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A Message from Chair Janet Dhillon on Asian American/Pacific Islander Heritage Month, 2019

Post from Chair Janet Dhillon - May 2019

Last year, "Crazy Rich Asians," the first Hollywood studio movie in 25 years with an all-Asian cast, took the country by storm.  That's a big step up from the '70s, when Bruce Lee was turned down for the lead role in a TV series about a half-Chinese man steeped in Chinese culture, ironically, because he was Chinese.

This year, the national theme for Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month is "Unite Our Mission by Engaging Each Other."  Dr. Martin Luther King said, "Unity is strength ... when there is teamwork and collabora­tion, wonderful things can be achieved."  The Commission takes these words to heart and is committed to increasing opportunities and resources for AAPI communities and remains vigilant in our efforts to reach and serve these communities in carrying out our mission.

Today there are more than 17 million AAPIs, representing many ethnicities and languages, and spanning generations, who have helped build a strong and vibrant America.  AAPI communities and their shared achievements are an important part of the American experience, furthering our nation's economic and cultural growth through notable contributions to politics, arts, science and technology, law, medicine and educa­tion.

EEOC remains vigilant in its efforts to address discrimination against the varied sub-groups that comprise the AAPI community.  In FY 2018, we garnered $5.52 million on behalf of Asian Americans in pre-litigation processes alone. And recently, the EEOC successfully resolved a suit against Master Marine, Inc., a Gulf Coast shipbuilder, for racial and same-sex sexual harassment for allowing one of its lead welders to sexually and racially harass a male Asian-American welder at its Bayou La Batre, Alabama, headquarters.

Here at the EEOC, we remain steadfast in our commitment to identifying and eradicating workplace discrimination against members of the AAPI community.  I invite everyone to take part in this collective effort.  Take a moment this month to consider the value in different perspectives and different stories, reflecting on our common experiences, and uniting in our efforts to support our national AAPI community.