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A Look at What Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month Means to DOMA Employees

For Asian American & Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, we would like to share some of DOMA's employees' thoughts

May 23, 2023

So far this year we have had the honor of sharing our DOMA family’s thoughts on Black History Month and Women’s History Month, and we are excited to share what they had to say about Asian American & Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month. We sent out a survey to our employees to ask questions about who is important to them, what they wanted us to talk about, and where we can support for AAPI Heritage Month.

The first question we asked everyone was:

What does AAPI Heritage Month mean to you?
We received many answers, but many of our employees agreed that AAPI Heritage Month was an opportunity to learn about and celebrate different backgrounds so that we could better understand each other and work together more effectively as a team
“The more I learn about other people’s cultures the more I feel like I can understand their perspectives and a little more of their everyday lives. AAPI Heritage Month helps me not only learn more about my friends and family but those around me that I work with.”

Since AAPI covers so many different cultures, other responses considered how the month allowed them to share their own culture with people and learn about others in return:

“AAPI is a chance to celebrate cross-cultural pollination. It’s a wonderful opportunity to share the art, food, and traditions that define AAPI heritage.”
Here are a few of the people employees asked us to highlight:
Image of Tracy Chou By TechCrunch - https://www.flickr.com/photos/techcrunch/48843228281/
“I’d like to highlight Tracy Chou, she’s one of the few doing something real to counter harassment online”
Tracy Chou is a Software Engineer, Diversity Activist, and the Founder & CEO of Block Party. Block Party is a suite of anti-harassment tools that Tracey Chou came up with in response to all the harassment she was receiving online while advocating for more diversity in tech. She realized no one was trying to help solve the problem, so she set out to create a potential solution herself and started Block Party.
 
Ajay Bhatt
Ajay Bhatt- Computer Architect
Ajay Bhatt is an Indian-born American Computer Architect who worked for and developed the Universal Serial Bus (USB).  The invention came to be because his wife wanted to print materials for their child, but their was not good universal system to connect to different computers at the time. He came up with a solution to he problem with the USB and pitched it to Intel where he ended up joining their team as a Senior Staff Architect. As most people now know, his invention went on to be very influential and widely used. He went on to make many more contributions throughout his career and win several awards.
 
Grace Lee Boggs in Detroit in the 1950s. Photo from American Revolutionary
Grace Lee Boggs
Grace Lee Boggs was a Writer, Social Activist, Philosopher, and Feminist. Along with her husband, James Boggs, she was one of Detroit’s main activists in the 1950s and onward. Her and her husband also went on to write a book together called “Revolution And Evolution In The Twentieth Century.” 
 

As I've grown older, I've realized that philosophy has to do with how we value ourselves as human beings, and how we look at ourselves, and how we relate to reality."

Suja Amir
Suja S. Amir
This suggestion by an employee is a person a little closer to home here in Virginia. Suja S. Amir is on the Virginia Asian Advisory Board (VAAB), which advises the Governor on issues of AAPI interest so that the current administration can best serve the AAPI community. She is also a founding board member of Asian Latino Solidarity Alliance of Central Virginia and has served on many other boards and committees.
 
We asked a few questions about how we can get involved in the local community in the future:
Is there a local AAPI-owned business* (including your own) that everyone should know about and support all year?
We had several employees comment on the great variety of AAPI food we are lucky to have in Hampton Roads:
“There are so many amazing local restaurants owned by AAPI people. Over the last 15 years I’ve seen so many more varied and authentic places to enjoy Hawaiian, Filipino, Japanese, Vietnamese, Indian, Chinese, and more AAPI food.”
 
Here are some specific local AAPI-owned businesses that our employees suggested we highlight*:
 
At “Laguna Bakery and Filipino Food” you can call to order or walk in for hot Pandesal, Ensaimada, Spanish bread, and Pepperoni bread. They have been serving Virginia Beach great food since 1988. Learn More.
 
“Impact Martial Arts” is a family-owned and operated martial arts academy in the Virginia Beach area specializing in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, and the Filipino Martial Arts.  Learn More.
 
“Menehune Soaps” Is a small business that makes handmade all-natural Hawaiian soaps.  Learn More.
Are there any local charities* you would like to share with everyone that people can support all year?

“Asian Pacific American Heritage Organization(APAHO),” a Hampton Roads Organization that celebrates and raises public awareness of the many important contributions made by Pacific Americans.  Learn More.

“It’s not a local charity, but Girls Who Code was founded by the first Indian-American woman to run for U.S. Congress in 2009 to address the increasing gender disparity in computing classes.” Learn More.

AI4ALL, founded by Fei-Fei Li promotes inclusion in the AI field.” Learn More.

Asian Latino Solidarity Alliance of Central Virginia,” is a non-profit dedicated to amplifying the voices of Asian and Latino communities.  Learn More.

Thank you to all our employees who answered our survey and made this blog possible!

In corporate America, we can write a blog about Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month, but what really matters is what it means to our company. We want to use our blogs as a chance to start a dialogue with our employees and listen to what they have to say, connect with one another, and learn from each other. There is an increasing demand to make workplaces more representative of the diverse communities they reside in. Every department has a role to play in ensuring everyone on our team feels celebrated, included, and safe. 

For Marketing and Communications, including more of our team in shaping our cultural content and the language we use is a small step in better representing how dynamic our diverse community is. We always say our team is our most important asset. So, moving forward, we want to continue to help you get to know our team through surveys, contributing writers, and employee spotlights. Whether you’re already a DOMA employee, a prospective hire, or a reader passing through, we hope a more intimate look at our culture and the people who drive it will help you see what sets DOMA apart. 

About DOMA- Powered by Tech, Driven by People

DOMA Technologies (DOMA) is a software development and digital transformation company whose mission is to change customer lives by lightening their workload through faster and more targeted access to their data. Since 2000, our team of 200+ experts has helped businesses navigate all aspects of the digital world. We are a dedicated strategic partner for the federal government and private sector clients at every stage of their unique digital transformation journey.

Director of Communication

Author:

Danielle Wethington
Director of Communications
DMT@DOMAonline.com

*DOMA is not associated with any of these businesses or organizations

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