The Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community remained resilient in the face of growing anti-AAPI sentiment around the world. Despite the challenges, the last year has been history-making in terms of progress: increasing representation and innovation in entertainment, music and tech. Inspired by the strength displayed by the AAPI community, this Heritage Month Sony Music Group invites everyone to “Rise to Greater Heights.”
Below, read about how this year’s AAPI Heritage Month at Sony Music came to be!
Unpacking the Artwork
Allow us to introduce Ryniee DeCheser, a Korean American abstract artist who often explores the dualities of nature in her work. DeCheser partnered with us to help visually bring this month’s theme to life, and when asked how the selected artwork relates, she said that it reflects her life as both a Korean and American in today’s world.
“There is an interplay of culture, at times clashing and other times enhancing my everyday experiences,” she explained. “In this time of pandemic and anti-AAPI sentiment, my work became pronounced with synthetic form and color, reflecting this influence into my life.”
Honoring AAPI Heritage Month
This May was a period of celebration and reflection at Sony Music Group. Different events held throughout the month allowed us to listen and learn as various speakers shared their favorite AAPI cultural traditions, unpacked racism and the immigrant experience, and discussed ways to build intercommunity solidarity.
With May also being Mental Health Awareness Month in the U.S., we tuned in to a conversation between The Orchard and HealHaus that focused on mental health within the AAPI community. Here is what Ally Han, Software Engineer and CEPA (Council for Equity and Progressive Action) Member at The Orchard, had to say about taking care of ourselves and others during this period of rising anti-AAPI sentiment.
“No matter how prepared you are to protect yourself as an individual, because of the nature of hate crimes, I find it difficult to escape the fear and anxiety that is attached to moving throughout the world,” Han explained. “So, the best way to watch out for ourselves and for our loved ones is to remind each other that we are not alone, and to encourage seeking out the things that bring us peace and joy in life, whatever that might mean for the individual.”
A huge thank you to all the people who contributed to this year’s AAPI Heritage Month celebrations and programming:
- Dr. Ann-Louise Lockhart, Pediatric Psychologist and Parent Coach
- Ayesha Syeddah, Managing Editor for the Blindian Project
- Jonah Batambuze, Founder/CEO Officer of the Blindian Project
- Maria Melcohr, Founder of FirstGenLiving
- Martha Candran-Dickerson, Editorial team member of the Blindian Project
And, a huge thank you to Sony’s Talent Advisory Group HUE (Helping Unite Everyone) for collaborating across the Sony enterprise for a month of fantastic programming and serving as a consistent internal partner to SMG’s Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion.
As part of SMG’s Global Social Justice Fund, we support worldwide anti-racist initiatives from organizations like APIAVote (Asian Pacific Islander American Vote). A leading nonpartisan nonprofit, APIAVote aims to engage, educate and empower the AAPI community throughout the voting process. To ensure AAPI voices are continually amplified, we partnered with APIAVote for the Your Voice, Your Power, Your Vote campaign and website, which will be updated with information on the upcoming midterm elections.
While we have reached the end of the month, our celebrations and support for the AAPI community will continue.