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A look back: Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month 2022

As we come to the end of this year’s Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we’re reflecting on the ways we celebrated and recognized the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities with our team.

Frances kicked off the month by explaining the importance of understanding the diversity within the AAPI community — there are 21 different ethnic Asian groups and about as many within the Pacific Islander term. Frances also gave a brief background on the acronym AAPI — it originated from student activists at UC Berkeley who felt it was important to collectively show their support for other ethnic groups on campus who were advocating for their rights. This strong history of AAPI activists continues today through the fight to stop AAPI hate.

Kiani (Hawaiian), Kia (Hmong-American), and Aaron (Korean/Chinese) shared a bit about their cultures and their experiences as part of the AAPI community. Aaron beautifully summarized how he’s been impacted by the AAPI community at Qualtrics: 

“What I've learned is that there are almost universal experiences AAPI people have in the U.S., the primary one being that we all feel caught between different worlds. Hearing that, and vocalizing that in our small groups and discussions has been incredibly reaffirming for me.”

On May 24th, we welcomed Keynote Speaker, Michelle Zauner — lead singer of Japanese Breakfast and author of her bestselling memoir, Crying in H Mart. Members of our book club here at Qualtrics read Crying in H Mart and posed questions to Michelle about her relationship with her mother, her favorite Asian foods, and the upcoming film adaptation of her memoir. Michelle also shared with us her plans for her next book — she plans to move to Korea for a year and spend that time learning the language and spending time with her aunt. 

Qualtrics also held an AAPI Leadership Panel — panelists included Jay Choi, Eddie Chen, Vern Hui, Claire Fang, Anderson Quach, and Iris Ng. The panel covered the experiences they’ve had and challenges they’ve faced as members of the AAPI community. When asked about how managers and allies can help make AAPI members feel safe and comfortable, Vern Hui gave this great insight: 

“It’s important to understand and consider that everybody is on a different personal journey in terms of understanding relationships and cultures as well as AAPI, diversity, and inclusion in general. And I think that’s actually okay because we all need to be open-minded that we are all at different paces and we all come from different starting points. Relationships mean more than ever right now, so I think allies and managers should really reach out and offer support — educate, do the research, brush up on history, and be willing to ask questions, take feedback, listen to feedback, pay attention, know when to talk less, and then maybe the most difficult part is to be able to then take action and stand up.”

This advice is relevant to all people, not just leaders. We must all educate ourselves, ask questions, listen to feedback, and know when to talk less. These steps are vital in our fight for equality. It’s important that we remember what Frances said in her post — AAPI hate comes in many forms -  violence, dismissal of experiences, stereotyping, racialized humor, internalized racism, and fetishization. At Qualtrics we will actively fight against AAPI hate and we encourage all to donate to the cause. We invite you also to check out our resources page, providing more avenues to stay connected with the AAPI community.

Qualtrics Life

Qualtrics Life is nothing more or less than a collection of the stories, experiences, and voices of the people of Qualtrics.

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