What was the moment you knew you’d made the right decision to lead the AAPI ERG Group?
During early 2021, there was a call from our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion department for staff who wanted to participate in May AAPI month. I was excited to participate in this month and collaborate with other AAPI folks at PPPSW. Once we all met and started brainstorming events, it became more and more exciting to have my colleagues be just as passionate about a topic as I was/am. We thought that an excellent kick-off to AAPI month would be a learning lesson to showcase my knowledge of 20th century US Asian-American history called “The History of Asian & American Relations and Anti-Asian Sentiments.” During this learning session, I was able to present on my graduate school thesis topic that detailed the events leading up to the infamous World War-II Japanese-American incarceration camps, and how anti-Asian sentiments grew throughout the United States. Although I was nervous to present to my colleagues at PPPSW, hearing how much they appreciated my presentation and learned so much from this “history lesson”, really re-ignited my passion for all things AAPI.
Having faced my own struggles of my own identity (with being of multi-ethnic backgrounds), I knew it was the right decision to collaborate with my colleagues and launch the AAPI ERG. Once we began having monthly meetings and learning more about fellow AAPI-identifying staff, we were able to truly learn about each other and form more meaningful connections and bond over shared struggles, ideas, culture, and of course, food. Having the opportunity to share something that is so personal to me, and that engages my colleagues into conversations about identity, has been and continues to be, an incredible opportunity. Knowing that my experiences are shared with fellow AAPI staff enforced that being the lead of the AAPI ERG was absolutely the right decision.
Why is an AAPI ERG Group important?
Having an AAPI ERG is important because it allows for a shared space at our work, where we spend the majority of our time, that fosters inclusivity for the diverse needs of our AAPI identifying staff, and raises awareness of AAPI culture, events, and issues. Having this space is important because it acknowledges the individual strengths of each employee and the potential that they bring. Valuing the differences of others and different identities is what ultimately (and successfully) brings us all together and honors our workplace value of “We Respect and Honor All People.” Personally, I’ve also learned so much from my colleagues and have felt that this ERG brings us closer together. It also helps me feel less alone with my own struggles with navigating identity.
What are you most proud of?
I am so proud to work for an organization that provides reproductive health services and education to our communities. Planned Parenthood truly spearheads the fight for reproductive justice and I am honored to be a part of the mission. I am proud to work for an organization that not only values the communities it serves, but also values the diversity of their staff and offers us spaces to bring our true selves to work. When someone asks where I work, it is with joy that I am able to say “Planned Parenthood,” and I am almost always thanked for my dedication of moving this work forward. It truly takes a village of dedicated, hard-working, mission-driven folks to keep our doors open, and I am happy to be part of this team.