Come back to this blog throughout the month for more updates and news on the initiatives driving impact throughout AAPI Heritage Month.
In 2022 we embarked on a journey to step up in response to the increase in violence against the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community to help #StopAAPIHate. We focused on collective action, leveraged our voices in the industry and partnered with local and national organizations to provide much needed on-the-ground support. We also released our award-winning film “The Name” with the hopes of sparking conversations about an issue very prevalent in many AAPI communities: creating belonging, starting with a name.
“The Name” was driven by the insight that names are the cornerstone of our identity. For many AAPIs, their given names carry an even deeper history and significance. But bias, indifference and even unintentional mistakes can lead to mispronunciation, misidentification and create barriers within communities. Though this may seem trivial at the surface, the chronic mispronunciation of Asian names only reinforces that AAPIs are less valued and are perpetual foreigners.
The Impact of ‘The Name’
Movement starts with understanding, and understanding starts with dialogue.
Since its launch, “The Name,” has raised awareness around the importance of learning and respecting AAPI names, and it has contributed to the greater sense of belonging for the AAPI community.
The impact has been broad and wide. To date “The Name” has received over 4 billion impressions and, more importantly, encouraged many to share their name stories. For some, it has inspired them to reclaim their Asian names. The film shows that learning someone’s name is the simplest way to make them feel accepted. It’s a reaction to alienation and passive acts of bias that lead to not-so passive hate.
With “The Name,” we not only wanted to empower the AAPI community and open the door to belonging, but also encourage allies and advocates to support this mission. “The Name” microsite educates and unpacks anti-Asian bias, while the name generator tool assists individuals in starting their own social conversations surrounding their names, and thus, identity.
We enabled meaningful conversations with a Dialogue Guide, created in partnership with our internal AAPI employees, and Lean In and provided much needed support to local and national organizations, including Gold House, The Asian American Foundation (TAAF), the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA), amongst others, to further uplift the AAPI community.
“The Name” also sparked conversations for many who resonated with the shared experience of having their names mispronounced. Several members — including non-Asian Americans from other marginalized groups — shared their personal stories and the meaning of their names, cultivating a renewed sense of belonging and community.
“Wish I had a film like this to make me feel seen.”
“Reminds me of how I felt as a kid growing up.”
“This film moves me to tears.”
Going Beyond ‘The Name’
As part of P&G’s ongoing advocacy for equality and inclusion, we are continuing to step up for the AAPI community by taking meaningful action to bring awareness to the important issues of the community and to elevate our partners providing much needed support.
The Asian American Foundation (TAAF) Partner Summit
Earlier this month, Freddy Bharucha, Sr. Executive Vice President NA & Global Personal Beauty Care, P&G, spoke at TAAF’s second-ever Heritage Month Summit & Celebration — an annual event that not only celebrates AAPI Heritage Month, but also convenes AAPI leaders from across sectors. Bharucha participated in a panel discussing storytelling, belonging and the AAPI experience, and how “The Name” opened the door to getting to know individuals at a personal and human level.
I’m seeing so many more phonetic pronunciations across social media and email, which is so encouraging. I’ve heard stories from various AAPI leaders, who once felt their name was a burden because it would inevitably be mispronounced, share with me that they now have a sense of renewed pride in their name and are reminded of the significance of their name. Perhaps most importantly, it’s created an open dialogue to learn, share and build empathy and understanding. And it’s from this place that true change can happen.
Through “The Name” and its powerful insight, we’re now seeing more people feel comfortable in asking for guidance on how to pronounce a name correctly, and similarly, people are more comfortable in coaching others on how to correctly pronounce their name.
Gold House’s Gold Gala
On May 6, P&G celebrated at the 2nd annual Gold House Gold Gala, which honors the most influential AAPI figures of the past year, including celebrities, cultural leaders, politicians and business executives. Attendees — including Tan France, Chin Han, Ming-Na Wen, Atsuko Okatsuka and Rupi Kaur — shared their personal name stories to inspire the AAPI to take pride in reclaiming their names.
MILCK’s Name Story
Through our partnership with Gold House, MILCK — AAPI singer, songwriter, producer, performer and an advocate who uses music to write her most courageous self into existence — shared the story of her name.
MILCK (Connie K Lim) represents her last name backwards, combined with her first two initials.
The name is symbolically taking what my parents have given me and then mixing it up to make it work for me now. I decided to perform under the guise of MILCK so I could kind of free myself of my own limitations.
READ MORE HERITAGE MONTH STORIES ON OUR BLOG