Ascend Solidarity Statement
June 3, 2020
Ascend stands in solidarity against racism and violence. The tragic and senseless deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor and other acts of bias and violence against Blacks have shaken our country to its core. We are seeing with alarming frequency incidents that shed light on the inequality, racism, institutional bias and prejudice that many fellow Americans have endured for generations. There is no place for this. Each of these instances reaffirms to me the need for greater empathy, enlightment and understanding, and the continued importance of closing the economic gaps that impact our workforce. We need to do much more collectively by listening to each other, acknowledging the work that we as a society must do, and taking action in a positive and constructive way. We cannot be complacent and must not be mere bystanders.
Covid-19 has impacted all of us in ways we could never have imagined. It has devastated our Black, Latinx, and Native American communities at disproportionate rates and brought abuse to our Asian American community. Recent heartbreaking events, together with the global COVID-19 pandemic, amplify the need for Ascend members to exercise resiliency and resolve and do better for our communities. Ascend doesn’t have all the answers to solve for these highly complex and nuanced societal issues, but I do know that we have an important role to play. With our collaboration partners and 100+ supporting companies, we adopted our joint 5-Point Action Agenda. The core tenets of Promote Inclusion, Raise Awareness, Denounce Bias, Support Communities, and Give Donations apply now more than ever to our vulnerable and hurting communities. We are here for our black friends and colleagues, our corporate partners, members and the community at large to work together on solutions to make the change we want and need.
I am in active discussions with key CEO driven coalitions such as CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion, senior company executives, our partners and Ascend members on how, as leaders, we will become more race conversant and reduce inequities in the workplace. On Friday, June 5th, Ascend will be hosting the first in a series of Ascend Dialogs to discuss how we can work together as a pan-Asian and broader community to mobilize and accelerate change in our workplaces and beyond.
As each of us internalizes and tries to make sense of what has happened, I personally urge you to:
Learn and increase fluency about the human experiences and history of the Black community and other communities of color
Elevate your understanding of our commonalities and appreciate our differences
Adopt our 5-point Action Agenda and develop your personal actions
Devise strategies for candid conversations with friends, family, and colleagues about racial injustice and disparities
Together we can accelerate change, begin the healing process and make meaningful and sustainable contributions to build a more equitable and inclusive society. Now more than ever, we need to ascend to the challenges before us.
Anna W. Mok
President, Ascend Foundation
Message from Ascend LA Metro Chapter President
To the Los Angeles Ascend community
It’s now been over four months since our lives have been impacted by the COVID-19 virus but despite our shelter at home lifestyle, it’s been incredible how quickly time has flown by. My hope is that all of you have stayed safe and healthy as we continue on to learn what our post COVID-19 life will look.
As a reminder, Ascend has demonstrated its leadership by addressing the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic by standing side by side and issuing a joint statement with diverse organizations and many large corporations to promote inclusion, raise awareness and denounce bias. You can see the joint statement and the organizations involved by clicking here.
Ascend is also utilizing action to back up its words. In addition to the joint statement, we have launched Ascend ACT, which is an initiative to create a safe environment where we can discuss race relations and inequalities that impact us personally and in the workplace. Our Los Angeles chapter will team with the Orange County chapter to execute our first ACT dialogue event on August 20th from 4:00 to 5:30 PM. A separate email will be sent out so each of you can register for the event – so please look for it and join us in this important dialogue.
In addition, as part of the ACT initiative, Ascend is also gathering information on how many of you feel about race and racial inequity in America. As such, we are asking that each of you participate in our ACT survey so that we better understand how our constituency feels about this ongoing issue. The ACT survey will take approximately ten minutes and can be accessed here.
The Ascend National Convention will continue on as planned from August 24 – August 26 but will be offered in fully virtual environment. We promise that there will still be exciting and thought-provoking speakers, and the content will provide you with takeaways that will enhance and benefit your careers. As an added bonus, while the primary content of the convention will end on August 26, the actual convention will continue on for an additional six weeks with various offerings that will be sure to entice you to continue to log on. Please stay tuned to what will be an exciting convention.
Another component to the Ascend National Convention will be the impact challenge. The impact challenge is a team challenge that addresses the question “Can we build transformative and sustainable business models for Asian and other small businesses to succeed in post pandemic recovery?”. Please look at the details of the challenge by clicking here. You do not need to attend the National Convention to be part of the impact challenge so please form a team and participate!
We have a lot going on as we go through the summer months but we still need your help. Please help us achieve our mission by being a member of our organization. You can go to our Ascend website to renew your membership, join, or rejoin our organization. I look forward to growing our chapter and seeing many of you in the future.
LA Metro Chapter President
Ascend LA Metro
100+ Corporations & Partner Organizations Support COVID-19 Action Agenda
Ascend, ALPFA, Catalyst, The Conference Board, MLT, NABA, NCAI, NOD, Out & Equal and Tanenbaum Collaborate on COVID-19 Action Response
Ascend is the largest, non-profit Pan-Asian membership organization for business professionals in North America.
As a career lifecycle organization, Ascend offers robust leadership and professional development programs designed to cultivate Pan-Asian talent by supporting its members in reaching their career potential and by supporting its corporate partners to develop a strong, diverse, and inclusive workforce to achieve business growth.
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