Recap of API Month at Mapbox

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Jun 5, 2023

Recap of API Month at Mapbox


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Jun 5, 2023

We remain committed to our DEI focus on allyship as a company, and as the chair of Mapbox’s Asian Pacific Islander (API) Employee Resource Group (ERG), I wanted to share the many ways we celebrated and recognized Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month at Mapbox


The API community has long grappled with the stereotype that we are a quiet and unobtrusive group with little to say and few needs. Our intent this year was to defy such stereotypes by focusing on amplifying API voices at Mapbox. Throughout the month of May, we elevated API Maboxers’ voices and stories to broaden peoples’ understanding of the API community, to share experiences that have only been shared behind closed doors, and to empower the API community at Mapbox by providing a platform to tell the stories that matter most to them.

Lunchbox Stories

A lunchbox story is a common experience among the API community where the API food brought to school, or work, or to an event and wasn’t embraced by those who weren’t familiar with it. We hosted a short video series called Lunchbox Stories which featured API Mapboxers telling their lunchbox stories and sharing how despite these experiences in the past, they still love these foods! Some of the foods included in our Lunchbox Stories included kabob koobideh, Filipino spaghetti, and snail noodle.

Telling Our Stories

We also organized another video series which featured API Mapboxers telling personal stories, from bringing to light the issues the API community is facing, to how the tradition of drinking chai tea in India was used to find a new home in San Francisco, to the difficulty of talking about loss and mental health.

Community Town Hall 

Identity is a difficult topic for anyone but it can be especially difficult for minority groups. To create an opportunity for understanding, reflection, and exploration, we hosted a Community Town Hall to discuss API identity in a series of breakout sessions where people could share safely and freely.

Virtual Hawaiian Music Coffeehouse Session

To celebrate Pacific Islanders who can be an often overlooked part of the community, we hosted a two-hour live virtual “coffeehouse” music and hula session featuring Haopinaka, a multicultural music group based in Hawaii. Mapboxers were free to come and go as their schedules allowed to enjoy the music and dance, many using the soothing island vibes as background while working. 

Virtual Tai Chi Class

We also hosted a virtual Tai Chi class for Mapboxers to kick start their day by learning about this meditative practice from renowned Tai Chi master, Leda Elliot. Work stress is always a concern and so we wanted to provide an opportunity to learn about an ancient Asian practice while also addressing the needs of our team.


We, the API ERG at Mapbox will continue to elevate API voices beyond the month of May because we as a community have much to say. As we reflect back on this month and look forward to what's to come, we want to acknowledge that not everyone has a platform to use their voice. So, if you have the privilege of having such a platform, please find opportunities to lift up the voices who have yet to be heard, some of which will be API.

Thank you for celebrating API Month with us and let’s continue to elevate the API community together!

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