GLIDE Voices is highlighting Asian American and Native Hawaiian / Pacific Islander Heritage Month. We asked Client Advocate Tina Huang “What GLIDE values resonate with you the most this month and why?“
Tina Huang, Client Advocate
Over 20 years ago, I immigrated from China to the United States, and I didn’t know a single English word. It made looking for a job, making new friends, and navigating this unfamiliar country incredibly difficult. After I found my first job at a cable manufacturing company, I held on to it for decades because I thought I could work there till my retirement. I lived in China Town, and I remember I only went from home to work and back. I shopped in China Town and didn’t really know the outside world. I raised my kids and went to Adult School in China Town. Then, because of my company’s downsizing, I was laid off. I went back to get more training at an institute. The institute wanted to send me to do an internship in data entry, but I told them, “I love helping people.” Through the school, I got an internship at GLIDE. I fell in love with the organization’s culture and caring environment. When they offered me a job I said “yes!”
From the start, I identified strongly with GLIDE’s mission and Radically Inclusive value. As an Asian immigrant, I recognize how important it is to demonstrate mutual respect for one another. Here, you can truly see how respectful, generous, and radically inclusive everyone is: my interactions with my colleagues have always been done with the utmost respect. Although I speak English with an accent, my colleagues accept me for who I am. Slowly but surely, we have become brothers and sisters. They have become my friends and family, and I am extremely grateful to have them by my side.
The COVID-19 pandemic definitely impacted all of us, especially the AANHPI community. Racist remarks are on the rise and these comments have made me angry, afraid, and frustrated. The threat of physical violence on Asians does worry me. But, because of GLIDE and the consistent support and encouragement from my colleagues, I have the confidence to stand up for my rights. I have supported and participated in various peaceful gatherings against violence and racial discrimination. I want to encourage everyone to stand up and speak up.
Be proud of your ethnicity, your background, and upbringing. GLIDE has reminded me of this every day, and I am beyond honored to be a part of this amazing family. We stand up for one another regardless of our background and differences. I am proud of my identity as an Asian American woman. I will do my best to continue to serve my community.