Annie is an incredible member of the PetSmart pack and helps keep things running smoothly for our business. She also is an engaged member of our associate resource group, W.I.S.E.—Women Inspiring Strength and Excellence. Annie took the time to reflect and share her story of belonging with us, take a look below!
The Belonging Program’s “I Belong” Series harnesses the power of empathy through storytelling. This series is intended to give associates a greater sense of understanding, a bridge to gain new perspective, and a way to build connection to each other. To learn more about the “I Belong” Series or to submit your stories, please visit our new Belonging Fetch Page.
Meet Annie | Manager EIM BES
Awareness around Asian hate crimes is high and trending on social media platforms and the news. Videos and stories show the level of violence that is very real and experienced by many. The first time I saw posts and videos, I felt sad, angry, shocked, hopeless, scared, and, to be honest, I felt a lot of hate. On the other hand, I also saw posts and videos of camaraderie, support, hope, empathy, unity, strength, and love.
I am of Asian descent, and I have not experienced a hate crime first-hand. I thought to myself, “I don’t have to experience it to write about it, and I have a platform to raise awareness, influence, and hopefully shift mindsets, and so I’m in.”
To me, hate is a sickness. I’ve learned that to treat any sickness, you must first understand and treat the cause. Unfortunately, Asian hate crimes are not an easy solve. They are a byproduct of many factors – personal and family issues, deeply rooted mindsets, and a culture passed on through several generations. What can we do then?
Let’s first remember something powerful about ourselves: we have a voice and a choice over this matter. In fact, on any matter involving humanity, community, family, and self. These hate crimes carry a universal theme to remind us that while others may choose to condone and fuel this mentality and actions, we can choose to do better.
We can’t change the world overnight, but we can over time. I challenge each of us to use our voice and choice to act, say, and do so the people around us feel safe, accepted, supported, and celebrated. Let’s choose to voice our support and empathy to those who are fearful, confused, and feeling targeted. Let’s choose to find ways so that future generations can look at these dehumanizing acts as mere memories, never to be experienced again. Let’s choose the spirit and power of belonging and change the future one day at a time.