May is Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) Heritage Month, and it has been a month full of celebration at JCPenney.
This year, JCPenney proudly introduced our first-ever Hope & Wonder capsule collection in honor of AAPI Heritage Month as part of our expanded Hope & Wonder collection for 2023. The collection’s theme, ‘Stronger Together,’ is displayed in the designs developed by JCPenney’s creative coalition, an all-female team of AAPI designers. 100% of net profits from the Hope & Wonder AAPI Heritage Month merchandise will go to The Asian American Foundation (TAAF).
AAPI Heritage Month was first introduced as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week in 1979 and expanded to a month-long observance in 1990 before being written into law in 1992. May was selected for the observance to commemorate the first Japanese immigrants to the United States in 1843 and the completion of the transcontinental railroad in 1869, which was mostly constructed by Chinese immigrants. Just this year, the celebration was officially recognized by the Texas State Senate.
Keep reading for all the ways JCPenney supported the AAPI community this month.
The Asian American Foundation AAPI Heritage Month Summit & Awards Dinner
On May 5 and 6, The Asian American Foundation hosted its annual summit. With a theme of “Together We Build,” The Asian American Foundation brought together over 500 partners and AAPI leaders across all industries to celebrate AAPI Heritage Month, cultivate community, build relationships and inspire action.
JCPenney was a proud AAPI Giving Challenge partner for this year’s summit and presented a $50,000 donation to the organization. The Asian American Foundation was the beneficiary of this year’s first-ever Hope & Wonder collection for AAPI Heritage Month featuring a theme of “Stronger Together,” and event attendees we able to take home a T-shirt from the assortment.
JAAG BRT Employee Event
On May 11, the JCPenney Asian American Group (JAAG) business resource team hosted an event for JCPenney associates to gather both in person and virtually to hear from Landing International’s Sarah Chung Park. JAAG is our business resource team dedicated to building awareness and creating opportunities for AAPI associates, allies and local communities.
Sarah is a thought leader in the beauty and wellness space on a mission to make the retail industry a more conscious, inclusive and empowering place. She is also the founder of Landing International, which was named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies in Beauty and is an important partner for JCPenney Beauty as she helps bring emerging and indie brands to our shelves. During the session, Sarah answered associate questions and discussed her journey to entrepreneurship, her partnership with JCPenney Beauty and what AAPI Heritage Month means to her.
Power Leadership Forum
On May 12, JCPenney proudly supported Orchid Giving Circle’s 2023 Power Leadership Forum. Over 300 Asian American women leaders representing over 30 companies across all industries from the Dallas-Fort Worth area gathered at Frito-Lay’s corporate campus to connect, collaborate and grow. Attendees heard from speakers on how to embrace their whole selves, activate their leadership superpowers and ignite their communities, and left with a sampling of JCPenney Beauty products from AAPI-founded brands.
The Orchid Giving Circle, part of the Texas Women’s Foundation, is an Asian sisterhood that provides grants and fosters philanthropy primarily within and for the North Texas Asian community. The Power Leadership Forum is a double-impact initiative, not only cultivating the careers of Asian women but also supporting nonprofits benefitting the North Texas Asian community. All net proceeds from the event support the Orchid Giving Circle Fund grants for education, healthcare, social services, anti-domestic violence, arts and culture.
Toyota & JCPenney Networking & Community Panel
On May 16, Toyota North America and JCPenney joined forces to create a forum for their Asian American business resource teams and other corporate neighbors to come together to strengthen our collective AAPI community through networking, dialogue and engagement.
The event focused on the importance of partnership between corporations and nonprofits and raised awareness of the important work led by two leading AAPI-focused nonprofits. Panelists included Anna Hung from Toyota, Lee Mackendanz, JCPenney’s Vice President of Pricing Strategy, Execution and Clearance and Executive Sponsor for JCPenney Asian American Group (JAAG), Eugena Oh from The Asian American Foundation and Ila Sarkar from CHETNA DFW. The conversation was moderated by JCPenney’s head of communications and philanthropy, Michelle Sing.
JCPenney is proud to support the impactful work of The Asian American Foundation through our Hope & Wonder brand by donating 100% of net profits from this month’s Hope & Wonder AAPI Heritage Month merchandise. Shop the “Stronger Together” collection online.