We write to extend our heartfelt gratitude for your active engagement and the time you dedicated to opening up our inaugural email newsletter on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Thank you for being a catalyst for positive change within our community. By taking that extra moment to dive into the contents of our newsletter, you've shown us your unwavering commitment to embracing diversity and championing equality. Together, let's continue to learn, grow, and create a world that celebrates the unique perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences of every individual. Your engagement inspires us to push boundaries and fuels our determination to foster an environment where everyone feels seen, heard, and valued. We can't wait to share more exciting and thought-provoking content with you in our upcoming newsletters.

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“The month is a time to speak out, share stories and debunk myths about Asian communities. This is a celebration of our history, our culture… and all the different ways in which our community has demonstrated… we are a part of this fabric, a part of this country” 

Cynthia Choi- Co-exec Director China For Affirmative Action
AAPI Heritage Week was first celebrated in 1977 after Jeanie Jew who was a Capitol Hill staffer, grandfather worked on the transcontinental railroad and was killed during a time of “unrest and anti-Asian sentiment called on Frank Horton to introduce legislation and was signed into law by Jimmy Carter in 1978.
As of the 2020 Census, 24 million people identified as Asian, and 1.6 million identified as Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islanders. A 2007 study by Jennifer Abe-Kim, a psychology professor at Loyola Marymount University, found that less than 9 percent of Asian Americans sought any type of mental health services compared to nearly 18 percent of the general population nationwide.

The National Alliance on Mental Health survey showed that AAPI persons face more challenges in obtaining mental health services than other populations (not all of their challenges are the same) because of:
  • refugee/immigration status
  • language barriers
  • Stigma and shame
  • The Model Minority Myth (is a stereotype that assumes that all AAPI persons are well-adjusted, have higher socioeconomic status than other minority groups, have a strong work ethic, conform to social norms, and excel academically.
  • insufficient health insurance coverage
  • faith and spirituality
Your surroundings affect your mental health if and when your needs are met. Safe, stable, and healthy home conditions set the foundation for achieving and maintaining good mental health. Not having safe and stable housing to return to can leave people feeling disconnected, distressed, and/or isolated. Stable housing allows people to develop routines and connections with their community. The area or zip code that you live in also plays a significant role in how healthy you are. Having a strong sense of community protects mental health through shared resources, support, and joy. Challenges such as lack of access to green space, gentrification, and community violence can have a significant impact on one's mental health.

"In these times, where queer and trans people are continually the targets of violence, discrimination, and archaic public accommodation policies, it is hopeful and necessary that we focus on power and resilience..."

Holiday Simmons
MSW, social justice advocate, facilitator, public speaker, and healer.

This year's theme from the LGBTQIA Resource Center of UC Davis is 
because of the riots against police brutality at The Stonewall Inn, a gay dive bar in New York City.
Black & Brown trans-women, Marsha P. Johnson, & Sylvia Rivera, were at the forefront of leading action against homophobia and racism.
In the present day, the rights and humanity of trans people are constantly being called into question by political leaders.
According to the ACLU, there are currently 467 Anti-LGBTQ bills in the United States. State laws are attacking LGBTQ rights by eliminating access:
  • to obtain accurate identification for persons looking to update their gender information.
  • undermining their civil rights by weakening anti-discrimination laws.
  • banning drag shows and books by & about LGBTQIA+
  • restricting public accommodations by prohibiting transgender persons from using facilities that match their gender identity.
  • restricting transgender youth in school activities like sports and forcing teachers to out students and censoring discussions.
According to the key findings of the Trevor Project's 2022 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health:
  • 45% of LGBTQ youth seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year.
  • Nearly 1 in 5 transgender and nonbinary youth attempted suicide and LGBTQ youth of color reported higher rates than their white peers.
  • LGBTQ youth who felt high social support from their families reported attempting suicide at less than half the rate of those who felt low or moderate social support.
  • Fewer than 1 in 3 transgender and nonbinary youth found their home to be gender-affirming.
  • LGBTQ youth who found their school to be LGBTQ-affirming reported lower rates of attempting suicide.
  • 60% of LGBTQ youth who wanted mental health care in the past year were not able to get it
  • LGBTQ youth who live in a community that is accepting of LGBTQ people reported lower rates of attempting suicide than those who do not.
We are a small group of employees from all departments with varied perspectives committed to advancing, cultivating, and preserving a sense of culture, inclusion, and belonging by honoring stories, being present, and addressing issues that impact the deepest parts of our humanity. 
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