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Supporting the Asian American + Pacific Islanders Community

Supporting the Asian American + Pacific Islanders Community


The Poppin family is at a loss for words regarding the heart-breaking surge in violence against Asian Americans + Pacific Islanders (AAPI) happening across the U.S. The #stopAAPIhate movement has brought up so many important conversations about inclusivity and diversity. At Poppin, we strive to create a culture of inclusion, but we also recognize that it’s a learning process, and we’re committed to encouraging constant dialogue. It’s clear that no matter where you work or live, there’s a lot of work that needs to be done when it comes to truly understanding the Asian-American experience. Read on to learn more about how people in the workplace (and beyond) can more actively advocate for AAPIs and socially discriminated groups. We hope you join us in these efforts.

How to support employees

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In light of the recent violence agains the AAPI community and as part of our ongoing journey to better support Poppin employees anytime discrimination occurs (whether it’s the AAPI community or other marginalized groups), we’re adopting these ideas below  — many of which are inspired from LifeLabs Learning, a leadership training company:

  • Increase executive communications: The simplest thing leadership teams can do is to acknowledge the recent news of heightened anti-Asian violence and make space for those who are impacted to process and heal. Normalize talking about personal experiences and provide forums to facilitate open discussions. This might mean bringing in outside resources that understand the complexities of AAPI culture and history.

  • Encourage self-care: A part of the model minority myth is that Asians should stay silent and that their experiences aren’t valid or important. As a result, AAPIs are accustomed to powering through their daily routines despite the challenges they face. Remind your employees to take the space and time they need to process their feelings and to utilize the resources they have available: PTO, wellness days, flexible hours, mental health benefits, Slack channels, and the option to take breaks throughout the workday. Clarify that there are coverage/flexibility options so people don't feel guilty putting themselves before their work.

  • Mobilize managers: Show your direct reports and colleagues that you’re aware of the recent news, demonstrate that you care about their well-being, and offer specific forms of support. Though asking open-ended questions like “how are you feeling?” during one-on-one sessions could be a good start for some employees, they don’t always lead to productive discussions. It can be emotionally taxing on the recipient to try to sum up their feelings during a 10-minute touchbase. Managers can instead offer flexibility in their workload by revising deadlines or taking meetings off their calendar to free up some headspace where possible. Managers can use their positions to talk to those higher up the food chain to usher real change within the company if AAPI employees aren’t feeling supported enough.

  • Inspire action and education: Resources are just a click away. Companies can share a list of organizations that are raising awareness or supporting AAPI victims. Take the time to learn about the history of AAPI and other marginalized communities (more on that below).

  • Invite input: We can’t change what we don’t discuss. Ask for feedback and input on how you can support your AAPI employees and the larger community. Create safe spaces at work—whether it’s an anonymous Google form where employees can submit feedback, or a Slack channel that invites allies to learn first-hand how to better support the community. Employees who are comfortable doing so can share knowledge and resources.


How to support your community

Speak Up

Your voice matters:

  • Call Your Representatives: Read up on any current legislation that supports and protects the AAPI community, then call your local elected officials to ensure they are supporting the bill. If they’re not yet, urge them to reconsider. If you’re unable to reach them, you can look at their voting record on items like House Resolution 908, which denounced racism against Asians in America.

  • Sign a petition to End Hate Crimes Against Asian Americans

  • Sign a petition to Provide Safety Ambassadors + Prevent Hate Crimes on Elderly in SF Chinatown

  • Report hate crimes: The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) launched a pro bono Hate Crimes Task Force to offer legal resources to victims. You can submit a request through an intake form.

Support + Donate

Just a few of the ways your time and money can help:

  • SupportStop AAPI Hate (or donate directly here):This nonprofit social organization runs the AAPI Hate Reporting Center, which tracks incidents of xenophobia. Stop AAPI Hate received 1,843 reports of anti-Asian discrimination due to COVID-19 in its first eight weeks of reporting (March 19, 2020 to May 13, 2020).

  • SupportHate is a Virus: This nonprofit has a mission to combat hate by mobilizing AAPIs and other communities of color through educational content about AAPI history and identity. They also foster community through partnerships and events. 

  • SupportAsian Americans Advancing Justice: This national nonprofit organization focuses on housing rights, immigration, civil rights, labor rights, and others for Asian Americans.

  • Support Send Chinatown Love: Most of the 7,000 Chinatown, NYC businesses were rejected from government loans during the pandemic due to application requirements  that are inequitable to immigrant-run businesses. Send Chinatown Love works one-on-one with small businesses to provide additional sources of revenue and business support.

  • Find 61 other ways to Donate in Support of Asian Communities(from New York Magazine).

Keep Learning

Here’s a starting point for reading more about the Asian-American experience:

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