United States, Hong Kong, and South Korea. A graduate of Dartmouth College and the Columbia University MFA writing program, she has written for The Atlantic, The Believer, and the Yonhap News Agency, among others, and has lectured at Columbia University, Ewha Womans University, Seoul National University, and Yonsei University.
If I Had Your Face is her debut novel; set in contemporary Seoul, Korea, it follows four young women making their way in a world defined by impossible standards of beauty, after-hours room salons catering to wealthy men, ruthless social hierarchies, and K-pop mania.
The final week of API Heritage Month event will offer employees an opportunity to watch the documentary Far East Deep South on Backstage followed by a virtual film discussion with the filmmakers Larissa Lam and Baldwin Chiu.
The film presents a very personal and unique perspective on immigration, race and American identity, telling the story of an Asian American family in the deep South. The film was written and directed by Larissa Lam.
May 21, 2020
5:30 pm – 6:30pm
Womankind invites you to a limited seat virtual event in honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, and sponsored by AlixPartners.
Special performance: Devin Ilaw, Broadway actor and singer, Miss Saigon and Les Miserables
With a discussion on:
Allstate’s 3AN ERG Celebrates AAPIHM All Month Long – We will be connecting and engaging our members via our Collaboration Platform; We will be engaging members in a variety of conversations on topics relevant to COVID19, working from home, fun factoids, sharing stories and challenges with adjusting to the new norm.
There will be helpful information and resources to share.
Covid-19 has hit many within the Asian Small Business Communities.
An Allstate leader from Organizational Effectiveness and Leader of Allstate’s Entrepreneurs i@a ERG, reached out to 3AN to partner and provide support.
During May and beyond, i@a and 3AN are partnering with Asian American Executive Network, Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Asian American Coalition of Chicago to help connect these small businesses with financial resources and services available from government agencies and non-profits.
Volunteers will be using their skills – data analytics, research, financial advising and language translation to assist working alongside with other volunteers from a myriad of businesses.
Bank of America
We have a comprehensive plan in May celebrating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month by sharing employee stories and driving inclusion by increasing employee awareness about Asian American and Pacific Islander heritage and culture.
Our events this year have been tailored to be virtual rather than in-person in light of the coronavirus.
Here are some of the ways we are highlighting the month of recognition:
The mission of Baxter’s Asian Leadership Network (ALN) Business Resource Group is to empower employees of Asian descent to excel.
This May, for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM), ALN is celebrating the achievements and contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the U.S.
In accordance with social distancing measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ALN will hold all APAHM 2020 events virtually under the theme “VirtualizAsian.”
ALN’s slate of virtual activities will include a live dance class, a yoga session, and an Indian art workshop.
ALN also plans to engage Baxter employees throughout the month via the company’s internal social media platform.
Each Monday in May they will share content highlighting how leaders from Baxter’s Asia Pacific region are addressing COVID-19-related challenges.
Each Wednesday they will feature stories demonstrating how Baxter is saving and sustaining lives of patients of Asian descent.
Each Friday they will teach useful catch-phrases from different Asian languages.
Here are a few items for BP:
Capgemini’s pan-Asian employee resource group, CREATE (Collaborating to Reach Excellence in Asian Talent & Expertise), will be leading virtual activities in honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month:
We have a full calendar of activities that will all be virtual covering the following areas:
Fifth Third Bank
Fifth Third Bank actively promotes inclusion and diversity with eight virtual Enterprise Business Resource Groups led by Enterprise committee executives and nearly 70 regional business resource groups overseen by inclusion councils in each of the Bank’s 13 regions. More than 4,000 employees take part in the in-person regional BRGs.
In honor of Asian Pacific Islander awareness month, the Asian Pacific Islander BRG in Cincinnati will host a virtual interactive lunch and learn that will feature the Bank’s senior vice president and director of operations digital transform team.
The lunch and learn will focus on career development and the group’s members will have an opportunity to get to know the director.
In celebration of Asian American Pacific Islanders Heritage Month (AAPI), the FINRA Asian Professional Association (FAPA) Employee Resource Group is offering a series of events designed to engage, educate and inspire all employees.
During the month of May, FAPA plans to engage its members as follows:
Freddie Mac’s InspirASIAN Employee Resource Group will lead our Asian Pacific American Heritage Month virtual activities in support of their 2020 theme: Connect. Inspire. Ascend.
Throughout the month, we will celebrate, enrich and re-energize each other with these activities:
HCSC has several virtual activities planned in celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.
Our Asian American Business Resource Group (AABRG), who leverages the talents of Asian American employees, fosters innovation and strengthens the HCSC brand in the marketplace, will be hosting these events.
HCSC will send out company-wide communications and leverage technology to engage employees in the activities taking place in May.
HCSC is proud to celebrate Asian Pacific American Month and the contributions of Asian Pacific Americans in the workplace.
Below is a list of planned virtual activities:
At HP, we are recognizing Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month and the contributions/influence of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to the history, culture, and achievements in the US.
This will include:
IPG recently joined a coalition of more than 90 companies and NGO partners to respond to issues of diversity and inclusion surrounding COVID-19 with specific denouncement of anti-Asian sentiment and an awareness of the disease’s unique impacts upon vulnerable groups.
Led by Ascend, the NGO partners also include ALPFA, Catalyst, The Conference Board, Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT), National Association of Black Accountants (NABA), National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), National Organization on Disability (NOD), Out & Equal, and Tanenbaum.
This coalition has adopted a five-point action agenda that includes:
In collaboration with IPG’s commitment to this action agenda, IPG’s Asian Heritage Group (AHG), will be hosting a virtual town hall, and other activities throughout the month of May in honor of Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) month.
The virtual town hall, #WashTheHate, which draws its name from the campaign created by IW Group to combat the rising tide of hatred during the pandemic, will address the rise in Anti-Asian sentiment and other marginalized employee segments.
This year the Asia Pacific Association (APA) Employee Business Resource Group launched a social media initiative to recognize the many contributions of Asian Pacific Americans and show how they have used their cultural background and experiences to build resiliency during these challenging times.
In addition, chapters across the United States will host events to support the knowledge, health, and wellbeing of our members and colleagues.
The following events will take place throughout the month of May:
MIT Lincoln Laboratory
Since its founding, the Laboratory’s Pan-Asian Laboratory Staff (PALS) ERG has planned multiple events every year in honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM).
The events vary in focus, from professional development, to the exploration of cultures from the Pan-Asian region, to social networking.
This year, PALS’s plans have been adapted to the new work-from-home environment that is the reality for most of the Lab’s population.
Previously planned gatherings will be replaced with online versions.
We will host a virtual fireside chat with an upper-level staff member of Pan-Asian background to foster conversations across levels and to give members a perspective on the journeys of senior staff members.
A screening of the upcoming PBS documentary series “Asian Americans” will be replaced by independent online viewings followed by an online meeting and discussion.
Food events will be replaced with an online social event to spark interest in cuisine from different Asian cultures and to encourage members to share their experiences.
One of the Laboratory’s periodic K–12 community outreach sessions was planned to be hosted by PALS during APAHM, and was to feature a theme connecting Asian traditions with modern science. This event has been postponed due to the current environment and is now planned to be among next year’s APAHM events.
Although most of us are home, PALS is still working to find ways to stay connected through sharing thoughts and ideas, building camaraderie, and raising awareness of the Pan-Asian experience.
Northern Trust’s Asian Leadership Business Resource Council (ALBRC) will be hosting a number of activities to celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in May 2020.
Our programming is centered on community and connection, focusing on creating awareness of the culture.
Adapting to the current challenging environment with COVID 19, we are practicing social distancing for the safety of our partners (employees) by celebrating the heritage month virtually.
Our Chicago and Tempe offices have worked in collaboration to host the virtual celebration.
Our Executive Sponsor will kick off the month with a statement inviting partners to participate in our virtual celebration. The Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) newsletter released to Northern’s partners on May 1 includes the details of the month long celebration.
In creating a virtual community, we invite our partners to interact with the ALBRC by sharing their stories.
We have a blog in place sharing stories from the ALBRC leadership team.
We are also inviting participants to share their own stories, creating a virtual community.
We are also sharing some of the favorite recipes from some of our leadership – giving partners ideas to maintain sanity and try something new while in sheltering in place.
There will a couple of pop quizzes in the blog, testing the knowledge of our partners and creating awareness.
There will be a prize at the end of the month and winners will be announced in the DEI June newsletter and on the ALBRC internal site. This allows our partners to explore the historic and natural sites across the world, and maybe plan their next vacation.
In addition, the ALBRC site has recommendations for books, movies, a podcast, and lists webinars hosted by NAAAP (National Association of Asian American Professionals).
We are also marketing the Diversity Best Practices virtual APAHM event on May 27 and inviting our partners to attend.
ALBRC has historically supported the Chinese American Service League (CASL).
As we think about how to continue our support in this challenging environment, we have opted to make a financial donation to help CASL’s various initiatives. We are also working with CASL to identify any potential virtual volunteering events for our partners to participate.
Finally, we are currently collaborating with ERG groups from other corporations to plan virtual events focusing on professional and career development for our partners.
We hope that our events, even though virtual, provide a much needed positivity in the current times.
Sodexo is committed to fostering an inclusive environment with a focus on demonstrating empathy and compassion for our Asian colleagues who are subject to bias, xenophobia, and racism in these times.
The Pan Asian Network Group (PANG) Employee Business Resource Group’s recent webinar, entitled “How to Effectively Respond to Anti-Asian Sentiment,” explored five techniques to respond to biased comments without blame or shame.
EBRG members were strongly encouraged to become vocal allies. Recognizing that the senior population is not only at a higher risk for contracting Covid-19, but also food insecure in these times, PANG donated $2500 to Meals on Wheels.
Using the theme “Nurture Your Soul” to commemorate the Asian Pacific Islander American Federal Heritage Month, PANG is offering support during the month of May and beyond.
Celebrations begin by kicking the month off with a virtual Happy Hour for members to connect and network. PANG will host its annual meeting in a virtual format later in the month, sharing ways PANG members can Nurture their Soul during these times.
In addition, guest speaker, Raahima Shoaib, Communications and Marketing Manager of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), will share her personal journey of self-discovery and growth.
Along with the virtual sessions, PANG is releasing mindfulness tools that serve to build resilience.
Resources include a “Ramadan Diversity Moment” and a Sodexo Annual Holiday calendar featuring key religious holidays, highlighting Diwali and the Chinese New Year.
Their goal is to increase cultural awareness about the meaning, traditions and the food related to each holiday. Throughout the year, PANG’s regional chapters conduct a variety of community events, such as food bank volunteering and charity walks.
Here are some things we are doing to recognize and celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage month:
At U.S. Cellular, we are celebrating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month with a festive banner graphic featured in a prominent location on our company intranet site for all associates to see in addition the following virtual events and content sharing:
At Verizon, this year’s Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month is even more special.
Our objective for the month (and beyond) is to empower and elevate the diverse Asian talent and culture in and outside the company at a time where the community is facing unprecedented treatment amid the coronavirus pandemic.
We want to celebrate the community, provide education around the culture, as well as bring unity across all communities during a time of global challenges.
Some examples of our programs include:
Please see our Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month ERG activations:
A Conversation with Carrie Ann Inaba, The Talk
Date: Tuesday, May 12th 4pm EST/1pm PT
For Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month, the Office of Global Inclusion and AMP (Asian American Media Professionals) at ViacomCBS will host a Conversation with Carrie Ann Inaba, from CBS hit television series, The Talk, featuring a discussion on current events, pop culture, contemporary issues and family.
The conversation will explore Carrie Ann’s career journey, as well as her ability to adapt to a changing production landscape due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Carrie Ann Inaba is an American television personality, dancer, choreographer, actress, and singer. She is best known for her work on ABC TV’s Dancing with the Stars, as Fook Yu in Austin Powers in Goldmember. She is a current co-host and moderator of the CBS Daytime talk show, The Talk.
She started her career as a singer in Japan, but became best known for her dancing, first introducing herself to American audiences as one of the original Fly Girls on the Fox sketch comedy series In Living Color from 1990 to 1992. Moderated by Vladimir Duthiers, CBS News correspondent.
Wash The Hate Campaign
Date: Tuesday, May 19th 3pm EST/12pm PT
In light of our current work environment, AMP understands this is a particularly challenging time for the Asian American & Pacific Islander (AAPI) community as the global response to COVID-19 has also seen an increase in anti-Asian discrimination and xenophobia.
Teaming up with IW Group, AMP will host a virtual conversation to discuss the genesis of #WashTheHate, how the pandemic has impacted the AAPI community, and ways we can get involved with the campaign.
The goal of the program is to raise awareness of anti-Asian bigotry amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Asian American communications agency IW Group launched #WashTheHate, a community social media campaign.
The campaign kicked off with a series of videos of Asian American artists, leaders and influencers washing their hands while sharing a personal story about how the coronavirus has impacted their lives.
Panelist include David Hwang, Playwright, Screenwriter, M. Butterfly and The Affair on Showtime, Catherine Haena Kim, Actor, FBI (CBS), Tzi Ma, Actor, Tigertail, Mulan, The Farewell, moderated by Elaine Quijano, Correspondent/ Anchor, CBS News
COVID-19 & The Impact on Mental Health
Date: Week of May 25th (excluding Memorial Day)
For Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month, the Office of Global Inclusion and AMP (Asian American Media Professionals) at ViacomCBS proposes a discussion: COVID-19 & The Impact on Mental Health with Cindy Hsu, Emmy Award winning anchor and Karan Singh, COO, Ginger.
The conversation will explore each of their career journeys, and their personal advocacy for mental health (May is mental health awareness month) and how COVID-19 has impacted the API community and advice/tips & call to actions for others to get engaged. A Q&A will follow the chat.
Notes: The Office of Global Inclusion is currently vetting a possible moderator & additional panelists.
Asian Connection TMN is celebrating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, which honors the culture, traditions, and history of Asian and Pacific Islanders in the United States. This diverse group includes people who identify themselves as Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Asian Indian, Filipino, Cambodian, Hmong, Laotian, Hawaiian, Samoan, and Thai, to name a few.
To learn more about APA Heritage Month, employees are encouraged to visit our internal Asian Connection TMN site.
Other ideas include: