News Release Header
For Immediate Release:
May 15, 2019

Media Contact:
Griselle Marino
[email protected]

Hundreds attend the Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month kickoff

Bottom from right to left: Honorary Consul General Maria Sariol, Office of Royal Thai Honorary Consulate General; Ryan Hecker; Reza Filsoofi; Jue (Echo) Zhou; Hui (Queenie) Quan; Winnie Tang; Director Nithima Siriphokakij, Thai Trade Center – Miami; Stephen Matsumoto, AAAB; Consul General Kenji Hirata, Office of Consulate General of Japan in Miami; Sensei Frank Nieves, Attasate Barroso; Beth Wu, Senior Secretary, Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Miami; Professor Xinglin Liu, Confucius Institute at Miami Dade College; Nakorn Hanchawa; and Vice Consul Adolfo Sun, Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Miami. Top from right to left: Nick Vicera, AAAB; Abby Behrouz; Sean Lam; Sharon Fine, AAAB 1st Vice Chairwoman; Dr. Li Gurau, AAAB; Dr. Jim Yu, AAAB; Consul General Burc Ceylan, Office of Consulate General of the Republic of Turkey; Tai Vaz, AAAB; Adrianne Thompson, AAAB; Oscar Herrera, AAAB; Joshua Ho, AAAB Program Director; Professor Rui Ming, Confucius Institute at Miami Dade College; and Andrew Kirkpatrick, AAAB Intern. (Photos by Mead Godfrey/Miami-Dade County Photographer) 

MIAMI – The Asian-American Advisory Board (AAAB) under the Office of Community Advocacy kicked off the Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month celebrations on May 7 in the lobby of the Stephen P. Clark Center in Miami. The event provided an opportunity to share the cultural strengths of Asian Americans residing in our County. The hour-long celebration included a Japanese and Chinese martial arts demonstration, an Iranian and Korean musical selection, a Chinese Erhu performance, and a Thai and Indian dance performance.  

The Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month originated in 1978 with an act of Congress directing the president to issue a proclamation designating the week beginning on May 4, 1979 as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week. On March 28, 1979, President Carter issued Presidential Proclamation 4650, which highlighted the significant role Asian/Pacific Americans have played in American society and their contributions to the sciences, arts, industry, government and commerce. In 1992, Congress permanently designated May of each year as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month. The month of May marks two significant dates for this community: May 7, 1843, when the first Japanese immigrants arrived in the United States, and May 10, 1869, the date of completion of the first transcontinental railroad, with significant contributions from Chinese immigrants.

Asian/Pacific American Heritage month celebrates their accomplishments and the many ways they have contributed to enriching our nation. Despite a long history of injustice and opportunity limiting laws, such as the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and Immigration Act of 1924 and the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, Asian/Pacific Americans helped to build, defend and strengthen the nation. Notably, Asian/Pacific Americans have made lasting contributions to America’s wartime efforts in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and Iraq. Special recognition is given to the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, an outfit of Japanese-Americans, who fought valiantly in Europe during World War II. Many of these men put their lives on the line for their country while their families were confined to internment camps back in the United States.

Asian/Pacific Americans have helped to develop the economic backbone of the country through their labor and efforts, from the Chinese railroad workers who built the transcontinental railroad to today’s Asian software engineers building software and programming to enhance our quality of life. In all areas and walks of life, their traditions, customs and culture have contributed to enriching our community and country.

If you would like to learn more about the Asian-American Advisory Board, contact Director Joshua Ho at 305-375-1570. The Office of Community Advocacy is charged with making Miami-Dade County "One Community" that embraces our diverse and unique population. Follow @AdvocacyMDC on YouTube, FacebookInstagram and Twitter and follow @mdcaaab on InstagramTwitter and Facebook.

Editor’s note: View the video or more pictures of the event on our Facebook page.


At left, Sensei Frank Nieves, Institute of Budo Studies. At right, Attasate Barroso (above) Nakorn Hanchawa (below)


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