‘Breaking the Mold’ panel discussion, L to R: Angeli Gabriel, Janet Han Vissering, Jennifer Samuel, Ahmed Shihab-Eldin, and Mei Xu.
National Geographic staff celebrated Asian Pacific Heritage Month this May with events hosted by the Asian Pacific Entertainment Connection (APEX) at National Geographic.
APEX Nat Geo is an employee resource group committed to celebrating cultures and employees of the Asian continent and Pacific region, promoting diversity and inclusion, and offering opportunities for growth and learning at National Geographic.
National Geographic is respected worldwide, and given this international reach, we at APEX Nat Geo felt honored to be able to showcase and celebrate the rich history, cultures, and achievements of our brothers and sisters from the Asian continent and Pacific.
Angeli Gabriel, APEX Chair and Digital Video Producer at National Geographic Partners
The celebration of Asian Pacific Heritage Month included a panel discussion called "Breaking the Mold." Audience members were able to learn from National Geographic staff and other professionals on how they forged their own paths in their careers. Featured panelists included Janet Han Vissering, SVP of Development and Production at NG WILD; Jennifer Samuel, Photo Editor & APEX Nat Geo Board member; Ahmed Shihab-Eldin, Senior Correspondent at Al Jazeera+; and Mei Xu, Entrepreneur and Founder of Pacific Trade International and its subsidiary, Chesapeake Bay Candle.
APEX Nat Geo livestreamed a panel hosted by its cousins in APEX Los Angeles. Called “A Conversation with Content Creators,” the panel included Philip Wang, a co-founder of Wong Fu Productions and actor in “Yappie”; Steven Lim, an Executive Producer at Buzzfeed Motion Pictures and creator and host of “Worth It”; and Jeff Yang, author of “I Am Jackie Chan: My Life in Action” and host of the podcast “They Call Us Bruce.”
Samhita Sunya, Assistant Professor of Cinema at the University of Virginia, interviewing director Shelly Chopra Dhar at the screening of her film ‘Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga.’
APEX closed out Asian Pacific Heritage Month and helped kick off Pride month with National Geographic’s PRIDE group. APEX and PRIDE co-hosted a screening of "Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga" (“How I Felt When I Saw That Girl”), the first mainstream Bollywood film to feature a lesbian lead character. The film’s director, Shelly Chopra Dhar, joined the screening and was interviewed by Samhita Sunya, Assistant Professor of Cinema at the University of Virginia.
Ice cream social catered by local, Asian American-, and woman-owned Jubilee Ice Cream.
Other events included an ice cream social in the Nat Geo courtyard, which was catered by local, Asian American-, and woman-owned Jubilee Ice Cream. There was also a potluck and meet-and-greet event, and APEX hosted a photo shoot to give members the opportunity to have professional headshots taken, which help employees increase their visibility and branding in the workplace.