Bayer Scapes
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Bayer Scapes

My American Dream: Harmony of Inclusion and Diversity

By Rong Wang, Protein Characterization Team Lead, Bayer Crop Science, Bayer U.S.

On the morning of March 17, the day after the Georgia mass shooting, my daughter and I were silent in the car on the way to her school unlike our usual chatter. “Mom, I am really sad,” she said quietly. Hearing this made me ache. The dehumanized and brutal murder of people who looked like us was real and hurtful.

During the last 12 months tragic news kept coming, from Bawi Cung and his two sons stabbed inside a Midland Texas Sam’s Club, to a 65-year old Asian-American woman brutally beaten in Manhattan, I had to ask myself again: What is my American dream? The bright dream of one nation indivisible, the dream for my daughters to have equality, access and belonging in the country they call home, had dimmed over the last few years. Now, my two American-born daughters are being mocked for their eyes and told to “go back to your country.”

As I looked at my idea of the American dream, I asked myself: What can I do to change some people’s view of us as perpetual foreigners? Should I have shown up more at school? Would I ever unload the imposter syndrome of speaking and writing perfect English? Would my daughters have to repeat the same experiences?

I got inspiration from so many Asian American celebrities and leaders who used their platforms to speak out about anti- Asian violence. I was inspired to join the efforts to stop Asian hate for the future of my children, our community and others fighting for equity and against injustice.

In my mind, a blend of traditional Chinese and American values could be a solution for divisiveness.

Examples of Chinese Values: Harmony (yin-yang dialectics), righteousness, courtesy, wisdom and honesty

Examples of American Values: Freedom, democracy, human rights, rule of law and equality

With the name my parents gave me, lotus, a flower that signifies the holy seat of the buddha and symbolizes ultimate purity of the heart and mind, perfection and union, I found my inspiration to be a role model of this blend of Chinese and American culture.

It is time to tell our stories, share who we are and celebrate our differences in the spirit of freedom and democracy. By listening to others and learning about their experiences and how to support them, just like harmonizing the yin-yang dialectics, we can strengthen relationships and build universal respect for human dignity. It is challenging as many colleagues and their families experience verbal assaults outside work or online. I have to stand for a solution that I believe will help end divisiveness.

As national co-leads of Bayer’s Business Resource Group (BRG), Bayer Asian Society Inclusion Alliance (BASIA), Laura Lampa and I have been working closely with our leadership teams to check in with our members. This is so important during the increasing instances of anti-Asian hate and aggression.

Bayer has made it a priority to condemn anti-Asian hate and support employees. This includes:

· Checking in with employees

· Offering opportunities for employees to share their concerns

· Making resources available to build understanding and help support well-being

· Creating ways for everyone to be stronger allies

Small and large sessions held at Bayer ignited ideas of how to spread inclusion and diversity back to communities we live in and to customers we serve.

The door for conversation has been opened wider over the past year. This open communication at Bayer has united us as a community in our efforts to fight injustice. I am proud to be part of harmonizing inclusion and diversity to bridge differences and create alliances. This is a better vision of my American dream.

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