Tag Archives: Diversity

We are many and one: Googlers mark AAPI Heritage Month

Tiffany’s mother was born in Hong Kong. Her father was born in Vietnam. She is proud to be Chinese, Asian, and American. 

Aerica’s mother is Japanese from Kyoto, Japan and her father is Black, from College Station, TX. She identifies as Black and Japanese. 

Together, we are the chairs of the Asian Google Network (AGN), whose mission is to support the diverse and multicultural Asian community at Google and beyond. Founded in 2007, AGN is open to all Googlers and provides an annual mentorship program, opportunities for civic and community engagement; leadership development; and curriculum to advance racial justice for all.

We celebrate Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month every year in service to that mission. And for the 40th anniversary of AAPI Heritage Month, it was important to us to convey the diversity of the Asian experience in America. For example, Asians at Google trace their roots to more than 20 countries, are multiracial, multiethnic, and speak dozens of languages. And when Asian ethnicities are disaggregated, the data shows that there are wide chasms in access to education, income, and representation. That means that issues that impact AAPIs are broad as well.

As part of this year’s AAPI celebrations, we created an internal curriculum for Googlers on Asian narratives called “We Are Many and One: Gathering Asian Narratives,” where participants share stories and find both common themes and differences within the Asian American Pacific Islander community at Google. Across the country, AGN chapters also put on events for their local communities, such as the exhibit organized by AGN Ann Arbor, which uses timelines, Supreme Court cases, poetry, and the stories of local Googlers to tell the history of Angel Island, the entry point for many Asian immigrants coming to the United States.

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AGN Ann Arbor members observing the Angel Island Exhibit

To recognize the AAPI community outside of Google, we partnered with Google Expeditions to feature tours of “Hokule'a's Worldwide Voyage” and “Kamehameha: Unification of the Hawaiian Islands.” YouTube created a playlist of AAPI artists. Google Assistant embedded 10 new AAPI facts activated by the question, “Hey Google, what’s up?” And just today, the Doodle team created a Doodle celebrating Chinese-American cinematographer James Wong Howe.

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In the spirit of celebrating our diverse community, we also spoke with several members of AGN to hear about why they participate in AGN, what this means to them, and who inspires them.

Why does AGN matter to you?

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Josh Li, Founder of AGN

AGN provides a safe space where Googlers can share more about their own backgrounds, cultures, challenges they face, and help each other excel at Google and outside of Google.

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Edward Doan, AGN Chapter Lead, Austin

As an American-born child of Vietnamese immigrants, I have the "neither-here-nor-there" feeling of straddling two cultures. I have learned to embrace this state, and it's wonderful to meet fellow Googlers who share the same feelings!


Tell us about your heritage. What makes you proud to be who you are?

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Ashish Sathe, AGN Chapter Lead, Ann Arbor

I still remain connected with my family's roots in India and make it a point to visit every year. I’m proud that India is a country of many different cultures and people that came together to form an identity. From Bollywood movies and music to colorful curries, elements of Indian culture are becoming popular across the world, and I am proud to share this with people in America and around the world.

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Lyn Mahina'okalani Mehe'ula, AGN Member

I am Native Hawaiian & Japanese, and I am incredibly proud to belong to an indigenous American culture. My father descends from Chief Kahekili, who was the last King of Mau'i until the Hawaiian Islands were unified in 1810. My mother's side brings in Japanese, as her grandparents migrated to Mau'i over 100 years ago for job opportunities following the Islands' agricultural boom.


Who in the AAPI community inspires you?

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Amie Ninh, AGN Race Affairs Lead

I have a lot of heroes in the AAPI community—Yuri Kochiyama, Grace Lee Boggs, Helen Zia. They are activists who strived to build coalitions with other communities of color and also give visibility and voice to the issues impacting the AAPI community.

We hope you’ll join us this AAPI History Month in learning more about the AAPI community and working toward a more just and inclusive world. 

Start making your business more accessible using Primer

Posted by Lisa Gevelber, VP Marketing Ads and Americas

Over one billion people in the world have some form of disability.

That's why we make accessibility a core consideration when we develop new products—from concept to launch and beyond. It's good for users and good for business: Building products that don't consider a diverse range of needs could mean missing a substantial group of potential users and customers.

But impairments and disabilities are as varied as people themselves. For designers, developers, marketers or small business owners, making your products and designs more accessible might seem like a daunting task. How can you make sure you're being more inclusive? Where do you start?

Today, Global Accessibility Awareness Day, we're launching a new suite of resources to help creators, marketers, and designers answer those questions and build more inclusive products and designs.

The first step is learning about accessibility. Simply start by downloading the Google Primer app and search "accessibility." You'll find five-minute lessons that help you better understand accessibility, and learn practical tips to start making your own business, products and designs more accessible, like key design principles for building a more accessible website. You may even discover that addressing accessibility issues can improve the user experience for everyone. For instance, closed captions can make your videos accessible to more people whether they have a hearing impairment or are sitting in a crowded room.

Next, visit the Google Accessibility page and discover free tools that can help you make your site or app more accessible for more people. The Android Developers site also contains a wide range of suggestions to help you improve the accessibility of your app.

We hope these resources will help you join us in designing and building for a more inclusive future. After all, an accessible web and world is a better one—both for people and for business.

"Excited to see the new lessons on accessibility that Primer launched today. They help us learn how to start making websites and products more accessible. With over 1 billion people in the world with some form of disability, building a more inclusive web is the right thing to do both for people and for business."