A Long Line of Storytellers: Celebrating AAPI Heritage Month

The words "Celebrating Asian and Pacific Voices" appear against a background of waves. The top two-thirds of waves, behind the words, are a faded grey and white. The bottom third are blue, teal and white.

Each year, we celebrate Asian-American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage month by highlighting stories and voices of AAPI people. This year, as we witnessed a deeply disturbing rise in discrimination and violence against Asian Americans, in addition to Covid-19 raging anew through India, the month’s events also included focused efforts around allyship, empowerment, and mental health.

Audible employees were invited to a virtual workshop, “Bridging the Gap,” with LEAP (Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics) to learn about Asian and Pacific Islander identity, the history of AAPI in the U.S., and current issues faced by the AAPI community. Other opportunities included a free one-hour bystander intervention training with Hollaback!, a global movement to empower citizens to end harassment in all its forms, in partnership with Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC).

Our editorial team asked employees to share the stories that capture the experience of being Asian-American in this blog post, Voices of Audible: Celebrating AAPI Stories and Lives, and curated two Hear My Story collections focused on Asian storytelling.

In the introduction to the Celebrating Asian and Pacific Voices collection, Audible Editor Hsin writes, “My Chinese-Taiwanese grandma used to say that our Asian community comes from a long line of spoken words. From the ancient deities in our fairy tales about world creation, to the heroes whose achievements are in our epic poems, we are the descendants of storytelling.”

Renowned AAPI writers shared recommendations with Audible listeners as part of our ongoing guest editor series, including Pulitzer Prize-winner Viet Thanh Nguyen, playwright Leah Nakano Winkler, literary luminary Ed Park, best-selling author Weike Wang, and more.

We hosted an Audible Live session with Yo-Yo Ma, the world-renowned cellist behind the Audible Original Beginner’s Mind, and are offering the Original for free streaming in May when Alexa users ask, “Alexa, what’s free from Audible.”

As this month is also Mental Health Awareness Month, interdisciplinary artist Yumi Sakugawa led a 90-minute virtual workshop, “Have Tea With Your Demons,” inviting employees to practice sitting with difficult emotions. The session included guided mindful meditation, writing prompts, free-form drawing exercises, and visualizations to connect compassionately with difficult emotions, and tap into the hidden wisdom behind them. Earlier in the month, our Women in Tech impact group hosted a companywide virtual breathing and mindfulness exercise with Regina Rocke, a certified yoga, meditation, pranayama breathwork instructor.

To support our AAPI employees in their careers here at Audible, members of our talent team held a panel discussion exploring Audible’s philosophy of the “career journey,” an approach that prioritizes sustainable fulfillment and career evolution over traditional, linear models of success, and the impact this philosophy has on AAPI employees, specifically.

And Audible’s Head of Content Acquisition and Development Pat Shah participated in the Amplifying AAPI Representation in Entertainment & Media Summit on Wednesday, May 26, on the panel New Partnerships and Innovations. This lively discussion covered opportunities and disruptions for AAPIs in entertainment and pop culture.

Beyond our pledge to stand with our AAPI community, we will continue to elevate their stories and voices, and to keep the work going by donating to AAAJ and CAPE USA. Both organizations are working to end anti-Asian hate and ensure fair, positive representation in media and entertainment.


Standing with Our Asian Colleagues
Standing with Our Asian Colleagues

Audible founder and Executive Chairman, Don Katz, shared our ongoing commitment to protect inherent civil rights and to denounce anti-Asian racism, xenophobia and other forms of intolerance in a note to employees.

Audible Announces Spring 2021 ‘Words + Music’ Roster

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