Alaska employees go the extra mile to support AANHPI communities, end Asian hate

This May, during Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month, we recognize the history and achievements of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders across our network. Story by Shanyn Wright and Maria Cid, Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines stands against hate and violence of any kind. We remain appalled and heartbroken to see violent and racists attacks and harassment continue throughout the country including those in the AANHPI community.

To help create meaningful change and in recognition of AANHPI month, a group of Alaska employees recently flew to Washington D.C., to facilitate conversations among lawmakers to discuss matters close to AANHPI communities.

Leaders of Alaska’s Air Group Pan Asian (AGPA) and Pacific Islander Alliance (PIA) Business Resource Groups (BRGs) met with several policymakers and national leaders to discuss topics ranging from rising anti-Asian hate crimes to increasing representation.

“It was a strong way for us to show up not just for our BRG members and employees but also for our communities,” says Lindsay, a PIA leader. “Opportunities like this empower us to use our collective voice and engage on a national level, which feels incredible to bring back and share with others.”

Meeting with Deputy Assistant to the President and AANHPI Senior Liaison to the White House Erika Moritsugu was a trip highlight for our employees. Moritsugu and BRG leaders discussed the administration’s support of AANHPI interests.

Alaska employees meeting with Erika Moritsugu who is Deputy Assistant to the President and AANHPI Senior Liaison to the White House.

Our communities are so diverse; we all need to be heard,” said AGPA co-leader Nia. “I felt energized by Erika’s dedication to ensuring we’re represented on the local, state, and federal levels.”

For decades, Alaska has championed employee-organized groups like BRGs, that celebrate and advocate diversity, equity and inclusion at the company.

These groups are critical in helping us build an inclusive culture that supports and moves us closer to our goal of inclusion and belonging for all. They also play a key role in helping us increase our Inclusion Index Score, which holds us accountable to our DEI commitments.

BRGs, such as AGPA and PIA, create safe spaces for employees to engage and support one another while celebrating and advocating for cultures, causes and other initiatives our employees care about.

Meeting at the table for delicious cuisine and deep conversations in San Francisco

Recently, a group of influential Bay Area members of the AANHPI community gathered at Alaska’s San Francisco Lounge to discuss the current climate and share ways to make our neighborhoods safer and better for everyone.

Vietnamese American and Season 15 Top Chef Tu David Phu was an honorary guest.

“I’ve felt so unseen for the longest time and to have a strong internationally recognized brand like Alaska Airlines say, ‘We believe and support Asian American identities,’ I have never felt more seen in my life,” said Phu.

Top Chef Tu David Phu

Among those ‘at the SFO table,’ were youth activist Ashlyn So, 13, who helped organize Stop Asian hate rallies in the Bay Area, Carl Chan who is the Oakland Chinatown Chamber of Commerce President and advocacy manager Shanti Prasad of the Stop AAPI Hate coalition.

The event also celebrated AANHPI Month with the culmination of authentic Vietnamese dishes made by Chef Tu Phu, as well as desserts made by Bay Area Asian American business owners. At the heart of every Asian culture are the gatherings that occur around food.

By elevating the voices of the AANHPI community, we are not only celebrating our beautiful cultures, we are raising awareness about the diversity within our communities and the alarming rise in xenophobia, which has resulted in heinous crimes against innocent people,” said Edrea, an AGPA leader who was in attendance. “Education is the key to breaking down barriers and these events allow our community to be visible.”