May marks Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, a time to celebrate and honor the contributions, achievements, and cultures of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States. This month is an opportunity to recognize the rich history and heritage of the AAPI community and to elevate the stories and experiences of those who have made a significant impact in their fields and beyond.
Avni Amin serves as Proterra’s Senior Counsel for Labor & Employment and is a first-generation South Asian (Indian) American. Avni brings a unique perspective and passion to her work, and we are excited to share her story with you. Join us as we explore the significance of this month and learn more about Avni.
I am a first-generation South Asian (Indian) American. My parents were born and raised in Gujarat, India, a beautiful state located on the west coast of India, partially bounded by the Arabian Sea. Growing up in Augusta, Georgia, I was very aware of the two worlds I lived in. One world consisted of football games, fast food, marching band, and sleepovers. The other world consisted of going to the Hindu temple, Bollywood movies, and aromatic home-cooked Indian food. It was not until I was much older that I began to see that these two worlds could co-exist and actually complement one another. I learned to appreciate the richness of my culture and the sacrifices my parents made so that I could have the best education and opportunities this country had to offer. Through their hard work and support, I was able to attend law school and engage in work that is meaningful and challenging.
Every year, I celebrate AAPI Heritage Month by attending lectures that feature prominent Asian Americans. These events give me the opportunity to learn about and pay tribute to the significant contributions that Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have made throughout American history. It is also an opportunity to hear from current leaders in the community about how their backgrounds have helped shaped them as first-generation Americans.
As the daughter of immigrants, I am keenly aware of my responsibilities to my community; whether it is through my pro bono work, or serving on the board of professional organizations. In 2020, I joined the board of the South Asian Bar Association of Washington, D.C. (SABA-DC). I currently serve as a General Director of SABA-DC. In this capacity, I organize events that help to advance the professional development of South Asian lawyers and law students and increase awareness and dialogue around legal issues facing South Asians in the U.S. The deep personal connections I have made throughout my time on the SABA-DC board have been just as valuable as the professional contacts I have made. To work alongside other attorneys who have similar backgrounds and upbringings validates my own story and compels me to continue to raise awareness around issues that affect the South Asian community.
I feel fortunate to work for a company that celebrates diversity and allows me to partner with teams that bring different perspectives to the meaningful work that we do.
At Proterra, we believe innovation is powered by inclusion. As one of our company’s values, we strive to create welcoming spaces where everyone can bring their whole selves to a diverse work community and where everyone’s voices and ideas are heard. Learn more about inclusion and our other shared values here.