#StopAAPIHate: How Organizations Can Support AAPI Employees and Communities

This past March and April, two mass shooting incidents targeting Asian Americans relaunched conversations around the rise in harassment of AAPI communities across the U.S. Far from isolated, the incidents were the latest in a rash of anti-Asian attacks and rhetoric that has existed for years, but has been amplified with the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In times of difficulty, company leaders often struggle to effectively support AAPI employees and affected communities. Racquel Joseph, Chief Experience Officer at Kindred, recently sat down with Sweet Joy Hachuela, Co-Founder and Chief Growth Officer at the Medici Group, for a conversation on how an organization and its leadership can appropriately respond to anti-Asian hate and harassment in the workplace and the AAPI community.

Hachuela has over 20 years of experience in diversity and inclusion, innovation, and culture transformation, and has successfully delivered organizational change and growth for organizations ranging from NGOs to Fortune 500 companies. As companies look for how best to meet the needs of AAPI employees in the workplace and beyond, she offers the following advice:

  • Acknowledge challenges. To help employees feel seen and demonstrate leadership, organizations must acknowledge that there are challenges for AAPI employees in the workplace and in their communities and provide supportive resources. A good place to start is working with internal human resources or diversity leaders to develop safe spaces for open conversations and provide resources for leaders to support employees.
  • Be thoughtful and authentic. Be thoughtful and authentic in communicating with AAPI employees and friends. “It’s about sharing support, sharing my own feelings in what’s going on, providing that human connection and thread. It’s not something scripted, it’s what you feel,” Hachuela says.
  • Continue crucial conversations. AAPI leaders must continue the conversations around issues affecting the AAPI communities. “It really is about keeping these conversations alive and really connecting to what’s happening with us [and] why we’re doing this work.” 
  • Increase representation. Often, DE&I measures may not adequately address the needs of the AAPI community, who are often overlooked in representation. Companies must address stereotypes that depict members of the AAPI community as the model minority with no need for support, a monolithic group, or other underlying perceptions that limit leadership opportunities.
  • Support organizations. There are many organizations on the ground advocating for the AAPI community. Outside the workplace, individuals can reach out to local and national organizations for resources to educate themselves on the issues and learn how they can provide support. 
Urey Onuoha

Published on May 05, 2021