This month is Asian Pacific Islander (API) Heritage Month. API Heritage month originated in Congress in 1977 as a week-long event and expanded to the full month of May in 1990 to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843. May also marks the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad in 1869, where the majority of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants. API Heritage Month is a celebration of the history and culture of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the U.S. At Convoy, TransportASIAN, our API Employee Resource Group (ERG) is taking the lead on activities, celebrations, and educational sessions to build community among Convoy employees, while celebrating the six-month anniversary of our launch as an official ERG.
TransportASIAN formed in October 2020 out of Convoy’s third annual Moonshot Week, a hackathon-style event where employees pursue ideas or projects that have the potential to impact our company, internally or externally. During this week-long event, a small group of us turned the idea to create an employee resource group for the API community (& friends) at Convoy into reality. TransportASIAN’s mission is to create an inclusive environment by promoting Asian diversity within Convoy and celebrating Asian cultures. In the weeks that followed, TransportASIAN held its official launch event with over 40 employees and we’ve been working hard to grow and engage our community and allies ever since.
We’re proud of everything TransportASIAN has accomplished in our first six months as an ERG, especially since we have only ever met virtually, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve run several engaging and educational virtual events – our biggest so far was the Lunar New Year Dumplings & Desserts event in February. During this event, 65 attendees joined a virtual dumpling making class (or ordered takeout dumplings) where community members and friends participated in making and eating dumplings and rice cakes, as well as learning about the cultural significance of dumplings in various Lunar New Year traditions across Asia.
In addition, we have been engaging Convoy’s API community and consulting with company leadership in response to the recent surge in API hate across the country. We have taken advantage of Lyra, Convoy’s virtual mental health provider to enable dedicated API listening sessions and made public Convoy’s statement against AAPI hate. Additionally, TransportASIAN led a company all-hands meeting on March 31st where we discussed the issues facing the AAPI community and Dr. Tiffany Green, Convoy’s DE&I advisor shared resources for how to engage and support as allies. A powerful employee panel of ERG members also shared their experiences and told their stories.
For API Heritage Month, TransportASIAN is taking its involvement in the Convoy community to the next gear. Throughout May, there will be weekly events highlighting API heritage, such as trivia and other employee engagement events conducted virtually through Slack and Zoom, spotlights on API history, and tips on how best to support local API businesses. There will also be bigger social events including a virtual Fireside Chat with Marc dela Cruz – the first API to play Hamilton on Broadway, a virtual Bollywood dance class with award winning choreographer Rohit Gijare, and a virtual museum tour of the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience in Seattle.
TransportASIAN is excited to celebrate and honor our heritage with the Convoy community this month. We hope that through our events, we can encourage all to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of Asian cultures and histories.
To our community: being cognizant of the recent disheartening climate, we strive to be sensitive as we recognize our community continues to be in a time of healing, and hope you join in our excitement as we move into a month of celebration that highlights our diverse identities.
To our friends: being an ally is not about who you are, but what you do. We encourage you to check in with your API friends, families, and neighbors, and to share our passion in learning the stories of those around us.
Convoy celebrates diversity in its carrier network. If you’re a carrier and want to learn about new opportunities, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our supplier diversity page for more information.