At The Walt Disney Company, we uplift stories of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (AANHPIs) around the world. Through transformative storytelling and a focused approach, Disney is uniquely positioned to honor the diversity of AANHPI communities by amplifying the voices of AANHPI leaders, employees, talent, and creators to feel like they belong.
In May, we’re Rising Together as we celebrate Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific IslanderHeritage Month. We seek to increase the visibility and presence of AANHPIs and create opportunities to illuminate and combat the many ways these communities experience bias, racism, and inequity.
“It is impossible to define the diverse AANHPI community with one acronym since it represents a group of people hailing from nearly 50 countries with very distinct culture, language, and identities. AAHNPI Heritage Month provides a platform to celebrate this breadth of culture and identity of our communities while shedding light on both the historic inequities and contributions we have made to our country,” says Christine Cadena, vice president of diversity, equity, and inclusion market at The Walt Disney Company.
“Indeed, AANHPI is inclusive of communities like my own Kānaka Maoli (Native Hawaiian) community, that proudly self-identify as under the Native and/or Indigenous labels. As a Native Hawaiian person, I relate greatly to my Indigenous relations from across the Pacific and here on Turtle Island. Our ancestors were absolutely incredible!” says Kalikolehua Hurley, senior manager of diversity and inclusion content strategies at Walt Disney Animation Studios.
Through company and employee-driven events, content, and culture-shifting conversations, we can promote allyship, counter biases and stereotypes, and deepen our culture of belonging by building cultural competency among leaders and employees.
“I have had the immense pleasure of helping lead the planning for this month and I truly don’t know if I can put into words how much it has meant to me. I think what I’m looking forward to is seeing everything come together after seeing all the hard work that’s gone into it,” says Amanda Kim, retail stage manager at Disneyland Resort, and one of the leaders of AANHPI Heritage Month celebrations within Disney’s Business Employee Resource Groups (BERGs).
There are numerous ways our audiences can celebrate AANHPI Heritage Month with Disney throughout May and beyond. Disney+ has launched a new collection, “Asian and Pacific Islander Stories” and networks such as ABC, Disney Channel, Freeform, and FX will all spotlight AANHPI voices. Plus, check out Disney Music Group’s AANHPI Heritage Month playlist on your favorite music service.
At Disney, inclusion is for everyone. Reimagine Tomorrow is our way of celebrating, highlighting, and amplifying underrepresented and untold stories as well as championing the importance of accurate representation in media and entertainment. We are all greater than a single story and we all deserve to feel seen, heard, and understood, not only during heritage months but year-round.
“A reimagined tomorrow is not reimagined, it is created. We each have the opportunity to raise our voice, but we should also raise our hands to change our narratives and future,” says Ralphie Giron, manager of sensitive information protection at The Walt Disney Company, and another leader of AANHPI Heritage Month within the BERGs.
“My reimagined tomorrow is one where everyone has the ability and the space to participate and contribute and feels comfortable doing so. As you have the opportunity to ‘be in the room,’ create opportunity for others to be there too,” said Chara-Lynn Aguiar, senior vice president of content strategy and office of the chairman at ESPN.
Keep an eye on your favorite Disney brands throughout the month for more surprises, and check out @ReimagineTomorrow on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to follow along in the celebration and share ways you plan to celebrate the month.
by Disney Career Recruitment