Encompassing the diverse histories of people from the Asian continent, Pacific Islands of Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia, Asian Pacific American Heritage Month is a time to celebrate and honor AAPI contributions to US society. Starting as a 10-day heritage week in 1977 and moving to a month-long celebration in 1990, the celebration was marked for May to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese citizen to the United States on May 7, 1843. It was also chosen to honor the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869.
The last two years have seen increased violence against AAPI individuals in the United States and globally. Now is the time not only to celebrate the contributions AAPI individuals have made but to deepen our learning of their lived experiences in order to be better allies and advocates. See Seramount’s guide on Addressing Escalating Violence Against Asian Americans in the Workplace as a start.
Additionally, there are many virtual offerings this year to celebrate AAPI Heritage Month. People can explore the following resources:
Charitable donations to organizations promoting and advancing AAPI people is another option to show support. Some organizations include:
May is also Mental Health Awareness Month, which aims to raise awareness and educate the public about mental illnesses and reduce the stigma that surrounds mental illnesses. It has been observed in the United States since 1949.
There are various themes for this month based on the supporting organization. Mental Health America (MHA) is amplifying the message: “Back to Basics” to provide foundational knowledge about mental health and mental health conditions. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) is calling to #breakthestigma associated with mental health disorders by making an impact and sharing a personal story to inspire those facing similar challenges.
The importance of addressing mental health at this time cannot be underscored. At Seramount, we’ve added several questions on mental health to our 2022 Inclusion Index since it’s such an important topic because of racial trauma as well as pandemic trauma and Ukraine, economic, climate, and other issues. Questions including whether senior leadership is actively engaged in supporting employee mental health, whether companies offer specific programs to address racial trauma, and whether organizations provide education or training to all employees on mental health issues assess inclusive and supportive workplaces.
Below, see what some DBP members are doing to celebrate and honor Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and Mental Health Awareness Month in 2022:
Astellas Pharma US is hosting several events to honor APAHM:
They are also having two 2-hour sessions on May 10 and 12 focusing on the mental health of health care workers and patients.
This year, Baxter’s Asian Leadership Network is aligning with the Federal Asian Pacific American Council’s (FAPAC) 2022 theme of “Advancing Leadership Through Collaboration.” Collaboration is the art of bringing people together to leverage their skills, talents, and knowledge to achieve Baxter’s mission of “Saving and Sustaining Lives.”
Here is a list of their planned events:
The Estée Lauder Companies is hosting four capstone events for this heritage month:
The AAG ERG is also actively encouraging members to donate to these nonprofit partners:
Experian says they proudly embrace AAPI communities. Via their Asian American ERG, they are celebrating AAPI Heritage Month via region-wide communications and virtual events. They are excited to join their colleagues and celebrate the rich, diverse cultures of the AAPI communities.
Throughout the month of May and in recognition of the Year of the Tiger, the Asian American ERG is sponsoring three events for our employees:
Experian recently announced their enhanced partnerships with the National Association of Asian American Professionals (NAAAP) and Ascend—two nationally recognized organizations that support the AAPI communities. These partnerships and more can be viewed on their DEI website: www.experian.com/diversity.
Through these partnerships:
Experian partners with the National Association of Asian American Professionals (NAAAP) and Ascend – two nationally recognized organizations that support AAPI communities. These partnerships and more can be viewed on their DEI website: www.experian.com/diversity
Experian’s social media teams are working closely with their Asian American ERG and North America DEI team on social media posts that showcase the company’s support for, and celebration of, their AAPI communities.
Experian thanks the greater AAPI community for their impact on society and gives special recognition to their Asian American ERG leaders for creating opportunities for their colleagues to celebrate their diverse communities. Please visit Experian’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion website (www.experian.com/diversity) to learn more about their work and see that work in action.
During AAPI Heritage Month, Intel will recognize the contributions, accomplishments, and heritage of Pacific Islanders and Asian Americans. This year’s theme is “The Tapestry of Connections: Weaving of Culture, Language, and Society,” recognizing the vast diversity within the Asian and Pacific Islander communities while amplifying inclusion and belonging.
Intel has many events planned, including:
Intel’s AAPI Heritage Month planning committee is made up of representatives from several of Intel’s 44 Employee Resource Groups, specifically Asian Cultural Integration, Intel Bangladesh Association, Intel Chinese Employee Network, Intel Filipino Employee Network, Intel India Employee Group, Intel Nepalese Group, Intel Taiwan Network, Intel Vietnamese Group, and Pacific Islanders of Intel.
The Merck Asia Pacific Association (APA) employee resource group is celebrating their 15-year anniversary in 2022 as an organization that has driven and continue to deliver on their mission of developing future leaders, building a social community and being a valued business partner by effectively promoting and leveraging Asian diversity and providing business insights to drive Merck’s competitive advantage in the marketplace. For May Heritage Month, they are also celebrating with the theme of “Be Bold, Be Brave, Be You” to highlight and empower their community of diverse colleagues and allies to speak out and share their stories, experiences, and strengths.
They have put together a wide variety of programs and activities, leveraging internal and external partners, that highlight the unique journeys and perspectives that their leaders can bring to an organization, the challenges they have faced and have drawn upon throughout their careers to excel through adversity, and how developing a sense of community can allow for greater career fulfillment and development. Now more than ever, the group feels the need to raise the voices, thoughts, and collective experience of the Asian community and its allies to build a sense of belonging and inclusion to strive toward a brighter future.
Internal actions to celebrate APAHM at Merck include:
During the first week of this month, Merck will kick off the May Heritage Month with a fireside chat with Indra Nooyi, ex-Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo and best-selling author of My Life in Full. Indra Nooyi will share about her life experiences on her journey touching on topics of our theme: “Be Bold, Be Brave, Be You” moderated by our Executive Sponsor, Vice President and Head of Manufacturing Strategy & Business Development, Moushmi Culver.
Merck will also roll out the second cohort of their global mentoring program with tailored resources and “curriculum” to support the unique mentor/mentee relationships of the APA community.
In the second week, there will be a virtual event with Sanat Chattopadhyay, Executive Vice President of Merck Manufacturing Division, moderated by one of our manufacturing plant managers, Amanda Taylor.
In the third week, Merck will host two events: the first event is a panel discussion on the topic of health disparities in the AAPI community with senior leaders and a second is a virtual panel event on “My Journey, My Culture, My Career,” in which Asian colleagues will share about their unique career journeys.
In the final week, Merck will host an in-person panel discussion on tapping into digital innovation to drive corporate priorities with Ron Kim, Chief Technology Officer, and Sunil Patel, Senior Vice President of Business Development.
Externally, Merck is collaborating with Ascend and TAAF for May Heritage Month themes and activities. They are also hosting local volunteering activities by members during May.
Their ERG global lead will be a panelist on Seramount’s Asian Pacific American Month webinar to discuss the actions taken by Merck in response to Anti-Asian incidents to create a psychologically safe space at work for Asian employees.
Social media actions include:
Here are some activities Moody’s has lined up for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and Mental Health Awareness Month:
At MIT Lincoln Lab APAHM events and initiatives include:
NASDAQ is hosting a few activities:
New York Life is hosting ERG events and external programming with industry leaders for their employees. They are also hosting an internal event in collaboration with external partner on May 23 and planning external actions with community partnerships.
To celebrate Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Paramount’s AMP (Asian American & Pacific Islander Media Professionals) ERG is planning a conversation to examine the impact and legacy of Vincent Chin, 40 years after his murder.
In addition, AMP is hosting a discussion with AAPI talent behind and in front of the camera, and also partnering with the MTV Entertainment Group and Simon & Schuster to have a conversation with authors who contributed to their new book My Life: Growing Up Asian in America.
In partnership with community media arts organization Visual Communications, Paramount’s AMP (Asian American & Pacific Islander Media Professionals) ERG is hosting a panel discussion with three Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander filmmakers screening at the annual Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. Their films are part of this year’s film festival, which amplifies stories and storytellers throughout the Pacific region.
Led by Robert Half’s employee network group (ENG) for Pan-Asian professionals, Asian Professionals for Excellence (APEX), Robert Half will celebrate through various internal programming and activities, including these: participating in a virtual bhangra dance and tai chi lesson, recommending AAPI restaurant options and curating an employee Pan-Asian recipe “Cookbook Collection,” and hosting an internal keynote speaker.
Externally, Robert Half, alongside APEX, will be raising funds for the National Asian American Pacific Islander Mental Health Association (NAAPIMHA), a nonprofit organization committed to promoting the mental health and well-being of the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities, and participating in an allyship event with Ascend, the largest Pan-Asian business professional membership organization in North America.
Their social media actions include a blog post campaign, a series of posts to be featured on the Robert Half Blog; social media reel: “Who’s Your Hero? Asian Leaders in America”; #Trailblazing and #AAPIHeritageMonth on Robert Half Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter accounts; and a “Did You Know” campaign in partnership with Ascend.
Unilever’s Asian BRG is hosting a celebratory luncheon in the office with traditional foods and engaging activities.
They are also hosting healing circles specifically for the AAPI community and inviting Fidelity to discuss trends and best practices in saving for retirement for the community.
Lastly, they are hosting a fireside chat with Amanda Nyguen, CEO and founder of the nonprofit Rise, to hear her incredible story and perspective.
Valley’s ASIA (Asian Society for Innovation & Advancement) Associate Resource Group (ARG) is leading their celebration of Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month by hosting four events that focus on the areas of Cultural Awareness, Financial Literacy, and Professional Development.
The first event will be an ASIA ARG Virtual Networking Event on May 12. This event offers an opportunity for Valley associates to network with one another, build relationships, and learn more about the ASIA Associate Resource Group.
The second event will be an Asian Food Truck Day at Valley Headquarters on May 18. This event’s aim is to share Asian cultural traditions through food.
For the third event, the ASIA ARG will be hosting the fourth installment of Valley’s ARG “Access to Capital: Financial Empowerment Roundtable Series” event on May 19. This event offers an opportunity for Valley associates and customers to learn how Valley partners with local community partners to provide financial literacy training, and how that training aids in improving mortgage approval rates for Asian communities. The panelists will include Valley customers from Asian communities who will share their perspectives and experiences.
The final AAPI Heritage Month event will be “A Conversation with Valley Board Member, Suresh Sani” on May 25. Suresh Sani will speak to his experiences and talk about his career path and what has led him to his success.
ABLE, Valley’s Associate Resource Group for the disability and caretaker community, will participate in the Lincoln Tunnel 5K Special Olympics, benefiting the NJ Special Olympics Organization, on May 1. Valley Bank is now an official team of the NJ Special Olympics Organization and secured first place as a fundraising team.
In partnership with the NDC, Valley Bank is sending selected ASIA ARG members to the Global Diversity Council’s 2022 Asian American Pacific Islander Leadership Summit on May 19. Valley associates are also encouraged to attend DBP’s APAHM webinar and the ASIA ARG will feature the event in their internal communications.
Valley recognizes how taxing the COVID-19 pandemic has been on its associates, and the importance of focusing on mental health. On May 2, Valley will host the second of two sessions on “Emerging from the Pandemic—Managing the Transition.” These sessions provide an opportunity to acknowledge the hardships of the pandemic, how it has changed everyone, and tips for moving forward in a positive way.
Valley is also launching its bank-wide series titled, “Widening the Lens: Sharing Our Perspectives.”
The first session of this series, “Combating Unconscious Bias in the Workplace,” will provide an understanding of unconscious bias and how it affects relationships at work, and tools to mitigate implicit bias. This session will be followed by an opportunity for associates to engage in Real Talk, small group conversations based on mutual respect.
As a part of Valley’s commitment to inclusion education, Valley sends every associate weekly microlessons to build inclusion acumen and personal and professional growth. This month will feature microlessons on AAPI Heritage Month, the contributions and experiences of Asian Americans, mental health awareness, bringing authenticity to work, and combatting implicit bias. Valley will also feature these in corporate communications throughout the bank.
Social media actions include:
To honor AAPI Heritage Month, the Office of Staff Diversity & Inclusion at Weill Cornell Medicine will be sponsoring an employee-led panel discussion, “Exploring AAPI Heritage: Family, Identities, and Moving Forward,” on May 23. The panel will explore the complexity and richness of AAPI heritage through experiences and stories, share ideas of being a “model minority” and “fitting in,” and reflect on what it means to be Asian American. It will be moderated by Katie Mooney, Managing Director of Diversity Best Practices at Seramount. She will be joined by panelists Dr. Robert Min, Chairman of Radiology, President & CEO of the Physician Organization; Shefalika Gandhi, Licensed Clinical Social Worker; and Dr. Victor Ruthig from the Department of Urology.
The Office of Staff Diversity & Inclusion will also be hosting two events to celebrate Jewish American Heritage Month, including a virtual panel discussion and a virtual museum tour. The panel discussion will focus on topics of Jewish culture, identity, heritage, and community on May 26, led by Rabbi Levi Mastrangelo, NewYork-Presbyterian Chaplain; Stephen M. Cohen, Executive Vice Provost at WCM; Illan Palte, Jewish Students of Cornell President; and Sharon Meiri Fox, Director of Alumni Relations & Giving.
The museum tour will be co-hosted by the Tenement Museum, which was founded over thirty years ago and features unique tours that “tell the stories of working-class tenement residents” of the Lower East Side in New York. A historian will virtually lead attendees through the 1950s home of the Epsteins, a family of recent immigrants, and explore what home and daily life looked like to these Holocaust survivors through oral histories, historical documents, and visual media.
For Mental Health Awareness Month, the Staff Equity & Inclusion Council at Weill Cornell Medicine created a collaborative Kudo Board to collect and showcase ideas, perspectives, and insights of the WCM community on mental health.
WPP is hosting a few events to honor APAHM and Mental Health Awareness Month:
There will be LinkedIn campaigns for all noted events.