Community Conversations: Asian and Pacific American Heritage Month

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion logo

May is Asian Pacific American Heritage month and the Traverse Area District Library is inviting our community to help recognize the contributions, achievements, and identities of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) that have helped shape America’s development into a richly multicultural society.

Each event will have light refreshments featuring local AAPI food vendors, along with an engaging conversation on identity, culture, and experiences in Traverse City.


Monday, May 16, 2022: Vincent Who?
(5:30—8:00pm) Register here

In 1982, at the height of anti-Japanese sentiments arising from massive layoffs in the auto industry, a Chinese-American named Vincent Chin was murdered in Detroit by two white autoworkers. Chin’s killers, however, got off with a $3,000 fine and 3 years probation, but no jail time. Outraged by this injustice, Asian Americans around the country united for the first time across ethnic and socioeconomic lines to form a pan-Asian identity and civil rights movement. Ultimately, Vincent Who? asks how far Asian Americans have come since the case and how far they have yet to go. For in spite of Vincent Chin’s monumental significance in both the Asian American experience and the civil rights history of America, the vast majority of people today (including most Asian Americans) have little or no knowledge of him. 

  

Monday, May 23, 2022: Community Discussion Panel (5:30—8:00pm) Register here

Community Panel Discussion with:

  • Sakura Takano, Rotary Charities of Traverse City
  • Amy Yee, Amy Yee Bodyworks
  • Craig Hadley, Dennos Museum at NMC
  • Tony Vu, The Good Bowl
  • Denny Nguyen, NMC

along with moderators Judy Chu, NMC and Holly T. Bird, Northern Michigan E3 & Title Track

 


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DEI: More than a Motto: How 7 Austin Tech Companies Make Their Workplaces More Inclusive

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion logoCheck out this article to learn how certain tech companies in Austin are making a difference by expanding their diversity and inclusion efforts beyond hiring quotas and PR-friendly statistics.  Read the article here.


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DEI: Promoting Inclusion Through National Disabilities Awareness Month

March has been recognized as National Disabilities Awareness Month since 1987 when President Ronald Reagan officially declared Proclamation 5613. The proclamation urged people to provide understanding, encouragement, and opportunities to help people with disabilities to lead productive lives and to achieve their full potential.

“Full potential” — these words should have new meaning for us now, as we embrace NMC’s new Vision, which states, “We aspire to be a global community where all learners unlock their full potential.” March gives us the opportunity to focus on this underrepresented population and to support the inclusion of these individuals.

Did you know, 26 percent (one in 4) of adults in the United States have some type of disability?

What can I do to support inclusion for those with disabilities?

Educate yourself on the topic of disabilities.

There are four major types of disabilities:

  • Physical
  • Developmental
  • Behavioral or emotional, and
  • Sensory impaired disorders

What are some examples of common disabilities?

  • Acquired brain injury
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Deaf or hard of hearing
  • Intellectual disability
  • Mental health conditions
  • Physical disability
  • Vision Impairment

How can you support inclusion in the office, classroom or online?

Begin with the basics. Ensure your information is accessible to everyone. The following courses are available through the Professional Development Institute catalog to assist you in making information accessible. Click the links below to read course summaries and to view these short (10 minute to 1 hour) training modules.

Everyone wants, and deserves, to enjoy life, feel productive and secure. This month we are taking extra steps to raise awareness and to support people with disabilities and to celebrate their contributions to our communities and society as a whole!

While there has been significant and positive change in the decades since, many challenges remain for this vulnerable population. We know this population can make a positive difference in our communities, if given the opportunity to unlock their potential.

Join us as we celebrate March as National Disability Awareness Month to embrace diversity and to create a sense of inclusion and belonging for this important group among us!

— Lori Hodek

References:

DEI: Employee well-being and belonging

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion logoA recent Employee Well-Being Report by Glint found that belonging jumped up four positions year over year to become the second most important driver of a great work culture.

Read this article from Wharton- University of Pennsylvania on How Companies are Creating a Sense of Belonging.


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DEI: What is an ally, and how can I be a better one?

Ally is a term often used for an individual who stands up for a person or group that is targeted and discriminated against. However, it is important to know that being an ally is much more than just a label. It is more than just something you do or say, but an ongoing process to improve ourselves as socially responsible individuals. Please follow one or both of the links below and consider what steps you might take to help address the inequities faced by Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), and other marginalized communities.

  • Here is a short list of 8 ways you can be a better ally.
  • This resource is a more comprehensive resource page for those interested in gaining a deeper understanding.

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DEI: Since When Have Trees Existed Only for Rich Americans?

A New York Times Article on environment and discriminatory practices

Since When Have Trees Existed Only for Rich Americans highlights the extreme variation in tree coverage in large cities where the rich have 50% more greenery in their environment than the lower-income communities.

Stemming from discriminatory “redlining” policies of the past, the minimal greenery for impoverished American communities impacts everything from mental health to social connections to economic opportunities.

Please read the New York Times article in its entirety. (NMC students and employees can set up a free digital subscription to the New York Times using these instructions.)


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DEI: I Don’t See Color

When considering racism, a common response is often “I don’t see color.” While the intent isn’t generally harmful, and some may argue it as a positive response, the impact can be quite negative and includes denying someone of their racial identity. Read the article(s) below and then reflect on the following questions:

  1. What would make you or someone else want to say “I don’t see color?”
  2. If someone claims to not see color, what else are they not seeing about a person? Is this a good thing?
  3. How might you challenge this kind of thinking in yourself or in others?

“I don’t see color”:

“I don’t see color” while working with students:


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DEI Book Review

Book coverWhen They Call You A Terrorist:  A Black Lives Matter memoir was a moving description of the childhood and early BLM history of Patrisse Khan-Cullors, a young queer woman.  Most interesting to me was the experience of her impoverished childhood and how her education coupled with her resilience led her to be one of the founding women of Black Lives Matter. 

When They Call You A Terrorist is available at the NMC Library.


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DEI: Happy LGBTQ+ Pride Month!

Happy LGBTQ+ Pride Month! Have you ever wondered about the different terminology within the LGBTQ+ community? This quick reference poster is free to download and has brief definitions of commonly acceptable language (but not absolute). Check it out and learn about the terminology you’ve wondered about. Are there any you have never heard of before or some you might add?


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DEI: Sharing their story

Watch a TED talk that takes a walk through what Jesse Lueck calls their gender journey and walking through the world of non-binary. Interestingly reflecting on their pivotal college years and feeling a sense of belonging for the first time. Knowledge is power, because it matters. When we judge, when we question, when we politely (or not-so-politely) ignore. It matters. I encourage you to open your heart and minds, take a little time and hear a few stories that may change how you think, communicate, and even the way you walk through the world.


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DEI: What is privilege, and do I have any?

Having various kinds of privilege doesn’t mean your life has been a breeze, and it doesn’t negate the challenges you’ve faced. It just means there are certain barriers, struggles, and dangers you don’t have to worry much about as a result of your identity (i.e. race, sexual orientation). Read this short article about various types of privilege to better understand your own privilege, as well as how someone else may be disadvantaged. Talk to others about your thoughts and share the resource.


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