Asian American, Native Hawaiian & Pacific Islander Heritage Month

May is Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month – a celebration of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States. A rather broad term, Asian/Pacific encompasses all of the Asian continent and the Pacific islands of Melanesia (New Guinea, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji and the Solomon Islands), Micronesia (Marianas, Guam, Wake Island, Palau, Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Nauru and the Federated States of Micronesia) and Polynesia (New Zealand, Hawaiian Islands, Rotuma, Midway Islands, Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Cook Islands, French Polynesia and Easter Island). --

Letter to Lab Community from API ERG Executive Sponsor Inder Monga, Executive Director ESnet, Division Director Scientific Networking 

 "May is Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. During the month we will honor and celebrate the diversity and contributions of Asian Pacific Americans to our nation, and to reflect on the issues and challenges faced by the Asian and Pacific Islander communities today.

How we celebrated and shared our Asian American Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander Heritage 

May 1, 2024 | Meet & Greet and Banner Raising

In-Person Event

We met up near Bldg. 65A to raise the banner and afterwards  we had lunch outside Bldg. 91 together. 

We also wore green with the All Access ERG in support of Mental Health Awareness Month.    A green ribbon is the international symbol of mental health awareness. Wearing green or adorning a green ribbon signifies hope, strength, support and encouragement. 

May 7, 2024 | My Asian American Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander Experience Panel

Virtual event

The “My Asian American Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander Experience” panel is a multicultural panel of employees from Lawrence Livermore, Sandia and Lawrence Berkeley national laboratories, who will share stories from their and their family’s journeys to and within the United States, as well as the experiences that helped shape who they are today.

Due to interest, we have scheduled a 2nd workshop planned for Mon,  Jun 24 at 12 noon.   Registration required by 5 pm Jun 17

May 13 | Learn to Fall Safely

In-Person event

Falls are a common source of injuries. In some crimes, victims are pushed to the ground. In the martial arts community, it is known we can reduce risk of injury by practicing techniques for safer falling.  API ERG sponsored  three 15-minute on-site sessions to teach similar techniques within the Lab community. 

The techniques are simple and do not require a high level of fitness, but must be internalized through practice. For this reason, these sessions were in-person, and physical participation was required. Participants arrived wearing clothing and shoes that were comfortable for movement and for lying on a pad on the ground. 

May 14 | U.S. Department of Energy’s 2024 Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month Celebration 

Virtual Event | 9 am - 10 am | Visit Lab Diversity & Inclusion Calendar for Event Link

Highlights of this year’s program included:

Speakers Included:

May 21 | Author Book Reading & Treats

API ERG had a special lunchtime talk featuring Grace Loh Prasad, author of the The Translator's Daughter, a memoir about living between languages, navigating loss, and the search for belonging.  Prasad gave a brief presentation and reading from her memoir, followed by a Q&A and book signing. The APIERG provided Asian snacks for this special event.

More about Grace Loh Prasad and The Translator's Daughter:

Born in Taiwan, Grace Loh Prasad was two years old when the threat of political persecution under Chiang Kai-shek’s dictatorship drove her family to the United States, setting her up to become an “accidental immigrant.” The family did not know when they would be able to go home again; this exile lasted long enough for Prasad to forget her native Taiwanese language and grow up American. Having multilingual parents—including a father who worked as a translator—meant she never had to develop the fluency to navigate Taiwan on visits. But when her parents moved back to Taiwan permanently when she was in college and her mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, she recognized the urgency of forging a stronger connection with her birthplace before it was too late. As she recounts her journey to reclaim her heritage in The Translator’s Daughter, Prasad unfurls themes of memory, dislocation, and loss in all their rich complexity. The result is a unique immigration story about the loneliness of living in a diaspora, the search for belonging, and the meaning of home. Prasad's writing has appeared in The New York Times, Longreads, The Offing, Hyperallergic, Catapult, KHÔRA, and elsewhere.  A member of the Writers Grotto and the AAPI writers collective Seventeen Syllables, she lives in the Bay Area.   

May 22  | Career Development Workshop

This one-hour virtual workshop featured a panel discussion with API scientific leaders, facilitated breakout groups, and remarks by Lab leaders. It explored specific career development challenges and issues faced by the API scientific community and explore ways to help support their professional growth and development. 

May 30 | 'Yellowface' Book Club Discussion 

Virtual Event | Link to Zoom Event

The Berkeley Lab Community met to discuss questions raised by R.F. Kuang’s novel “Yellowface” and the questions it raises about diversity, racism, and cultural appropriation, as well as the alienating effect of social media.

Synopsis: Two authors, June Hayward and Athena Liu, were both on their way up in the literary world, but Athena was getting more attention. When Athena unexpectedly dies, her friend steals the manuscript for Athena’s experimental novel about the unsung contributions of Chinese laborers during World War I. June then creates the persona of Juniper Song, misrepresenting herself as the Asian American author of Athena’s novel. 

Support Mental Health Awareness Month

We are joining the All Access ERG in wearing green to show our support for Mental Health Awareness Month! 

For more mental health wellness activities visit to keep up with the latest event information. 

For more resources, visit the Lab’s Healthy & Well site

Asian Americans & Mental Health

As we celebrate our heritage, a challenge we face is mental wellness. “Asian Americans are 50% less likely than other racial groups to seek mental health services. In some Asian cultures, mental health challenges are viewed as an individual problem or weakness and talking openly about sadness, disappointment or depression is rarely encouraged.” - Confronting mental health barriers in the Asian American and Pacific Islander community, UCLA Health, May 9, 2023   

**Please make the time to read “Mental Wellness Activity Book for Asian Americansshared by the National Asian American Pacific Islander Mental Health Association. **

Be an Ally | Complete LinkedIn Learning's "Understanding and Supporting Asian Employees" Course

Course Details (50 min). Underrepresented employees face unique challenges in the workplace, and understanding how to support them in these challenges is key to building a more inclusive workplace. Dr. Sarah-SoonLing Blackburn shows you how to get started. She begins with important terminology and breaks down the model minority myth. Dr. Blackburn explains why lived experiences matter in the workplace and goes over several issues that impact Asian employees at work. She points out that the Asian community is not a monolith and discusses ways to build a more meaningfully inclusive workplace culture. Dr. Blackburn covers several steps you can take to support Asian employees, such as making space for discussion and speaking up against bias. She concludes by describing how everyone has a role to play in creating inclusive workplace environments. 

All employees have access to LinkedIn Learning courses.  To access your LinkedIn Learning  account, read this article.  

Nano Tips for Navigating Bias and Stereotypes as an Asian American Professional

LinkedIn Learning also has a  “Nano Tips for Navigating Bias and Stereotypes as an Asian American Professional” course.

Course Details (10 min). In this course, Diana YK Chan shares tips for navigating workplace bias and stereotypes as an Asian American or Pacific Islander. Join Diana for some quick but insightful advice on handling racial, cultural, and gender stereotypes, how to deal with assumptions about technical proficiency, confront microaggressions in the workplace, and more. 

Download a Zoom Background for AANHPI Heritage Month 

Show your support by downloading one or more of these beautiful Zoom backgrounds. 

Learn more about Asian American Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander History and Culture

Visit the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center website.