By Alex Grubbs and Megha Pai, PRSA Pittsburgh board members
with contributions from Sunny Yang
Editor’s Note: Asian American and Pacific Islander is abbreviated as AAPI throughout.
In honor of Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month, PRSA Pittsburgh’s Diversity & Inclusion committee held a virtual event in partnership with the Filipino American Association of Pittsburgh (FAAP) to discuss how to be an actionable communicator for the AAPI communities. This event was moderated by PRSA Pittsburgh board members Alex Grubbs of Battenhall and Megha Pai of Pipitone Group, who are part of AAPI communities themselves.
Our esteemed panelists included:
- Sunny Yang, of counsel with Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP
- Don Michael Mendoza, executive artistic director of LA TI DO Productions
- Prachi Patel, migration communications consultant for the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) and communications manager for the Alliance for Refugee Youth Support and Education (ARYSE)
These panelists and our moderators spoke on a variety of issues, from the rise of violence against AAPI individuals to racial harassment. They also discussed the Model Minority Myth, how media and poor rhetoric harms everyone, colorism, juggling duality between countries, multiracial backgrounds and more.
AAPIs are not a monolith. To start having active communication about these communities, it’s imperative that we address and be aware of the many obstacles AAPI people face.
Learn more about the AAPI communities and our speakers below.
This list will be continually updated.
Important facts and statistics
- Asian Americans are the fastest-growing racial or ethnic group in the U.S.
- Labor force characteristics by race and ethnicity, 2019
- Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey
- Philadelphia Commission on Human Rights Hate Crimes & Bias Incidents Fact Sheet
- Report to the Nation: Anti-Asian Prejudice & Hate Crime
- STAATUS Index Report 2021
- STOP AAPI HATE NATIONAL REPORT
- 6 Charts That Dismantle The Trope Of Asian Americans As A Model Minority
- Asians for Mental Health
- The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund
- The Asian American Racial Justice Toolkit
- Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAAJ)
- The Center for Asian Pacific American Women
- NAPABA Hate Crimes Task Force and Pro Bono Legal Resources
- PA Attorney General’s Office Combatting Hate Crime: A Resource Guide
- Stop AAPI Hate
- Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Pennsylvania
- Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA) Pittsburgh
- Bhutanese Community Association of Pittsburgh (BCAP)
- Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs
- Filipino American Association of Pittsburgh (FAAP)
- Indonesian Cultural Center of Pittsburgh
- Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania
- The Korean Association of Greater Pittsburgh
- Maharashtra Mandal, Pittsburgh
- Nepali Community of Greater Pittsburgh (NCGP)
- Organization of Chinese Americans (OCA) Pittsburgh
- Pakistan American Association of Greater Pittsburgh
- Pittsburgh Asia Consortium
- Pittsburgh Area Telugu Association
- Pittsburgh Japanese Culture Society
- Sangama Pittsburgh Kannada Koota
- South Asians Building Bridges
- Tuika’s Polynesian Island Magic
Social media to follow
Sunny Yang is an Of Counsel with Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP who focuses her practice on international business matters and trade. She represents Chinese entities doing business in the U.S., as well as U.S. entities pursuing investments and operating in China. She has experience negotiating and structuring business transactions, as well as advising corporate executives in matters such as planning for the purchase of U.S. property by non-U.S. persons, transferring and protecting assets and wealth, and strategizing business succession planning. Sunny has overseen legal operations including handling market entry, corporate compliance, import-export matters, employment, immigration and litigation. Sunny is active in several industry organizations, holding leadership roles in regional and national bar associations, as an officer and former board member of Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Pennsylvania, a member and former Chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Community & Asian Attorneys Committee of the Allegheny County Bar Association, a former Executive Council member of the Women’s Division for the Allegheny County Bar Association, and Vice –President /Secretary of the Federal Bar Association – Western PA Chapter.
Don Michael Mendoza is the Co-Founder and
Executive Artistic Director of LA TI DO Productions where he’s collectively produced over 300 cabarets, concerts, theatrical shows, and events throughout Washington, DC (Arena Stage, Shakespeare Theatre Company, The Kennedy Center), New York City (Dramatists Guild Foundation, Feinstein’s/54 Below, Bowery Poetry Club), Los Angeles, his hometown of Pittsburgh, and beyond, since 2012. He most recently played a supporting role in the film The Girl Who Left Home (October 2020) alongside Paolo Montalban (Whitney Houston’s Cinderella) and is the creator of his re-branded blog and new podcast: Producing While Asian (www.producingwhileasian.com). Don Michael holds a B.A. in Musical Theatre & Journalism, and a M.A. in Strategic Communication from American University.
Prachi Patel is a migration communications consultant for the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) and communications manager for the Alliance for Refugee Youth Support and Education (ARYSE). She is also a co-founder of South Asians Building Bridges (SABB), a Pittsburgh-based organization building dialogue around race and equity within and beyond South Asian communities. She holds a degree in anthropology from the University of Pittsburgh and was a Princeton in Asia fellow based in Colombo, Sri Lanka in 2019. She has a background in international development, participatory storytelling facilitation and youth engagement.