EY - Michelle S. Ng

Michelle S. Ng is building Pan Asian allyship in NYC

Over the past year, New York City — like many parts of the country — saw an alarming rise in anti-Asian rhetoric and violence. The Pan Asian community led an inspiring response to demand change. Michelle S. Ng is fighting back against anti-Asian racism by collaborating with Ascend, the largest Pan Asian business professional membership organization in North America. Here she shares how she is helping to promote advocacy, learning and change.

What does being part of the NYC Pan Asian community mean to you?

I think the Pan Asian community is a significant part of what makes this such a multicultural city, from our restaurants and small businesses to our presence in different industries. We make up 14% of New York City’s population, compared with 7% of the country overall. But that increased representation was met with an alarmingly high rise in anti-Asian violence. From Bensonhurst to Chinatown, we saw our friends, parents and colleagues being attacked. It took months before these crimes were treated seriously, and that delay took a heavy toll on many of us. The violence escalated to the point where it demanded not just attention but action.

How is Ascend advocating for change?

Ascend recently launched the Ascend Impact Fund to raise awareness of the history and prevalence of anti-Asian racism through expanding advocacy, allyship, education and community engagement to create sustainable change. We’re working with the business community to share our stories and break down the model minority myth that all Pan Asians are successful. While it’s great to celebrate the success of our executives, we need to do more for those who live below the poverty line, provide support to increase access to higher education and corporate jobs, and help people start small businesses. I am grateful that Ernst & Young LLP, as a lead supporter of the Ascend Impact Fund, is working to create a world that is fairer and just.

How can companies build a culture that values everyone?

When companies create safe spaces to have candid conversations, we build allyship in a more intentional manner. It was an incredible experience to moderate the #AscendTogether Forum to highlight the resilience of employee resource groups in leading initiatives to combat anti-Asian hate. I was grateful to see different companies put a stronger focus on celebrating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and engaging Pan Asian professionals during celebrations of Black History Month, Women’s History Month and Pride Month. I hope this continues, because when businesses leverage their influence and connections, they help create a more inclusive New York where our cultures are honored, and our communities can thrive.

Michelle S. Ng is the EY Americas Financial Services Organization Corporate Responsibility Leader. Watch the EY Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Executive Forum at ey.com.





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