Employees reflect on allyship during Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

This month, during Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, we asked some of our employees to talk about the ways in which allies and allyship – the practice by one group of emphasizing social justice, inclusion, and human rights to advance the interests of an oppressed or marginalized group – has impacted their working and personal lives.

South Asian ERG

(L-R) Kelly Lang, Chris Yoon and Mini Pillai

Kelly Lang – Carlsbad

“True allyship calls for action and amplifying collaboration across various backgrounds. I am fortunate to have strong mentors at Viasat who have positively impacted both my professional and personal life. I have worked with leaders at Viasat who are mindful of which voices are missing from the table, and they have welcomed and encouraged my participation in important initiatives so that my voice and skillset could make a difference. And it has.”

 

Chris Yoon – Duluth

“I have been very blessed to have had many people impact my life, both personally and professionally. Personally, I have to thank my parents for the sacrifice they made to provide the opportunity for my brother, sister and I to grow up in America. Their sacrifice has taught me the lesson of perseverance, patience and love.

 

Professionally, I have to thank my manager from early in my career, Min Chang. Min provided guidance and opportunity for me to grow as a leader. She would always push me to keep believing and trying despite making mistakes. Min would continue to encourage me by saying you can't learn unless you make mistakes.

 

It is always good to have people around you who can be your ally in times of need, who continue to push you and believe in you. I have been blessed to have had the greatest of allies, both in and out of the workplace, and I will be honored to one day be serve in that role for others.”

 

Mini Pillai, Carlsbad

“Viasat's Employee Resource Groups have been a platform where colleagues with similar beliefs can connect, share values and beliefs. One of them is the South Asian Alliance, a group founded and focused on supporting people from the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation countries. For me, the activities hosted by this ERG — especially the cultural celebrations — bring a feeling of home away from home at Viasat. The fact that we can help the people of South Asia through Viasat, be it a fundraiser or giving emotional support during periods of crisis, gives me a feeling of contentment.”


(L-R) Vicky Chan, Sam Angappan, My Linh Wiggins and Kamran Ahmad



Vicky Chan – Boston

“I'm very fortunate to have had numerous allies throughout my professional life.  They are leaders who believe in my abilities and propel me to succeed.  They are teammates who fully embrace diversity and make me feel like I truly belong.  I am grateful to be able to work with amazing people every day.”

 

Sam Angappan, Carlsbad

“The greatest impact in my life and in my professional career is the Carlsbad community that welcomed me more than 30 years ago. This community has guided me every step of the way as I navigated the United States. My first employer in the USA (Carlsbad-based Artecon Inc.) and the company’s CEO, Jim Lambert, celebrated with me the day I became a naturalized citizen. Now I’m glad to be a part of Viasat, a company that takes care of its diversified workforce and provides a platform to give back to a whole community that helped in my success.”

 

My Linh Wiggins – Duluth, GA

“I have had many allies in my professional corner that have been such a positive influence for me. They have been my sounding board and offer an unbiased perspective that helps me view things from a different angle. Allies have helped me gain confidence in my abilities, during times that I have questioned myself.”

 

Kamran Ahmad – Carlsbad

“In my life I’ve been blessed with people who helped to mentor and guide me. But the most important allies I have are those who have listened. It is important for us to listen to other perspectives, especially if they differ from your own.”

 

Learn more about Asian Pacific American Heritage Month


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