The City of Santa Monica is hosting a virtual community listening session in support of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community on Thursday, April 22, 2021, from 6 – 8 p.m. The session will provide AAPI community members an opportunity to speak about their feelings, experiences, and the support they need now and going forward as we continue to see increasing acts of hate and racism against the AAPI community across the country. It will also be an opportunity for AAPI allies to voice their support.

The listening session will not be recorded. All community members are welcome to attend and can register now through Eventbrite.
“We hope our Asian American and Pacific Islander community members and allies across the community will join to listen and reflect on experiences as we create a more equitable and inclusive Santa Monica in support of the call to Stop AAPI Hate,” said Mayor Sue Himmelrich. “This listening session will be foundational to a community forum in support of our AAPI community this spring.”

The session will be facilitated by Dr. Marissa Pei, an organizational psychologist, TV commentator and media personality known as the “Asian Oprah” who speaks and consults all over the world, motivating individuals and organizations to be happy 88% of the time. Dr. Marissa was one of the first Valuing Diversity consultants to pioneer the effort to bring respect for differences in private banking and LA County departments in the mid-1990s and continues to help companies understand the competitive advantage and complexity of diversity in the workplace.

“Kudos to the City of Santa Monica for offering this space for the AAPI community to share their experiences and perspectives and inviting me to facilitate. The horrific public assault on Asian Americans is not easy to watch, especially when it affects your own identity. Being able to talk about it in a safe supportive environment is a critical first step toward healing, understanding and realizing that we are all in this together to end racism in America,” said Dr. Marissa. “I encourage my fellow AAPI community members to speak up so the City, and your neighbors, friends and colleagues know how to support you. This is also a chance for you to hear what other people in our community are going through so you know you’re not alone. Most important is our collective effort to move from hate to solution. Yes change starts with awareness but the willingness to #bethechange and participate individually and collectively gives awareness the wings to bring us back to humanKIND, emphasis on KIND. Show up for yourself and for all Asian Americans who want to #stopAAPIhate.”

Submitted by Constance Farrell, Public Information Officer