Making a difficult topic more Visible.

By: Andy Choi

Andy leads a panel discussing how we’re standing up to hate and supporting the Asian-American community.

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On today’s Up To Speed Live, host Andy Choi continues a conversation that started with Hans Vestberg just a few weeks ago regarding the rise in attacks targeting the Asian-American community.

You might remember that Hans took time to declare that “hate has no place here.” Watch the replay of that episode on Inside Verizon. Hans made a point that day to say we will continue to educate our stakeholders on this topic and that’s what we aimed to do today.

In the days following that conversation, so many of you reached out to us not only expressing your support, but also wanting to learn more about recent events targeting Asian Americans and how our own V Teamers are processing this topic. So today, we had an opportunity to speak candidly with some very special V Teamers – Visible CEO Miguel Quiroga, Visible CMO Minjae Ormes and Small and Medium Business Account Specialist Amber Nakamura. They’ve got some news to share about how Verizon is giving back in a big way.

Andy mentioned that as he was watching the recent coverage of Asian-American/Pacific-Islander advocates hitting the streets across the country to raise awareness, a particular message caught his eye. It was of a young woman holding a sign that read “Love our people like you love our food.” It reminded him that food has been the connective tissue among countless Asian communities yearning to be part of our uniquely American experience.

Tragically, an increasing number of Asian Americans have been the target of hate crimes. Stop AAPI Hate, a coalition aimed at addressing anti-Asian discrimination during the COVID-19 pandemic, says it has received more than 2,800 firsthand reports of anti-Asian hate — including physical and verbal assaults — between March 19 and December 31 of 2020. The group believes that number has exceeded 3,000 now, and that women are attacked almost 2 1/2 times more than men, with Asian-American seniors being victims in more than 7% of those reports.

Miguel talked about how Visible, as an Asian-led company, feels a responsibility to take action. The company, on behalf of the entire Verizon family, is partnering with Gold House, a nonprofit collective of Asian American & Pacific Islander founders, creative voices and leaders. We’re honored to support Gold House with a $50,000 grant to help enable and amplify more authentic multicultural representation and work towards societal equity through the development of small- and medium-sized businesses.

Miguel reminded that built into the Visible mission, core values and purpose is the desire to make the invisible visible by shining a light on people and communities so they feel seen, heard and empowered. “Hate against one is hate against all, and we’ll always aim to use our platform to support organizations that continue to fight systemic racism and actively work towards racial and social justice,” said Miguel.

Minjae shared how she is personally working to be more vocal on these important topics, both in person and on social media, and talked about the complexity of Asian identity. She pointed out that racism is designed to dehumanize and keep us separated from one another, but having personal conversations and showing up for one another can unite us.

Amber, who was raised by her parents to speak up and educate when possible, takes the opportunity in her store to educate customers when possible. She also talked about how she is keeping her mother and grandmother home as much as possible, not even allowing trips to the grocery store, due to concern regarding the pandemic as well as the threat of potential hate crimes.

If you’re interested in helping, please consider donating directly to Gold House (goldhouse.org/support) or to Gold House’s AAPI Community Fund in partnership with GoFundMe. One-hundred percent of donations will be distributed to proven 501(c)(3) API nonprofits devoted to restorative justice and long-term equity.

The team also shared the latest Visible ad starring Kevin Bacon, which aired last night during the Grammy Awards. In the spirit of Kevin Bacon and our Credo, let’s look for ways we can all connect with one another as we move #ForwardTogether.

If you are interested in learning more or getting involved with PACE, our Pan Asian Corporate Excellence employee resource page, please check out their page on the web.

If you have any questions, email them to live@verizon.com.

Click here for a transcript of the webcast.

Get the latest information on our Coronavirus Resource Page (Inside Verizon, The Street).

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