AAPI Heritage Month: One Community. Many Connections.

How can we bring employees together over shared backgrounds and beliefs when they are fundamentally diverse in their makeup?

Catherine Cu Rivera
Julie Joseph
AAPI Heritage Month: One Community. Many Connections.

At Equinix, we strive to find connections for the diverse Equinix Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) community. This post represents our personal opinions and shared experiences as interASIANconnect (iAc) members honoring AAPI Heritage Month. 

Julie Joseph, Director of IT Communications, and Communications Lead, interASIANconnect

Growing up, I described myself as a South Indian living in North India. I was multi-lingual, celebrated all festivals and could relate to various cultures. I embraced the notion of my diverse identity, but little did I know that I was merely scratching the surface of my identity as an Asian. When I moved from India to the U.S., I was “bucketed” under the South Asian ethnic group, and I found more in common with people beyond my nationality. I was intrigued and amazed by this greater sense of belonging I found within the Asian diaspora at Equinix. I’ve found the space to be myself at work, surrounded by colleagues from my iAc community rooting for my professional growth.   

Our employee resource groups are pivotal to our ethos for everyone at Equinix to say, “I’m safe, I belong, I matter.” Our Equinix Employee Connection Networks (EECNs) bring together people with common interests, backgrounds, and passions to connect over unique challenges and opportunities for the community.   

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interASIANconnect, our EECN for the Asian and Pacific Islander community, was instituted to unite the experiences, perspectives and voices of our global Asian, and Pacific Islander community and allies around three pillars: 

  • Inspire: ​To inspire our members to use their authentic voices to promote personal growth and to drive positive change in their communities both at Equinix and externally.  
  • Celebrate: To create a safe environment that celebrates our members’ diverse identities, nationalities, and cultures to promote greater inclusion and belonging at Equinix.  
  • Elevate: To elevate our members’ visibility, development, and influence to create opportunities for heightened leadership and career growth to advance the diversity of leadership at Equinix. 

This month, interASIANconnect is marking AAPI Heritage Month which was created to honor our history, culture, and contributions while recognizing the issues affecting our community. The Asian community is anything but a monolith, and we are an amalgamation of diverse ethnicities, cultures, beliefs, lifestyle, migration status, and education. Especially in the United States, the intersection of Asian and Pacific Islander relationships is characterized by the conflict between similarities of personal struggles and historical/political differences. From fighting stereotypes to anti-Asian violence, the collective big and small challenges have brought us together more than ever.  

At Equinix, we are using this as an opportunity to appreciate and champion the complexity of the AAPI experience.  

Legal Operations Sr. Manager; Founder and Co-Lead of interASIANconnect

I am blessed to have been raised in the epicenter of high-tech and innovation – the Silicon Valley in Northern California. Backed by my strong Filipino and Chinese cultural upbringing and faith, I have developed a deep passion for serving, connecting and amplifying others in finding their voices to make an impact. Ten years ago, I brought that passion to Equinix and discovered a place that encouraged me to bring my authentic self to work every day under our own set of the golden rules grounded in the Magic of Equinix.

Throughout my life I was fortunate to be amongst circles engaging in conversations with both Asian and non-Asian friends and colleagues, around self-identity, social justice and equality, breaking down Asian stereotypes, exploring what the glass vs bamboo ceiling was, finding our voice, and defining our purpose. These lengthy, sometimes heavy and often therapeutic conversations seemed to evolve over time throughout the different stages of my life and in 2019, served as the foundation for interASIANconnect and our formal launch in October of 2020. The desire to build a community that would serve as a platform to unite the experiences, perspectives and voices represented under the Asian and Pacific Islander umbrella became a reality. We found community in being able to share experiences, and in Tagalog, a Filipino dialect, we call it kapwa. We are in kapwa with each other in sharing stories about our lived experiences, the impact it has on our identity and as professionals on our growth journey. We engage in dialogue and allyship amongst the diverse communities that make up interASIANconnect and with allies seeking to learn about the communities we celebrate.

We recognize the contributions and excellence of Asian and Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders across Equinix and the wider community this month and every day. We encourage Asians and Pacific Islanders to step out of the shadows and into the light of their greatness and be unapologetic and unafraid to celebrate and be celebrated for being their authentic selves, impacting the generations to follow.  

We are bringing our INSPIRE, CELEBRATE AND ELEVATE pillars to life with our “One Community. Many Connections” theme this AAPI Heritage month at Equinix. By kickstarting a series of employee connection events, we are creating candid and organic platforms for all to learn about the community’s unique differences and find themes of commonality across individual struggles. By building authentic connections as a community, we forge relationships that enable us to support each other for individual career development and broader organizational culture change.   

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Catherine Cu Rivera Legal Operations Sr. Manager; Founder and Co-Lead of interASIANconnect
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Julie Joseph Director of IT Communications, and Communications Lead, interASIANconnect
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