Asian-American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) talk about unity
Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) have a rich heritage thousands of years old that’s shaped the history of the US. Many have had their lives dramatically influenced by moments in its history. All are integral to shaping its future.
Every May, we take the time to honor and celebrate AAPI Heritage Month, including the many contributions of the AAPI communities. It’s also important to take the time to educate ourselves and build allyship both inside and outside of HP.
In unity, we rise
When all of us act, we will be able to rise above the bigotry, discrimination, and racism. At HP, we are stepping up through the Racial Equality and Social Justice Task Force and are working to advance human rights for all. We can do this together – but we must remain united, persistent, intentional, and all in.
In a message to HP employees, Savi Baveja, chief strategy, and incubation officer at HP, shared his story as a Sikh American with employees:
During AAPI Heritage Month, one of my traditions is discussing history with my family. My children were born in America and they don’t always have a deep appreciation of AAPI history. But talking about it is necessary.
We must shine a spotlight on our struggles—in the community and in the workplace—to raise awareness of the painful discrimination our elders experienced and to dispel the model minority myth, which has contributed to the growing hate crimes against AAPIs.
Sikhism has a famous concept called Chardi Kala, or pervasive optimism. I’m reminded of it in these dark days. How can we create optimism during times of despair? What is the source of your Chardi Kala? It can be bringing people together and supporting others.
It can be driving a greater sense of community or political activism. Ultimately, it’s about channeling grief into energy that can make life better for our children and our children’s children.
“Together, we will rise above tragedy, hatred, and racism and create a more inclusive and equitable society for all.”Savi Baveja, Chief Strategy, and Incubation Officer at HP
How are you helping the AAPI community rise in unity? By being proud and acting towards justice.
I am a first-generation immigrant from China, coming to the US pursuing my Ph.D. in university. I grew up in a family where my parents have always taught me to work hard and do the best I can, to respect others, and to give credit, appreciation, and gratitude to anyone who helps and supports me.
Most importantly, my parents follow these rules themselves and show me by living by example. These rules have been invaluable for me throughout the years I spent without them around to pursue my education and career, and to raise my family.
Through this dedicated month, we can continue raising awareness of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders’ Heritage, embracing AAPI culture, and building our voice in society.
This year is especially important for all of us who carry AAPI Heritage, given what has happened in the past few months towards our community.
As a female Chinese immigrant, I am proud of my heritage, as it represents who I am and how I was raised. The rich culture, value, and tradition is a part of my life, and I carry them to teach and raise my own children. But also, I have personally struggled with racism that leaves me feeling defeated and anguished.
At HP’s listening session coordinated by our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion team that brought our Senior Executives and AAPI colleagues together, many of us shared how we have buried those feelings and tried to carry on like its business as usual.
But the growing violence and attacks on our community is a wake-up call that we must speak out, especially for those who cannot, due to language barrier or other life difficulties. We can no longer live in the shadow of racial trauma and we must end our silence, educate our community and next generations, and stand up for justice and equity.
That’s why I recently brought my children to one of the solidarity rallies in the Bay Area to teach them the power of unity to drive change. Meaningful change won’t happen overnight, but we must start voicing our struggles to create a more equitable future.
Lihua, Head of 3D Lab, HP Labs & HP Distinguished Technologist, California, US.
Why are you proud of your heritage? Because we look past our differences to build a better world.
India is one of the world’s oldest civilizations and it has been shaped by centuries of immigration and colonization. As a result, it is an exceptionally diverse country with many major languages (not just dialects), religions, ethnic groups, and cuisines.
Traveling from one Indian state to another can sometimes feel like visiting an entirely different country and yet one feels at home—or, if not that, at least not “alien.” No doubt, this sub-continent has seen its share of ethnic conflicts, separatist movements, and waves of nationalism. And yet, I’m proud of the way most Indians choose to look past their differences and work together to sustain the world’s largest democracy.
Quite frankly, I’d never really celebrated AAPI Heritage Month in the past. Like so many other immigrants to the US, I was happy to assimilate—to be an “American” rather than an “Asian American” or “Indian American.”
But this year will be different for me. The recent violence directed against Asian Americans has made me realize that AAPI Heritage Month gives me an opportunity to not only celebrate my heritage but also speak up and be counted.
Politicians and pundits talk about the white, Black, or Hispanic vote but rarely acknowledge Asian Americans. Perhaps it is because we are a smaller community. Or maybe it is because so many of us have preferred not to draw much attention to ourselves. But it is time to get out of the shadows and highlight how Asian Americans contribute at all levels—some might argue disproportionately—to America’s global success.
Raja, Cloud-hosted Desktops Lead, California, US.
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