All Aboard: Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

All Aboard,

Welcome to All Aboard. Brought to you by the members of ACT’s DE&I Committee, this content strives to highlight people and their stories in a more holistic approach to show how these contributions move our industry forward. 

This month, the DE&I committee is highlighting Asian American and Pacific Islanders who have made contributions to the transportation industry and what it is today.

T. Bella Dinh-Zarr

As a Vietnamese-American immigrant with ancestry from both China and Vietnam, T. Bella had an eye-opening experience at her first job at the Galveston Railroad Museum where she was faced with racism. T. Bella reported it to her boss, who supported her and was willing to also stand up for her as an ally with a plan to take care of the situation if that person ever returned. With her strong spirit, T. Bella continued to work and study hard. She gravitated toward her passions in public health and transportation. She is noted for many accomplishments, such as:

  • U.S. director of the “Make Roads Safe” initiative

  • Served on the National Transportation Safety Board with President Obama’s nomination

  • Led the American Protec efforts to provide disposable masks to disabled transportation workers and rural transit providers serving communities at a higher risk for poor physical, psychological, or social health.

Learn more 

Amitabha (Amit) Bose

Bose is the first of South Asian descent to lead the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). He is known for his support on several rail and transportation projects such as:

  • Hudson Bergen Light Rail

  • Newark Light Rail

  • Implementation of national rail policy and planning

Learn more 

Bill Naito

Have you ever been to Portland and traveled on the Naito Parkway that runs along the eastern edge of downtown Portland? This road was named after one of the greatest community transit advocates, Bill Naito. He championed efforts that contributed to transit options such as the:

  • Metropolitan Area Express

  • Portland Transit Mall

  • City’s acquisition and preservation of historic Portland Union Station

Learn more 

We honor the contributions of these individuals and the many other unnamed Asian American and Pacific Islanders who have contributed to the transportation industry. And we appreciate the opportunities to reflect on what it means to be a community that is diverse and inclusive, and how it helps us be stronger together.

The members of ACT’s DE&I Committee would like to encourage everyone across the industry to attend celebrations and educational programs throughout the month and explore further resources to expand their own learning and understanding of the history, cultures, and experiences of Asian American and Pacific Islanders.

Join the DE&I committee!

If you would like to be part of DE&I committee and are interested in affinity groups, please contact Jonathan Schuppert at An affinity group is a group of individuals that share a common identity or interest. Our committee is currently exploring the interest of having affinity groups and how best to create them. We would love you to be part of this effort.

Next month, we will be celebrating LGBTQ+ Pride Month.  Let us know if there is someone you would like to highlight or if you are planning any activities for June.

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