In today’s increasingly diverse and fast-paced world, Asian Pacific Islander (API) representation is of the utmost importance—in that it’s essential for each of us to feel proud to share who we are as unique individuals and where we trace our roots. This imperative applies whether we connect our heritage to Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Fiji, India, Japan, Korea, Laos, Nepal, Pakistan, Palau, the Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, Tonga, Vietnam, or any of the dozens of countries and cultures that make up our global community. It’s why for this year’s API Heritage Month celebration at 2U, we in the Asian Pacific Islander Network (APIN) chose a playful yet meaningful twist on the word itself: “representASIAN.”
To bring this year’s theme to life, we’re taking the first week of the month to shine a spotlight on various APIN leaders and members who represent a glimpse into the experiences of API employees across 2U’s international offices. Together, these stories celebrate the immense joy that our myriad heritages and distinctive identities bring to both our personal lives and the passion we have for working at 2U.
Below, you’ll also find a selection of 2U-powered online educational programs that connect to some of the biggest challenges facing our community today, which range from the recent rise of hate crimes against API individuals to the harmful stigma of the “model minority” stereotype. These courses are enlightening whether you’re looking to expand your knowledge for personal enrichment or you’re an executive eager to build and support a more equitable and inclusive world.
We hope that by showing you who we are and offering new pathways to building an understanding of how to create a better future for us all, you too will want to “representASIAN” not just this May, but all year long!
“A Day in the Life” of APIN at 2U
Since APIN was first formed at the start of 2020, we've featured incredible stories of our members in recognition of API Heritage Month. Each of them have had unique experiences connected to their identity and are the embodiment of our theme this year.
- “I grew up away from Guam, and sometimes that created a feeling like my roots hovered at the surface. APIN offers me ways to delve into my heritage through a professional lens. It has been fantastic to get the additional exposure.”—Executive Admissions Counselor Brent Bray (Chamorro/Guamanian descent)
- “Growing up, I was usually the only Asian-American amongst my peers, and there was always the tension of, Am I Asian or am I American? As I grew older, I found myself finally understanding that I am both. I do believe that there is more to learn about my roots and I can share this knowledge with others without fear of judgment.”—Senior People Operations Specialist Kathleen Ng (Malaysian descent)
- “By listening and internally reflecting, I have benefited from enhanced focus and empathy-building skills as I seek to better understand the thoughts and experiences of others.”—Student Success Advisor (and now APIN Global Strategy Co-Chair) Tony Ho (Vietnamese descent)
- “Being a leader and a voice at and outside of 2U takes courage and a lot of energy. However, I truly believe empowered BIPOC, with the support of allies, can shift the outdated and problematic ‘corporate culture’ that continues to exist in our modern world.”—Curriculum Development Manager Poonam Ribadia (Gujarati/Indian descent)
- “As a manager at 2U, I can definitely relate to how important it is [for leaders] to build the right kind of culture . . . so that they can keep their teams motivated and better connected with each other.”—Finance Director Paul Kingston (Chinese/South African descent)
For 2022, we'll continue to share interviews with APIN members on The Latest to highlight their diverse 2U roles and lives worldwide.
Online Programs for Executive Education and Lifelong Learning:
These online courses are taught by leading scholars and experts from some of the world’s top educational institutions.
Executive education topics in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI):
- Leading Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion from Northwestern University’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, helps you develop your cultural competencies to form a holistic understanding of what DEI means for modern business.
- Leading Racial Equity and Inclusion in Organizations, also from Northwestern University, takes you through unpacking the root causes of U.S. racial inequalities and structural realities, providing you with valuable tools along the way for creating a more inclusive workforce.
- Leading Workplace Diversity, from Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business, leads you through developing an action plan to attract and retain diverse talent.
- Leading Diversity and Inclusion at Work, from the University of Cape Town, helps you create an in-depth DEI plan specific to your organization.
General DEI courses in community engagement, social justice, and more:
- Writing for Social Justice, from the University of California, Berkeley, teaches budding wordsmiths how to harness the power of storytelling for personal, social, and political change.
Courses in API history and culture:
- Global China: From the Mongols to the Ming, from Harvard University, explores the impact of the conquest dynasties and the world of the Ming.
- Sikhism Through Its Scriptures, also from Harvard University, takes you through the monotheistic religious tradition founded in 15th-century Panjab in South Asia.
- Culture and Law: The East Asian Perspective, from Japan’s Waseda University, examines legal cultures in East Asia, Confucianism, “apology theory,” and more.
- International Politics in the Korean Peninsula, from Seoul National University, explores the genesis, expansion, projection, and challenges of the Chinese World Order in East Asia.
- Indian & Tibetan River of Buddhism, from Columbia University, offers an overview of the history and philosophy of Buddhism throughout India, Tibet, and Central, South, and Southeast Asia.
- Chinese Thought: Ancient Wisdom Meets Modern Science—Part 1 and Part 2, from the University of British Columbia, makes connections between Chinese thought and Western philosophy, spirituality, mindfulness, science, and everyday life.
- Vernacular Architecture of Asia: Tradition, Modernity, and Cultural Sustainability, from the University of Hong Kong, celebrates built environments in Asia and how we can better conserve and sustain vernacular architecture in the future.
- Visualizing Postwar Tokyo, from the University of Tokyo, analyzes the history of change and development in postwar Tokyo from different perspectives using archived photographs, films, and TV programs.
Learn more about us.
At 2U, we’re on a mission—to eliminate the back row in higher education and help partners thrive in the digital age. To learn more about who we are and what we do, follow the links below.