California Joint AAPI Legislative Caucus to celebrate APIA Heritage Month, honor leaders

Photo by Josh Hild on Unsplash

THE California Joint Asian American & Pacific Islander (AAPI) Legislative Caucus will celebrate May as Asian Pacific Islander American (APIA) Heritage Month and recognize distinguished AAPI leaders through this year’s “Excellence Awards.”

The honorees range come from advocacy, health, civil rights, business, arts and entertainment, and more fields.

“It has been two years since the start of the pandemic and the AAPI community continues to face anti-Asian hate, while dealing with the inequities that have been exacerbated by the pandemic. Despite these challenges, each honoree continues to uplift the voices of the AAPI communities and enriches our history and culture through their achievements. They give us hope, solace, and courage in times when we need it most,” the caucus said in a release.

The Joint AAPI Legislative Caucus is honoring the following individuals:

  • Excellence in Advocacy: Tammy Cho, Co-founder and CEO of Hate Is A Virus
  • Excellence in Arts & Entertainment: Dr. Ken Jeong, Actor, Producer, and Writer
  • Excellence in Business: Dr. Charles Huang, Entrepreneur, Founder and Chairman of Pasaca Capital Inc.
  • Excellence in Civil Rights: Manufou Liaiga-Anoa’I, Board Trustee of Jefferson Elementary School District Governing Board and Community Leader
  • Excellence in Health: Dr. Peter Bretan, Transplant and Urologic Surgeon, and First Filipino-American Physician to serve as CMA’s 152nd President
  • Excellence in Labor: Bryan Ha, Director of Government Relations for the California Faculty Association
  • Excellence in Science: Samaira Mehta, Entrepreneur, STEM Promoter, and Creator of CoderBunnyz
  • Excellence in Sports: Shohei Ohtani, Pitcher and Designated Hitter for the Los Angeles Angels

“It is an honor to be a part of the Asian and Pacific Islander community,” said Dr. Richard Pan, Senator (D-Sacramento) and Chair of the Joint AAPI Legislative Caucus. “We celebrate the diversity of our varied communities recognized during APIA Heritage Month. This year, the AAPI Legislative Caucus is honoring eight amazing AAPI Leaders who not only led but uplifted our community during a time when we needed it most.  These honorees elevated AAPI voices and insisted that our community be visible and heard in our country.”

“I’m incredibly proud to join my colleagues in recognizing APIA Heritage month as we honor the accomplishments of our awardees and other heroes. Their respective excellence in a wide range of fields stands in sharp contrast to the anti-Asian hate our community has been facing,” said Assemblymember Evan Low (D-Silicon Valley), Vice-Chair of the AAPI Legislative Caucus. “We will continue to stand up and rally in solidarity with our allies to root out all forms of racism and xenophobia.”

“It is an absolute joy to see so many outstanding individuals nominated and honores this year, including Los Angeles Angel’s superstar Shohei Ohtani! I look forward to celebrating the achievements of this year’s nominees,” said Assemblywoman Janet Nguyen (R-Huntington Beach), Vice Chair of the Joint AAPI Legislative Caucus.

On May 9th, Senate Resolution (SR) 80 and House Resolution (HR) 102, which were authored by Senator Min and Assemblymember Low, respectively, will be presented during floor sessions to establish May 2022 as Asian Pacific Islander American Heritage Month. (AJPress)

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