On May 12, Penn State Outreach and Online Education, in collaboration with the Office of Educational Equity, hosted “What’s in a Name?” — a virtual panel discussion held in honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month. This event was inspired by the thought-provoking short film “The Name” from Procter & Gamble, which portrays the authentic AAPI experience through the eyes of a young Asian American girl and her mother. The film was created as an act of solidarity with the AAPI community, driven by the surge in hate crimes against them across the country, and sheds light on the unintended bias Asian Americans encounter when their names are mispronounced and misunderstood, leaving them feeling like perpetual foreigners in American society.
The discussion offered an opportunity for panelists from Procter & Gamble and Penn State to share insights from their personal experiences as members of the AAPI community.
The panelists shared their perspectives and provided advice on fostering a sense of belonging. Among the valuable insights shared was the importance of simply engaging in meaningful conversations about an individual’s name, inviting them to share the significance behind their name, and ensuring correct pronunciation. These dialogues hold the potential to foster deeper connections and enable us all to relate to one another on a more profound, human level.
Clarabelle Lin — Executive Director of Online Education Strategy and Business Development, Penn State Online Education
Yea Yun Chow — Senior Director of Advertising and Brand Strategy, Procter & Gamble
Dr. Nalini Krishnankutty — Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging Program Manager, Penn State Human Resources
Janet Luong — Senior Brand Director, Procter & Gamble
The panelists who participated in the discussion gathered resources for anyone to use to support the AAPI community and promote belonging and inclusion in all of our communities.
Asian/Asian-Pacific Islander Community Organizations and Departments
Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Caucus Student Organization
PanAPIDA Circle – Asian Pacific Islander Desi American community of Centre County
Penn State Department of Asian Studies
If You Don’t Know How to Say Someone’s Name, Just Ask — Harvard Business Review
America Ruined My Name for Me — The New Yorker
What Listeners Told Us About The Importance Of Getting Names Right — WBUR
American Immigrants and the Dilemma of ‘White Sounding’ Names — The Atlantic
‘Where We Come From’: By Any Other Name — National Public Radio
Why Pronouncing Students’ Names Correctly Is So Important — National Education Association
Resources from Procter & Gamble
“The Name” — Belonging Starts with a Name
“The Name” — Dialogue Guide for Businesses and Organizations (PDF)
Penn State Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Resources
Center for Spiritual and Ethical Development Calendar
College of the Liberal Arts Diversity Events Calendar
Finance and Business Diversity and Inclusion Calendar
Office of Educational Equity Diversity and Inclusion Calendar
Student Affairs Events Calendar
Rock Ethics Institute Ethics, Sustainability, and DEIB Events Calendar
Center for the Performing Arts
Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging Program Manager
Penn State Human Resources