In celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Stark & Stark’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee are shining a spotlight on some of our AAPI employees.
We sat down with Bhaveen R. Jani, a personal injury shareholder in our Hamilton office, to discuss his favorite cultural traditions, and what AAPI Heritage Month means to him.
Stark & Stark (S&S): What is your cultural identity?
Bhaveen R. Jani (BRJ): Indian American
S&S: What is your favorite cultural tradition?
BRJ: My favorite cultural tradition is encapsulated in an Indian wedding. Indian weddings are steeped in cultural traditions and rituals that vary across different regions and religions in India. These traditions often involve music, dance, colorful attire, and elaborate ceremonies, creating a captivating and immersive experience for guests. Indian weddings are often extravagant affairs that span multiple days and involve numerous ceremonies and events. Indian weddings are known for their stunning and colorful attire. Guests, especially women, adorn themselves in traditional and ornate outfits. Last, Indian weddings are incomplete without dance and music. Guests often participate in lively dance performances, such as Bollywood dances. If you ever have the opportunity, definitely go because it’s a unique experience, but bring a comfortable pair of shoes!
S&S: What does AAPI Heritage Month mean to you?
BRJ: AAPI Heritage Month is significant because it is a dedicated time to celebrate and honor the diverse contributions, achievements, and experiences of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States. It is also an opportunity for individuals of Asian descent to embrace and express pride in their cultural roots and ethnic identities. AAPI Heritage Month also plays a crucial role in educating others about the history, contributions, and struggles of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. It helps to dispel stereotypes, challenge misconceptions, and promote a more nuanced understanding of the diverse AAPI communities.
S&S: The theme for Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month this year is advancing leaders through opportunity. How do you think we can all work to achieve this goal?
BRJ: As with any organization, which has also been proven by research, there is a direct link between inclusive decision-making and better business performance. Companies and our firm can capitalize on the diversity they have by including more diverse employees in business decisions at all levels.
S&S: How do you think your culture has influenced you in your professional life?
BRJ: My cultural background has been my unsung advantage in my professional life. I’m able to connect to my underrepresented clients more because of our shared culture and experiences.
S&S: What do you hope to see for the AAPI community in the future?
I would like to see more AAPI representation on the bench since approximately 10% of the population in New Jersey is AAPI. The current judicial demographics is not in line with the population here in NJ.
The post AAPI Heritage Month Employee Spotlight: Bhaveen R. Jani appeared first on Stark & Stark.