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Asian American and Pacific Island (AAPI) Heritage Month in May celebrates those of Asian and Pacific Islander heritage in the U.S.
Here are a few things to keep in mind can help you understand, appreciate and celebrate AAPI month this year.
The term AAPI encompasses those with heritages from across Asia (including East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia), Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia. And those regions themselves have subregions and subcultures with their own rich histories, cultures, languages and more.
This is so important to keep in mind as you’re thinking about how to celebrate the different people within these groups.
AAPI communities span over 50 ethnic groups speaking over 100 languages.
Last year, Pew Research found that Asian Americans are the fastest-growing racial or ethnic groups in the U.S., and Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders are the third fastest-growing. The Asian population in the U.S. grew 81% between 2000 and 2019, and the NHPI population grew by 70%.
In total about 23 million Americans are of AAPI descent, making up about 7% of the U.S. population.
Think about how asynchronous dialogue can inform your perspective. For those part of the group, it’s important to learn about the other perspectives and individuals in this diverse population. For non-AAPI members, it’s always a good idea to listen, learn and ask question when appropriate. Here’s a guide for how to be a good ally if you want to take a deeper dive there.
Tactical Tip: Host an open discussion on Slack for your AAPI ERG specifically about how different individuals in your group identify and the challenges/opportunities that come with this umbrella term containing so many multitudes of people.
The uptick in violence against the AAPI community has left so many feeling unsafe. The Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism found that anti-Asian hate crimes rose by 339% in 2021. Pew found that one third of Asian Americans fear threats and attacks and say violence against them is rising.
Despite incredibly resilient communities and a rising awareness of the nuanced needs & diversity of this group, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) found that the AAPI adults have the lowest help-seeking rate of any racial/ethnic group.
Knowing where to turn for Mental Health Care is critical for everybody. See below from some resources from NAMI and examples of how other companies and organizations are thinking about these challenges.
Here are some helpful resources on the NAMI website - including support groups, blog posts, presentations and seminars. Feel free to share these resources.
Here's an article on how to make sure your AAPI Employees feel safe coming back to work.
Linked here is an example of how the Women+ ERG and the Asians of Betterment ERG worked together to support their AAPI employees.
As you plan your Heritage Month, these are few things to keep in mind.
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