Celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
Editor’s Note: One of our core tenets as a company, championing people, is reflected in the diverse backgrounds of our employees. We believe in an inclusive, collaborative environment – one in which all parties involved seek to better their understanding of their fellow human beings. It is with this in mind that, this month, we will be highlighting our employees of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) descent. Stay tuned for this ongoing series.
As we near the close of AAPI Heritage Month, we took some time to speak with one of our senior project managers, Nhu Tran. Tran elaborates the focus of doing things "family style," as she and her Chinese family approached life. Now, Tran hopes to create this atmosphere with her own children and extended relatives.
At our company, Tran is also a champion of the "Be That Girl" initiative, which encourages young women and girls to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math. So, without further ado, please get to know Nhu Tran!
How many years have you worked at SDG&E? What do you do at our company?
This August will be my sixth year with SDG&E... I’m a Project Manager for Community-Based Organizations in Customer Programs and part of the Stakeholder Engagement team helping our vulnerable customer population and those that may have Access and Functional Needs (AFN).
What has been your favorite project so far?
Prior to this new role, I was one of the Community Relations managers with a focus on diversity and Inclusion and STEM education. Now, one of my favorite areas has been the #BeThatGirl initiative, championed by CEO Caroline Winn helping to connect STEM role models at SDG&E and encouraging young girls to pursue a STEM path has been one of my favorite projects.
Here’s a link to our video: SDG&E’s #BeThatGirl Initiative - YouTube.
What makes you most proud of being part of the AAPI community?
The Proverb “It takes a village to raise a child” rings true in the AAPI community as well. Growing up, my parents worked long hours to make ends meet, that’s why I can relate to families that need assistance. We were surrounded by our elders, grandma, aunts and uncles and cousins – our “village." We were raised to be respectful and treat our parents’ friends like family and refer to them as “Aunt” and “Uncles” too. The San Diego AAPI community members care for one other and there’s a sense of “village” and community vibe that is always encouraging.
What do you wish other people knew about SDG&E?
Our company is a great place to work and the employees care deeply about the communities we serve. We are your family members, friends and neighbors and work each day to keep the lights on and gas flowing to keep our communities safe. The employees at SDG&E care about the communities we serve and want to help the next generation be skilled and ready to join our workforce! We value diversity, equity and inclusion and our employees are always seeking to be a force for good.
What is a tradition you wish to pass down, that your family has passed down to you?
In Chinese culture, meals are meant to be shared and most of the time that means you’re given a small bowl of rice, and the accompanying dishes are served in communal plates or bowls. “Family style” dining is meant to be shared by everyone sitting at the table with friends and family and lots of conversation and laughter. I hope to keep this tradition going, and share as many meals with my kids and family together.
Define and describe the most important (or most celebrated) holiday of your culture. How is/are they celebrated?
In addition to Chinese New Year (which is usually a three-day celebration), one of my favorite holidays growing up was celebrating the Moon Festival in mid to late September each year. The significance of the holiday is to celebrate the autumn harvest and the celebration includes lantern lighting, mooncake sharing, dragon dances and visiting family and friends.
What advice would you give people outside of the AAPI community to be better allies?
Check in on your neighbor and friends to let them know they have your support and to acknowledge anti-Asian racism. Support local Asian businesses, especially the small mom and pop shops, and local groups like the Asian Business Association, Pacific Arts Movement, and Asian Solidarity Collective (ASC), a new grassroots organization in San Diego whose mission is to activate Asian American social justice and build Asian solidarity with communities of color.
Thank you, Nhu, for your continued dedication to our company's mission!