This new Employee Resource Group, initiated in December 2020 by a handful of innovative Asian American NPS staff, is in its beginning stages. While our original intention was to launch the group publicly to the NPS community at the beginning of May for Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month, the recent rise in anti-Asian incidents and violence against our communities highlights the need for immediate and direct support that ERGs provide. Many Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, including Asian American NPS staff, are struggling right now with anger, fear, frustration, and profound sadness. In times like these, ERGs can and should play an important role in supporting staff when they need it most, while also serving as a voice for those members. The Asian American ERG is already providing resources and a safe conversation “place” to engage with and support each other, and it’s important that all colleagues are aware of this supportive community. The Asian American ERG also serves as a resource to the agency as a whole as it strives to support Asian American employees and communities.
Who We Are:
The Asian American ERG addresses the unique needs of Asian American employees, volunteers, interns, and visitors. In keeping with the agency’s goals to increase relevancy, diversity, and inclusion, the Asian American ERG collaborates with other NPS ERGs to advise senior leadership on policies and practices that support ERG members. The Asian American ERG works to enhance the visibility of Asian American history and contemporary contributions in the national park system. We serve our membership through activities that connect members, support their career goals, foster community, and cultivate a culture of inclusion. We aim to:
- Work collaboratively with the Office of Relevancy, Diversity, and Inclusion (RDI) on projects and programs, such as highlighting underrepresented stories, persons, etc., to promote inclusive and holistic NPS stories.
- Identify and make recommendations to NPS leadership to better retain Asian American staff; provide support to improve their paths to supervisory leadership roles and support them while they serve in leadership capacity; and build opportunities for recruitment of future employees, volunteers, interns, and visitors.
- Provide opportunities, encouragement, and support to Asian American employees, volunteers, and interns, such as training, mentoring, and professional development.
- Identify and make recommendations to NPS leadership to increase park visitation by Asian American constituents.
- Join the Asian American ERG on the Common Learning Portal Commons
- Join our bi-weekly open forum conversations: Send an email to Brenda_Ling@nps.gov
- Email us with questions, concerns, comments at: AsianAmerican_ERG@nps.gov
Be an Ally:
Here are a few simple actions through which you can back up your commitment to an inclusive work environment.
- Hear us. Listen to our stories, read our emails, and most importantly, give our voices a space in your busy days.
- Support us. Support our ERG by helping us accomplish our goals.
- Use your voice for good. Act as a voice to stand up against bigotry and racism. Interrupt language and actions that are racist or biased in any way with simple statements including, “That’s not funny,” “I’m not comfortable with that,” “What you just said is harmful,” or “I find that offensive.”
- Understand the difference between equality and equity. Equality is giving every person the same resources and experiences. Equity acknowledges that people have different needs, and distributes resources accordingly.
- Stand with all People of Color. We are all impacted by racism. We ask our allies to stand with us, encourage our success, and fully recognize our value.
The Asian American ERG is now the ninth NPS ERG. Employee Resource Groups all provide members with community, support, and resources and together help create a more diverse, inclusive NPS. The ERGs are supported by the Office of Relevancy, Diversity, and Inclusion.