“It’s important for me to be an advocate for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility broadly for minorities and Asian Americans because I think I have a level of privilege that maybe other minorities may not feel that they do. I’m Asian American, Indian family, you know, privileged, not just in income and position, but also, we have the model minority myth.
“It is this idea that Asian Americans are the good ones. We brought ourselves up by our bootstraps in this country, and we don’t have any problems. That we’re the successful ones. There is no discrimination. Nothing is holding us back. So, that by itself is a problem because that’s not true. But the second part of that is it’s frequently weaponized against other minority groups. It’s an incredibly harmful stereotype, but it gives me privilege because if I’m seen as one of the good ones, I can sneak in and say something that someone without that myth behind them might not feel comfortable saying. If I can advocate for all the groups that need equity, I’m glad to do it.
“I decided to be a part of the Science Mission Directorate Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility Working Group initially and then co-chair the Asian American Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander Employee Resource Group at NASA for many reasons, but I think the main one may be that it’s fulfilling. It fills my cup, as some people might say. Race, discrimination, and unfairness are just so present in our lives. I feel like some people just figured it out with George Floyd’s murder, but the rest of us knew. We knew it was there. I knew in elementary school when I was called a gorilla. When kids told me, ‘Why don’t you go back where you came from? If you’re an Indian, where’s your bow and arrow?’
“Things like that stick with you, they really stick with you. So, when you carry that, how could I not do something as small as [being an advocate], and NASA is my immediate environment, so it makes sense.”
– Anita Dey, Strategic Partnerships Manager, Outreach and Engagement, NASA Headquarters
Image Credit: NASA / Bill Ingalls
Interviewer: NASA / Tahira Allen
Check out some of our other Faces of NASA.
影像来源：NASA / Bill Ingalls
采访者：NASA / Tahira Allen