Storytelling can help us understand others and ourselves. As one of the most universal human experiences, sharing stories allows us to both connect with and strengthen our communities. In being vulnerable with our own stories, we can open up safe spaces for our community members to reciprocate. Storytelling grants us the power to take pride in our unique experiences and to promote inclusion of perspectives beyond our own.
The Asian Connections Affinity Group (ACAG) is celebrating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month by celebrating the diversity of our members’ names! Each of our names has a story and a history, which both deserve honoring. We invited members of the ACAG to share the story of their names and their pride in their APA heritage.
In our Story of Your Name Scrapbook, we had the privilege to showcase the broad history of some of our members’ names. These stories touched on the Asian American diaspora as their names became Romanized through immigration or assimilation, the adoptee experience of having other cultural names while holding pride in Asian heritage, and the dreams of parents that manifest through their children’s names. Taking inspiration from mythical stories to celebrities, our names have shaped our lived experiences and how we carry ourselves through the world.
We encourage the broader SWE community to use the Story of Your Name activity as an icebreaker or as a DEI&B moment. Participants can share any part of their name that holds significance to them and why. Not only does this help others remember names more clearly, but it can also spark further conversations. We recommend giving advance notice prior to using this activity, as some may need to research the history of their names (i.e., asking family members, looking through records, etc.).