This week, we would like to introduce you to Jim Johnson, a member of Infinity’s Talent Acquisition Team.

  • One thing you cannot tell just by looking at or speaking with me is…

My background and reluctance to share my experiences as an Asian-American is one thing that you may not be able to tell by looking or speaking with me. My dad, who was of German and Native American descent, met and married my mom in Japan while stationed there towards the end of the Korean “conflict.” I started elementary school 20 years after World War II in an all-white small rural Missouri community. Resentment, stereotypes, and institutional racism existed as a part of my experience throughout school and in subtle ways until I retired as an educator. I could list examples, but I would be writing a book.

I learned to be adept at pivoting conversation, using humor, and avoiding hostilities to fit in and be accepted in my environment. The less attention I drew to being “half-Japanese,” the more acceptance there was, or at least in my mind. I had become hyper-aware of my surroundings and reactions of those around me to minimize differences and increase acceptance by pivoting to a topic that I knew would engage agreement. If someone sees you as “like-minded,” the greater the chances it diminishes any hidden and mostly unknown prejudices.

  • This is important for me to share because…

It’s important for me to acknowledge my journey. It wasn’t until the increased violence against Asian-Americans came to the forefront during the pandemic that I realized that all the things that I thought that I may have imagined were real. I also realized that this DEIB group was a safe place to share these experiences and helped me to reflect and talk about those things that I tried to minimize most of my life. I guess you can teach an old dog new tricks!

  • I share my culture at work by…

No longer avoiding the topic of my Japanese heritage. I appreciate the DEIB initiative and the opportunity of this platform to empower voices.

You can get involved with this project too! If you are interested in sharing a little of your story, click here. After two years of masks, we’d love to see your faces! If you feel comfortable, please add a picture of yourself. Do you work with someone who inspires/encourages/influences your personal growth? Nominate them for the Infinity Influencer Cultural Corner spotlights by emailing Hoku Okumura or Byrony Treser.



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