An important theme for May is celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month. It is a time to celebrate and recognize how AAPI individuals have shaped the history and culture of the USA. It is an opportunity for everyone to learn about the country’s diversity and why it is important.
If you are looking for ways to celebrate virtually with your entire team, we have put together a few ideas for you and included some kid-friendly activities.
TLDR: Start off celebrating this month by taking the time to educate yourself and others by learning the history and supporting organizations that help the Asian community. Dive into the culture by making Asian-inspired dishes and practicing the art of Origami. There is also an excellent docu-series called Asian Americans by PBS that you can have a virtual screening of.
Learn the History ⏰
- In May, it is important to recognize the contributions of AAPI individuals to the history and culture of the USA. The month of May was selected to first commemorate the arrival of the first known Japanese immigrant to the U.S. in May of 1843. Secondly, it also honors the completion of the transcontinental railroad in May of 1869 in which 20,000 Chinese workers participated.
- Not only is it important to understand the past, but it’s also equally important to recognize what is happening in the present. We all need to address the injustice of Asian hate that is happening in the world right now. Hate crimes towards Asian Americans are on the rise and we all need to come together to support the community and help local organizations combat this issue.
Help Organizations that Support the Asian Community ❤️
- After learning about what is happening towards the Asian community, it may be difficult to know where to start to help this issue. For starters, many organizations are taking action to stop this injustice and protect vulnerable communities. You can support these organizations by donating, volunteering your time, or helping to educate others and spread awareness.
- As a team, you can run a fundraiser to help raise money to donate to a local organization or you can find a volunteering opportunity that employees can participate in to give back to their community. Any small effort counts and will contribute to helping this issue and creating an inclusive community.
- You can also consider registering you and a group of you to bystander training. Here is an organization that helps conduct these.
Origami Workshop 🦢
- Origami has become a symbol of hope and healing when times are tough. Origami was initially known as orikata, meaning folded shapes. The current term origami comes from the Japanese words oru (to fold) and kami (paper). Origami is a great activity to take a break from your screen and get to the basics of fine motor skills by folding paper.
- Turn this into a virtual activity event where employees can get their kids involved too and watch how to make various origami designs. Get an employee or origami expert to lead a tutorial over a video call for a synchronous employee event, or employees can follow instruction guides to make them on their own time.
Virtual Screening of Asian Americans 🎬
- Asian Americans is a film series that delivers a fresh perspective of history. It casts a new light on US history and the ongoing role that Asian Americans have played in shaping the country it is today. This 5-part series recounts the country’s past, present, and future through personal stories and histories from Asian Americans and their impact.
- Learn more about the episodes created by PBS or purchase the documentary via Prime. Host a virtual screening event where employees can come together and watch the film together. Afterward, allow employees to keep the conversation going on what they learned from the film in a Slack channel.
Make a Company Cookbook 🍽
- Creating a company-wide digital cookbook is the perfect way to share each employee’s favorite recipes and spice up your dinners at home. Make a special cookbook or section of the cookbook dedicated to Asian-inspired dishes to celebrate AAPI Heritage Month. Many recipes have been passed down for generations and some may even have a story to go along with the recipe. You can include a story and the history of each recipe to make this cookbook even more special.
- Many online resources make digital cookbooks so easy to make! You can even categorize the dishes by country or sell the cookbooks as a fundraiser to raise funds to support the AAPI community.
Cooking Class for Asian Dishes 🍜
- Get employees to vote on their favorite Asian dishes that they want to cook and bring in a professional chef to lead a virtual cooking class. Encourage everyone of all cooking levels to join in and create a delicious Asian-inspired meal together virtually. Employees can even get their kids involved in the cooking class to make it an event for the entire family.
- To make things even easier for your employees, send them credits for Instacart so they can easily order all the ingredients right to their home, hassle-free. Have a full list of ingredients available for your employees when they sign up for the event.
At Home Bubble Tea 🤗
- Bubble tea is a delicious drink that was initially invented in the 1980s by a tea shop owner in Taiwan. The buzz around bubble tea was created by social media trends of creating aesthetic drinks for people to share and post on their social media account. It is very popular and the delicious flavor combinations are endless.
- Share an easy-to-make at-home bubble tea recipe with your team so they can try it out or send them UberEats credits to order bubble tea from their favorite local shop.