The Federal Asian Pacific American Council (FAPAC) announced the winners of the 2018 FAPAC Civilian Awards in recognition of federal employees who have made significant contributions to the advancement of FAPAC, its mission and the promotion of equal opportunity in the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. One recipient, Joreen Lee, is a business integration manager within the Information Resources Directorate at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. Her work in diversity and inclusion goes beyond NASA boundaries. The FAPAC awards will be presented at the 33rd National Leadership Training Program this month in Arlington, Virginia.
Diversity Excellence is awarded to individuals who have shown remarkable contributions toward diversity and inclusion through collaboration and against all odds.
Roundup Reads: How have you contributed to diversity and inclusion (D&I) through collaboration, both at Johnson and elsewhere?
Lee: I believe D&I is an aspect of the outward expression of our love and respect for one another. It is impossible to live in isolation, and life is about interactions and relationships. It is from this perspective that I’ve learned the importance of feeling valued with a sense of belonging at work, church and in the community. I hope that my contributions to D&I at JSC and in my community have helped to build positive relationships. As chair of the JSC Asians Succeeding in Innovation and Aerospace (ASIA) Employee Resource Group (ERG), and through partnerships with many other ERGs, I helped to initiate and lead many lunch-and-learn events, including the “Hidden Figures” Leadership Lessons Learned World Café conversations to help remove workplace barriers. In my community, I have volunteered to teach Sunday school at my church and served as treasurer and event organizer for various nonprofit organizations. As our society seems to become more materialistic and individualistic, there are many challenging D&I issues. It is my hope that I can use my time and talents to do my part to bring about a more people-centered and loving community wherever I can.
Roundup Reads: How do you feel receiving this honor, and what does it mean to you?
Lee: I am very humbled to have received this award. I truly feel it is a reflection of the hard work and effort that the ASIA ERG and other JSC ERGs have accomplished to promote D&I over the years. This is also a reflection on the great success of the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity and the Inclusion and Innovation Program at JSC. I am just so grateful to be part of this.
I am so thankful for Lara Kearney, Deborah Conder, Adam Kalil and Rachel Copeland for nominating and submitting me for this award; encouragement from former ERG executive sponsors and fellow members, especially Natalie Saiz, Nancy Miyamoto, Donna Blackshear-Reynolds, Charlene Gilbert and Krystine Bui; the support of my immediate manager, Amy Kennedy-Reynolds; and the influence of countless others who have been a part of my journey.
Johnson's Joreen Lee, recipient of the Diversity Excellence Award. Image Credit: Sophia Loaiza