As the daughter of an aircraft mechanic, travel has always been a constant in my life – it’s a part of my DNA. Growing up, my parents pushed me to see new places and experience new cultures first-hand. It felt important and worldly, but honestly, I haven’t stopped to think about how it truly impacted me.
I recently ran across research claiming that people who have deep relationships with someone from another country become more creative. Clearly, diversity is important for so many reasons, but the idea that a team of people from different cultures and perspectives can change the outcome of a project or bring a more creative idea to the table is fascinating and empowering. This means that diversity is not just the right thing to do – it’s the #betterway.
At JS, we have a team dedicated to ensuring that we celebrate and share the diversity of JSers throughout the agency, building respect and inclusivity among all team members. I’m so proud of our team and the work we do to empower individuals to bring their “whole selves” to work.
Our team comes from all walks of life – and I’m energized and inspired every time we meet. Beyond this team, plenty of JSers are soaking in inspiration from around the world. PROI partner agency exchanges have taken JSers to the Philippines, Singapore, Germany and beyond. JSers have traveled to far-flung regions of the world, like Japan and Korea, as part of their month-long sabbatical – a reward after 10 years as part of the JS team.
As I ponder all of this, the timing couldn’t be more fitting. I am a blend of different backgrounds – Filipino, Finnish, Native American, American – all perspectives I take for granted. It just so happens that May marks Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month, a perfect time to dive into the deep history and traditions of my Filipino ancestors.
I don’t think this intentional focus on the beauty and diversity of Asian-Pacific culture and incredible accomplishments of Asian-Pacific Americans should be reserved to just those who have roots. Regardless of where we may come from, we can all learn from different cultures. In fact, just being aware that perspectives from different cultures deliver different outcomes can change our way of thinking.
So perhaps with some intentionality this month, consider experiencing another culture. Your team’s next great idea may depend on it.
Looking for some inspiration? There are plenty of Asian-Pacific American celebrations happening across the U.S. Here are a few we’ve spotted near our offices:
- May 16-19: Dallas Fort-Worth South Asian Film Festival
- May 19: DFW Dragon Boat, Kite and Lantern Festival
- May 25-26: Dallas Thai Fest
- May 31: Kollaboration Atlanta’s “Where Are You Really From?” Pop Art Show
I’d also encourage you to check out one of the many incredible Pan-Asian restaurants and authentic eats, like Heirloom BBQ, Mushi Ni or Tabla in Atlanta, D92 Korean BBQ in Decatur and Athens, Bubble Cafe in Athens, and Crushcraft and Royal Thai in Dallas.