AAPI Heritage Month: Welcome, Elevate

Happy Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month!

Throughout the month of May (and beyond), be sure to check out helpful resources from RV brands aimed at celebrating and uplifting the AAPI community. For example, read about the history of AAPI Heritage Month and find helpful resources from our CNET team here.

To kick things off, we spoke with members of one of our newest Employee Resource Groups – Elevate – which is aimed at supporting and advocating for AAPI employees.

Yih-Han Ma, Louisa Wah, Roger Cheng, and Ami Shukla

What’s the goal/purpose of Elevate, and how are we actively working to achieve that goal at RV?

Roger Cheng | Executive Editor, CNET

There are a few goals of Elevate. We want to give people a platform to meet their colleagues — something desperately needed after the pandemic. We want to share our culture and experiences with the broader RV employee base. We want to establish a mechanism for mentorship and career guidance. But ultimately, we want to create a community and safe space for people to share their common experiences and challenges. We’ve hosted a listening tour and talked with members of the RV AAPI community to get a sense of what they want out of this group, and how to make it worth their while. We’ve already held one session about Lunar New Year and we’re ramping up our activity, from food samples to sharing tidbits about our culture, while working to organize more resources for career development.

Yih-Han Ma | Senior Vice President, RV Home Services

Our goal is to create community – first by facilitating connections, and then by providing resources and support to deepen those connections. Our team is busy at work creating events, mentorship programs, and other initiatives to cultivate that sense of community.

Louisa Wah | Editor, Healthline Media

To increase the visibility of AAPI employees and highly our unique perspectives and contributions to the company.

Ami Shukla | Director of Corporate Communications

We are working to elevate and raise the profile of AAPI employees by giving RVers a safe space to share, learn, and grow with each other – and a larger platform to highlight the beauty and uniqueness of our cultures and experiences more broadly with our teammates from across the company.

We recently announced a new name for this ERG, ‘Elevate.’ What does the name mean to you? 

Roger Cheng | Executive Editor, CNET

Elevate holds dual meanings that are both relevant to the AAPI community. The notion of elevating someone is key to our mission of providing career guidance and a system of support for Asian American employees at Red Ventures. It also subverts the stereotype of the “quiet Asian” by elevating the voices of this community within Red Ventures.

Louisa Wah | Editor, Healthline Media

It means to elevate our standing in the company and also to elevate our professional growth.

What does it mean to you to shine a light on the AAPI community at RV? 

Ami Shukla | Director of Corporate Communications

Many of us, although not all, are either immigrants ourselves or the first-generation children of immigrants who, for the majority of our lives, have had to navigate new experiences for ourselves and our families on our own. It’s encouraging to find a larger community and to see the experiences that once felt isolating — like translating classic American words for your parents — become unifying. My hope is that by shining a light on the AAPI community here at RV we create a safe space for AAPI talent to share, learn and grow while building our visibility within the company.

Roger Cheng | Executive Editor, CNET

Shining a light on the AAPI community means giving voice to RV employees who may not have been comfortable vocalizing their concerns and challenges. It also means highlighting the challenges — both professional and personal — that we face and ensuring the wider company understands them. And, of course, it means sharing our culture and, most importantly for me, our food. That also means reminding people that Asians aren’t a single monolithic group, and that there are dozens of unique aspects to learn about.

Yih-Han Ma | Senior Vice President, RV Home Services

When our family moved to Charlotte six years ago, one of our first observations was that there weren’t a whole lot of Asians in the area nor at RV. Since then, the AAPI community at the national level has had to deal with violence, extremism, a pandemic with links to Asia, and a more divided nation. Those crisis moments are much easier to navigate when the support network of a community – at work and beyond – is strong. Building the AAPI community at RV will be key to helping us navigate the inevitable challenges ahead.

What’s something that allies/everyone can do to help elevate the AAPI community? 

Roger Cheng | Executive Editor, CNET

Taking the time to learn the differences and nuances between cultures goes a long way toward expanding your understanding and level of empathy toward others.

Louisa Wah | Editor, Healthline Media

They can ask questions and be curious about our culture, our personal stories, etc. This will spark interesting conversations.

Ami Shukla | Director of Corporate Communications

Be present, ask questions, learn more, and try our best to live the RV belief of being great people to work with.

Get to know more about our AAPI community by checking out our AAPI Heritage month coverage from last year!



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About the Author:

Ruth Russell | Associate Creative Producer

Ruth joined Red Ventures in 2016 as a Sales Professional and quickly transitioned to our nonprofit team, Road to Hire. She spent three years developing her social media and design skills and now works on the Corp Comm team running all of RV's social media platforms. She also has two cats.

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