Apr 12, 2022
Ms. Evanna Hu, CEO of Omelas and nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, explains the mission and work of the Asian American Employees for Nondiscrimination. She wrote a pwoerful article last year describing the driscrimination federal employees of Asian or Pacific Islander descent face. You can find her aricle here.
To join and support the work of AAFEN to help ensure ALL federal employees can do their jobs without fear of discrimination, head to their webiste.
More about the organization, in the founders' words:
Asian American Federal Employees for Nondiscrimination (AAFEN) is an advocacy group that seeks fair and equal treatment and inclusive representation of Asian Americans in the federal government. AAFEN membership is open to former and current federal government employees, contractors, armed service personnel and grant recipients, as well as interested stakeholders. AAFEN members have honorably served in the U.S. armed services, worked in national security, represented U.S. interests abroad as diplomats and advanced U.S. research in STEM fields. AAFEN was founded in January 2020.
Asian American Federal Employees for Nondiscrimination (AAFEN) addresses discrimination within the federal government under circumstances where Asian American employees, contractors, service members and fund recipients come under suspicion as national security risks due to their ethnicities or national origins. AAFEN provides affected parties with resources, as well as opportunities to share their stories with policymakers, the media and the public.
We envision a federal government workforce that represents the broad diversity of the American people. Race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender and sexual orientation should not be barriers to entry into federal service, nor should they hinder assignment or promotion within the U.S. government. Diversity is the strength of our nation, not its weakness.
We envision a federal government that recognizes that those who have a relatively recent immigration history, such as Asian Americans, are no less American than the immigrants who arrived during earlier eras.
We envision a federal government that honors and celebrates any government employee’s commitment to American ideals. We envision a federal government that recognizes any employee’s willingness to serve as a fair measure of loyalty, and understands that ties to a country of origin by an employee, their parents or grandparents does not automatically constitute a national security threat. We envision a federal government wherein targeted monitoring programs that scrutinize employees based on race or national origin are eliminated. We envision a federal government’s wherein trust in federal employees is not unmoored by the changing tides of diplomatic relations between the U.S. and other nations. We envision a workforce of federal employees who are treated equally in all employment actions.
We envision a federal government that incorporates diversity, equity and inclusion practices throughout its operations. We envision a federal government wherein government representatives cannot take shelter behind governmental immunity when they intentionally discriminate. We envision a federal government wherein government senior officials are bound to safeguard protected classes against disparate impact from policies, practices and regulations. We foresee a federal government where Asian Americans build long-lasting careers, rise to top-level, decision-making roles, reinforce a positive work climate and mentor emerging professionals. We foresee a federal government that receives a return on its investment, and agencies achieve higher levels of cultural competency to serve the American population, which is undergoing rapid demographic changes.
We envision a federal government wherein employees whose jobs depend on security clearances, or access to classified materials, are evaluated via clear adjudicative guidelines, especially with respect to “foreign influence” and “foreign preference,” by agents whose decisions are subject to independent oversight by a body outside of the national security enterprise. We foresee a government wherein employees whose security clearances are under review have timely access to information to enable them to represent their positions and to preserve appeal rights, as well as to preserve their future employment in the federal government while their cases are pending.
We are committed to forging a federal government workforce which, during times of heightened national security concerns, does not compromise the civil rights and civil liberties of its citizens. We are committed to creating a federal government that is trusted by all communities it serves.