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9 AAPI Heritage Month Ideas for the Virtual Workplace in 2022

Read on for the 9 best ideas to celebrate Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month!

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What is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month? πŸ€”

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AAPI Heritage Month is a time to celebrate the contributions, achievements, and impact of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. In American history, Congress made this an official holiday during the 1970s!

Keep reading to discover a few resources &Β activities great for celebrating the occasion.Β 
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Black title text over grey/purple background that reads: 5 Activities to Celebrate AAPI Heritage Month. Below title, a row 3 oval image. First image is a 3D tiger surrounded by red paper lanterns. The text underneath reads: Asian Art Storytelling. Second image is a 3D cartoon of an Asian woman at a desk with the word TRIVIA above her in a neon-style font. Text below this image reads "AAPI Trivia". Third image is three small bowls of spices next to a large wooden bowl of rice covered in the same spices. Text below reads: "Thai Cooking Class". Another row of two images. First image in the second row are two cups of boba tea. Text below reads: "Boba Tea Making Class". Second image is of a Gaiwan tea set. Text below the image reads: "Chinese Tea Tasting"
View our AAPI Heritage Month Collection here!

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Why celebrate AAPI Heritage Month in the office? πŸ’Ό

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The AAPI community is rich with diversity, consisting of over 16.6 million people hailing from places like Hawaii, India, China, Korea, the Philippines, Japan, Cambodia, and more. There are even over 100 languages spoken among the population - and that's just in the United States alone!
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However, AAPI community members face inhibiting stereotypes and serious barriers in corporate America.

πŸ€” Did you know…

  • The EEOC workforce data showed white-collar AAPI workers are the least likely racial group to be promoted into a management position
  • The AAPI community makes up 27% of the American workforce, but less than half hold executive positions
  • Asian Americans only represent 1.5% of corporate officer positions in Fortune 500 companies
    (source)

Recognizing Asian discrimination and the many forms it takes is the first step to bettering your workplace.
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By taking time to celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, you're taking serious steps toward creating a workplace that champions inclusivity.

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5 virtual activities for AAPI Heritage Month πŸŽ‰

1. Learning Asian art & art history πŸ–Ό


One of the best ways to engage, learn, and celebrate culture is through art! In an interactive lecture setting, discover & learn about beloved East Asian art installations in museums worldwide through rich storytelling, videos, and vivid imagery.
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Plus, teams will explore the emergence of specific themes and traditions and how contemporary Asian artists, like Yayoi Kasumi, incorporate those today. 🎨
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This is great for AAPI Heritage Month because passionate Asian educators & art historians created this tour to share their cultural heritage & knowledge with groups across all demographics.


Where to get started πŸ‘‰
Sign your team up for a virtual Asian Art Storytelling Tour today!

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2. AAPI History & Culture Trivia ❓


Educational fun with a competitive edge - you've gotta love it.
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Led by a knowledgeable host, AAPI History & Culture Trivia is a virtual game show that aims to entertain and educate your remote team. Questions span all across Asia and Polynesia, asking about everything from traditional dances of Hawaii to famous monuments in India to the delicious foods of Vietnam.
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This is great for AAPI Heritage Month because education is paramount to a company's DEI initiatives. But making educational experiences interactive is the best way to help your team retain what they've learned.


Where to get started πŸ‘‰
Get the competition started this May!

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3. Thai Cooking Class πŸ§‘πŸ³
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Thai food is an Asian cuisine that's well-known for its delicious heat worldwide.
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Now, you can learn to make an authentic Thai dish with no cooking experience required. πŸ‘ You'll have a Thai culinary expert leading you through every step in this virtual cooking class!
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This is great for AAPI Heritage Month because representation matters, but it has to be inclusive, too. Cooking traditional dishes from different cultures is a great way to ensure people feel included and respected! Consider encouraging employees to share their family recipes, too.


Where to get started πŸ‘‰
Spice up your team's meal repertoire right here & now!

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4. Boba Tea Making Class πŸ§‹
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Boba tea has exploded in popularity lately, but even if your team drinks it, do they know how to make it? πŸ‘€
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If you take a virtual Boba Tea Making Class, that answer will be a yes. Plus, you'll have the chance to explore the history behind this Taiwanese milk tea!
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This is great for AAPI Heritage Month because boba tea has taken the Western world by storm! This class presents the unique opportunity to connect with the drink's roots & gain a newfound appreciation for its deliciousness.


Where to get started πŸ‘‰
You boba be ready for how good this class is.
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5. Chinese Tea Tasting 🍡
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Get a taste of Chinese history in this traditional tea tasting.
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Learn to brew tea using a Gaiwan, a ceremonial brewing bowl used in the Ming dynasty. You'll also dive into the international history of tea across cultures, discover proper tasting techniques, and develop a more intimate relationship with drinking tea.
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Oh, and yes, your team will have their very own Gaiwan tea set shipped to their front door. They can use their newfound expertise long into the future!
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This is great for AAPI Heritage Month because your team will gain a newfound appreciation of an ancient practice. It's not every day folks can learn about and physically experience a part of Asian history.


Where to get started πŸ‘‰
Get your brew on this May!

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4 More Ideas for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month πŸ’‘

1. Check Out These DEI Resources for Your Work's AAPI Community πŸ”


These resources can help your DEI initiatives long-term!
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  • How to Promote Racial Equity: This article details a five-step process, known as PRESS, to address racism at work. It’s a practical roadmap filled with excellent advice.Β 
  • Taking Steps to Eliminate Racism: An article offering HR and PeopleOps leaders advice on reducing – and ending – workplace racial discrimination. It includes tips offices can use throughout the entire employee lifecycle.Β 
  • Addressing Anti-AAPI Discrimination: Following the COVID-19 pandemic, anti-Asia discrimination and anti-Asian violence increased significantly. This article provides insight into handling anti-Asia sentiment in the workplace.Β 

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2. Employee Resource Group for Asian & Pacific Islander Employees πŸ‘―β€β™€οΈ
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Asian American and Pacific Islander team members should feel supported all year long, and employee resource groups are a great way to achieve this.
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An employee resource group (ERG) is where team members of similar cultural backgrounds and identities can come together to share stories, experiences, and ideas for improving the office.
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Having an ERG in place for your Asian employees gives them a comfortable space to be themselves and find solidarity among their colleagues.
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3. Consider Starting a Book Club πŸ“–
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Learning through literature by Asian and Pacific Islander authors gives you a unique window into the stories of AAPI individuals. When you read books by Asian and Pacific Islander authors, you can peek into how their personal life shaped their creative voice.
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There are so many genres and authors to explore, too! You can choose novels by first-generation Asian American authors or memoirs from Asian immigrants.
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πŸ“š To help you out, here are a few reading recs:

  • On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong
  • Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China by Jung Chang
  • All You Can Ever Know by Nicole Chung
  • The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston
  • A Burning by Megha Majumdar
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Pro-tip: Varying the readings can help you better understand the different perspectives, contributions, and lives of different Asian Americans.

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4. Reflect on Workplace Bias & Harmful Stereotypes πŸ’­


Like many groups, Asians and Pacific Islanders have had to combat harmful stereotypes for generations. It's essential to check your work policies and processes are free from these biases.
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Psst...remember the Asian Pacific Islander employee resource group we suggested? They might be able to help with this!

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Take Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month Beyond May ✨
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We’ve said it once, and we’ll say it a hundred more times: AAPI Heritage Month is technically confined to one month, but that doesn’t mean celebrations & company momentum around inclusivity should stop.Β 
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The resources we’ve provided are meant to use all year long and to help you improve on your DEI efforts. We at Confetti encourage empowering and celebrating your Asian American & Pacific Islander workforce for many, many months to come. 🎊
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P.S. Looking for more virtual experiences that align with your inclusivity efforts and foster team connection? Check out our full AAPI Heritage Month collection!

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