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Table of Diversity Weekly: AAPI Heritage Month


Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month is a great time to honor and appreciate the diverse cultures, achievements, and contributions of the AAPI community. This month-long celebrations gives us the opportunity to hear from people's everyday experiences and their extraordinary journeys, and to ensure our organizations make space for the uniqueness that has shaped the tapestry of AAPI heritage.


With a mosaic of languages, traditions, and histories, the AAPI community encompasses a remarkable array of cultures.


It is fundamental to recognize the importance of AAPI voices, which have often been overlooked or overshadowed. By amplifying these voices, we can create organizations that are truly inclusive and equitable.


"The Smithsonian Asian Pacific Center and the White House Initiative on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders unveil joint theme for 2024 Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month: Bridging Histories, Shaping Our Future."


According to the press release, "The 2024 theme is an homage to our ancestors and invites all Americans to delve into the legacies, triumphs, and challenges that have shaped AA and NHPI communities. It embodies the spirit of our collective journey- one rooted in resilience and hope- and encourages us to forge intergenerational connections to honor our past and pave a durable path forward."


What I love about this theme is the focus on the thread that weaves the stories of ancestors to today. It was an absolute pleasure assembling this of the Table of Diversity Weekly. We subscribed to so many new podcasts and can't wait to add them to the rotation. The Asian culture is so vast, it's impossible to condense it to the confines of this issue but we hope you find some resources to keep you wanting to learn more.


Hey! Are you reading this edition of the Table of Diversity Weekly and thinking about how to go from awareness to action? Book a 45 minute consultation to get solutions! Incorporate this week's theme into your leadership strategy in a meaningful and authentic way!


Read. Listen. Watch.

Everything You Need to Know About AANHPI Heritage Month- Today

"Each May, Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month celebrates the culture and contributions of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islander Americans.


From parades to performances, AAPI Heritage Month is full of opportunities to learn more about the AAPI community.


Why do we celebrate AAPI Heritage Month in May?

May was chosen as the month to commemorate AAPI history because the first Japanese immigrants came to America on May 7, 1843. Additionally, the transcontinental railroad, which was built with significant involvement from Chinese immigrant laborers, was completed with a single golden spike on May 10, 1869."


What Does AANHPI Mean? I Proud Asian American Explains- Reader's Digest

"AANHPI stands for Asian American Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander, which is an umbrella term for people with these backgrounds who are living in the United States and its territories. The Biden-Harris administration first added 'Native Hawaiian' to what was previously known as AAPI in its AANHPI Heritage Month proclamation in 2021.


And the month of May is loaded with symbolism. The first Japanese immigrant arrived on U.S. soil on May 7, 1843, and the Transcontinental Railroad, largely built by Chinese immigrant laborers, was completed on May 10, 1869.


Congressional staffer Jeanie Jew, a fourth-generation Chinese American descendant of a Transcontinental Railroad worker, was the first to propose the idea of an Asian Pacific American heritage month in the mid-1970s. Representatives Frank Horton and Norman Mineta, along with senators Daniel Inouye and Spark Matsunaga, first formally introduced respective proposals in the House and Senate in 1977, but both resolutions failed. The next year, a joint resolution was eventually passed and signed by President Jimmy Carter, declaring Asian Pacific American Heritage Week as the first 10 days of May in 1979."


'We Care' project highlights challenges face by AAPI families in caregiving- Next Shark

"The National Asian Pacific Center on Aging (NAPCA) has produced four videos as part of their 'We Care' project, highlighting the challenges faced by Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) families in caregiving.


According the 2020 report 'Asian Americans 65 and Older' by the Administration for Community Living, the AAPI elderly population is projected to grow to 7.9 million by 2060, with a substantial portion residing in California, Texas, and New York. More than 9% of elderly AAPIs reportedly live in poverty, with particularly low incomes for older Asian American women. Approximately a quarter of Asian American seniors live with their adult children.


The NAPCA films will showcase these diverse struggles, such as Indian American daughters caring for their mother, a Filipino American man juggling caregiving with a full-time job, a Hawaiian Chinese woman discussing end-of-life care with her mother and Thai elderly parents continuing to work at their restaurant despite health challenges."


5 things to know about a major new Pew poll of Asians in the U.S. -NPR

"The Pew Research Center has released a sweeping new survey of Asians in the U.S., the country's fastest growing racial and ethnic group in recent years.


The first-of-its-kind poll of about 7,000 adults was conducted in English and five other languages and sheds new light on how Asians- both immigrants as well as those born in the U.S.- see themselves and others.


The report put a particular focus on the six largest Asian subgroups- Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese- which together account for roughly four in five Asians across the country.


Here are a few takeaways from Pew's survey:


Only 16% call themselves Asian American. Most prefer to use their specific ethnicities. More than half of those surveyed said they used their ethnic group when referring to themselves, either on its own or in tandem with 'American.'


For example, someone may identify as Chinese or Chinese American."


A Potent Political Force

"Can Asian-American political identity be defined? Asian Americans have long been held back by stereotypes of being quiet or meek, but that's definitely not the case with issues we care about. In this episode of 'Mid Pacific,' Sarah takes a look at some examples of powerful Asian American political organizing, from a school board recall in San Francisco to the Oakland Mayor's office and the State Capitol."


Asian Mental Health

"Happy Asian Heritage Month & Mental Health Awareness Month!


Today's episode is with Harry Au (he/him), licensed therapist and registered social worker, 1.5 gen Hong Hong Han Chinese Canadian in Toronto, Canada.


Harry is all about helping Asians go from feeling trapped to becoming self-liberated.


Our conversation is all about Asian mental health. We touch on the common mental health issues Asians in the diaspora face, working on our Asian mental health, therapy, and much more!"


How Asian American Women Claim Their Leadership- Tutti Taygerly

"Asian American women often feel the pressure to conform to the model minority stereotype, fight imposter syndrome, and aim to lead authentically as an 'other' in the corporate world. From her personal journey identifying as a banana in college (yellow on the outside, white on the inside) through a 22 year career as a design leader in tech and now an executive coach, Tutti Taygerly moves beyond the stereotypes and shares three strategies for how to claim your leadership and succeed in workplaces not built with you in mind.


Tutti grew up in seven countries on three continents and is settled in San Francisco as her home base. She spends her time parenting two spirited girls, obsessively reading, and paddling out for the next wave."


Weekly Activities

Activity 1: Think about your ancestoral heritage. Where are there shared legacies between your heritage and the AAPI heritage?


Activity 2: "AAPI is an umbrella term that includes over 100 languages in addition to English, and includes nearly 50 ethnic groups from East and Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent, and the Pacific Islands and their diaspora."


Check out this glossary of AAPI countries and geographic labels: https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/a35711434/asian-american-pacific-islander-difference-aapi/.


Think about your organization's efforts involving the Asian community. Are you implementing a one-size-fits-all approach to understanding and engaging with the nearly 50 ethnic groups?


1. Dig deeper into the Asian employees within your organization to better understand their cultural background.


2. How effective are your organization's efforts? Review your organization's strategy to determine the impact of those efforts on the various Asian communities. How can you do better?


Activity 3: While there is no global theme for AAPI Heritage Month, the Federal Asian Pacific American Council has selected the theme 'Advancing Leaders Through Opportunity'.


"Through providing advancement opportunities, organizations can reduce the barriers to professional progression and consequently reduce employee turnover and increase satisfaction. A successful organization invests in its employees' professional development by providing opportunities that enable the employees to refine their skills and enhance their leadership abilities."


For this week's conversation starter, get to know the professional goals of AAPI employees. What opportunities are available to them and how can you increase access to those opportunities?



Activity 4: "Asian folks with Asian names shouldn't feel they have to change them in any way to fit in. And yet, it's something that happens all the time. Recent research from Xian Zhao (pronounced shee-ahn jow), a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Toronto, shows that about half of the Chinese international students studying at U.S. colleges have adopted Anglicised versions of their names. Zhao believes that people consistently mispronouncing an ethnic name is a form of microaggression. Not bothering to properly learn a person's name and constantly mispronouncing it makes the person feel that they aren't a priority, or that they have no value to those around them."



Think about the Asian people in your network. Do you call them by their name? Have they adopted an Anglicised version of their name? Were they assigned a nickname, perhaps without their permission?


Make an effort to correctly pronounce the names of the Asian people in your network!

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