Encouragement, Lessons and Common Ground Found in Celebration of AAPI Heritage Month

May 2022

Throughout the month of May, BDO’s Multicultural Alliance – a group of BDO professionals supporting racial and ethnic diversity in the workplace by raising cultural competency and awareness for all - is leading a firmwide celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, encouraging everyone to learn more about accomplishments, traditions, cuisines and perspectives of AAPI communities. This year’s celebration at BDO will include interactive and virtual activities and discussions to bring AAPI voices to the forefront and educate others on multicultural leadership through collaboration.
 
AAPI Heritage Month marks the anniversaries of the first Japanese immigrant’s arrival to the United States in 1843 and the completion of the transcontinental railroad in 1869 – a feat of engineering largely built by Chinese laborers. Now, according to a 2021 survey, Asian Americans and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders are two of the fastest-growing populations in the nation, representing more than 30 countries and ethnic groups that speak more than 100 different languages. This diversity of culture continues to strengthen the fabric of American society.
 
However, the last two years have brought about “twin pandemics” for AAPI individuals. These communities not only felt the effects of the virus itself but also the increased racism following the initial outbreak. It’s important to reflect on this discrimination and work to Stop AAPI Hate. After the Atlanta shootings last year and as anti-Asian violence continued to increase across communities, BDO USA CEO Wayne Berson wrote, “To make our firm – and our world – a more welcoming place for all, each of us must put in the work to collaborate, listen and learn from one another.” This sentiment remains true, and BDO is steadfast in its unequivocal support of AAPI communities.
 
Read on for more about the challenges and triumphs some of our AAPI professionals have faced and ways in which they honor their heritage.