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May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM) – a time to reflect on the integral influence and impact of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) throughout U.S. history. With programming hosted by OMG’s Asian Leadership Network (ALN), APAHM provided even more opportunities to come together in support and celebration of the various cultures within and achievements by the AAPI community.

Mental Health Awareness Month is also observed in May. In recognition of it, OMG partnered with Givsly and Index Exchange for a mental health-focused event series to provide information and resources to boost wellness in the workplace and beyond.

Read on to see how OMG honored Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, followed by details from our Mental Health Awareness Month programming.

The ALN and PHD kicked off the first week of APAHM by partnering with Hormel Foods for a virtual SPAM Museum Tour. Participants learned about the history of the product and its strong ties to the AAPI community. For many, it’s not just a cross-generational craving. Whether it’s served with rice and nori in a Hawaiian Spam musubi or in a steaming hot bowl of ramen for Korean budae jjigae, Spam is a cultural touchpoint that evokes memories and comfort.

In honor of both Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and Mental Health Awareness Month, OMG partnered with Givsly for a virtual event featuring Active Minds professional mental health speaker Diana Chao. Diana shared her story and shed light on mental health issues that members of the AAPI community face, especially with the rise in hate crimes seen within the past year. She was later joined by Jimmy Tong, OMD USA’s Senior Director of Marketing Science and Executive Sponsor of the ALN West, as well as Luigi Carlos, Associate Director of Finance at Resolution, for a fireside chat.

In partnership with PHD, the ALN hosted an insightful session with a presentation of key findings from Pandora’s most recent Asian American study. It was followed by a conversation with Pandora’s Claudia Oddo, writer Kristen Meinzer and DJ Micah Mahinay, who discussed the influential role that sound plays in their bi-cultural identity and the impact of audio in media and culture. View or download the complete conversation here.

Hearts & Science, OMD, PHD and Resolution also partnered with Givsly and Active Minds for an “Embracing Cultural Confidence” event featuring international mental health speaker and clinician Jeanie Y. Chang as the moderator. The live webinar helped attendees to realize the meaningful impact of incorporating both Eastern and Western mindfulness techniques to cultivate personal self-growth and recognize purpose.

For the last week of APAHM, the ALN and PHD partnered again for a culinary experience with Facebook. The cooking demo guided participants through the creation of tasty treats including bubble tea, coconut chicken adobo with steamed rice, and butter mochi. It was followed by a roundtable discussion featuring ALN members Carlo Ahumada, Hanna Braunius, Julia Tsang, Katie Kim, Melody Phua, Prakarsh Gupta and Risa Sanchez. 

In addition to the “Mental Health and the AAPI Community” and “Embracing Cultural Confidence” events, OMG and Givsly‘s Mental Health Awareness Month series included a 7:47 Club Virtual Gratitude Experience, led by 7:47 Club Founder Chris Schembra. The experience combined connection, stories and, of course, gratitude by bringing teams together with a sense of community and connection.

OMG and Givsly also hosted a fireside chat with OMG NA’s Chief People Officer, Regan White, and Founder & Executive Director of Active Minds, Alison Malmon. The discussion covered the shift in the workplace over the last year due to COVID-19, the impact on employees and what companies can do to offer more support.

The discussion was preceded by a virtual volunteer event with Active Minds the same week, which included a training in “Validate, Appreciate, Refer” (VAR) – a simple but revolutionary tool that enhances conversations about everyday struggles.

Closing out the series, Givsly and Sounds of Saving came together for an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at a filming of musician Bailey Bryan, with an intimate Q&A session followed by a live performance. Bailey shared her journey into music and how it’s been a healing force throughout her career.

Special thanks to the ALN and to all of our partners on a month filled with important and impactful programming.

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