Asian Inclusivity at Events

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The popularity of the movie Everything Everywhere All at Once has given long overdue recognition to Asian actors like Michelle Yeoh, who is using her platform on mainstream media to increase awareness about discrimination against Asians in America.

“The flame is lit,” said Jolene Jang, inclusivity educator and speaker, “but it can extinguish quickly. To keep the fire burning we need Asian allies to listen, learn and take action.” Here are some suggestions by Jang for making events more inclusive to Asian audiences:

•Stay educated by following the news about hate crimes, listening to Asian-American voices and reaching out to Asian friends and colleagues.

•Don’t whitewash cultural events with cliches or with Anglo performers representing people of color. Communicate the relevance of a cultural celebration such as the Lunar New Year to attendees, so that they understand the intention behind it.

•Design culturally inspired meals and be sure to be authentic. Avoid having Asian-themed meals with a variety of dishes from different countries and no explanation.

•Make sure that emcees and moderators pronounce names correctly. Research and double check the correct pronunciation, and write it out phonetically for presenters.

Jang has launched two Facebook Groups to help. Asian Allies connects people who support Asian Americans with updates and information. Empowered Asians provides a safe place for Asians to share their stories.For more of Jang’s insights about Asian inclusion at events, go to the podcasts Better Events and The Room Block.

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