Ascend Solidarity Statement
June 3, 2020
Ascend stands in solidarity against racism and violence. The tragic and senseless deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor and other acts of bias and violence against Blacks have shaken our country to its core. We are seeing with alarming frequency incidents that shed light on the inequality, racism, institutional bias and prejudice that many fellow Americans have endured for generations. There is no place for this. Each of these instances reaffirms to me the need for greater empathy, enlightment and understanding, and the continued importance of closing the economic gaps that impact our workforce. We need to do much more collectively by listening to each other, acknowledging the work that we as a society must do, and taking action in a positive and constructive way. We cannot be complacent and must not be mere bystanders.
Covid-19 has impacted all of us in ways we could never have imagined. It has devastated our Black, Latinx, and Native American communities at disproportionate rates and brought abuse to our Asian American community. Recent heartbreaking events, together with the global COVID-19 pandemic, amplify the need for Ascend members to exercise resiliency and resolve and do better for our communities. Ascend doesn’t have all the answers to solve for these highly complex and nuanced societal issues, but I do know that we have an important role to play. With our collaboration partners and 100+ supporting companies, we adopted our joint 5-Point Action Agenda. The core tenets of Promote Inclusion, Raise Awareness, Denounce Bias, Support Communities, and Give Donations apply now more than ever to our vulnerable and hurting communities. We are here for our black friends and colleagues, our corporate partners, members and the community at large to work together on solutions to make the change we want and need.
I am in active discussions with key CEO driven coalitions such as CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion, senior company executives, our partners and Ascend members on how, as leaders, we will become more race conversant and reduce inequities in the workplace. On Friday, June 5th, Ascend will be hosting the first in a series of Ascend Dialogs to discuss how we can work together as a pan-Asian and broader community to mobilize and accelerate change in our workplaces and beyond.
As each of us internalizes and tries to make sense of what has happened, I personally urge you to:
Learn and increase fluency about the human experiences and history of the Black community and other communities of color
Elevate your understanding of our commonalities and appreciate our differences
Adopt our 5-point Action Agenda and develop your personal actions
Devise strategies for candid conversations with friends, family, and colleagues about racial injustice and disparities
Together we can accelerate change, begin the healing process and make meaningful and sustainable contributions to build a more equitable and inclusive society. Now more than ever, we need to ascend to the challenges before us.
Anna W. Mok
President, Ascend Foundation
We, at Ascend Houston, are working closely with Ascend National and monitoring this ever evolving situation. You may read the National COVID-19 statement here. We hope that all our sponsors, members, and prospective applicants are adhering to guidelines issued by their institutions and the local health departments.
Please stay safe and follow your school and community guidelines. Website to visit for the latest information related to the City of Houston’s emergency response to COVID-19: https://houstonemergency.org/covid19.
Ascend is the largest, non-profit Pan-Asian membership organization for business professionals in North America.
As a career lifecycle organization, Ascend offers robust leadership and professional development programs designed to cultivate Pan-Asian talent by supporting its members in reaching their career potential and by supporting its corporate partners to develop a strong, diverse, and inclusive workforce to achieve business growth.
MEMBERSHIP PERKS - Our goal is to help each member reach their career aspirations and maximize their leadership potential while bringing increased value to their organizations.
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT - Ascend offers robust professional development and career enhancement programs designed to cultivate Pan-Asian talent.
NETWORKING - With enhancing programs, national and regional conferences, business roundtables, mentorship programs, and social networking opportunities where members can engage with and learn from high-potential colleagues.
EXECUTIVE COMMUNITY - Our executive community offers senior development opportunities through collaboration with the highest-ranking business schools in the world, such as the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
BUSINESS GROWTH through relationships and access to Ascend’s networks and Fortune 500 global executives.
TALENT ACQUISITION, DEVELOPMENT AND RETENTION utilizing Ascend’s networks and culturally relevant leadership programs.
DIVERSITY AND TALENT ENGAGEMENT through partnerships with Employee Resources Groups and Ascend’s programs, executive networks and best practices sharing.
MAXIMIZE THE LEADERSHIP POTENTIAL of Pan-Asian talent at your organization.