IN FOCUS Discussion: Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

In Focus

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – During the month of May each year, communities across the country celebrate and honor the heritage of Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans. The past year has been particularly tough for these communities, due to reasons such as the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 and the spike in crimes stemming from hateful rhetoric. However, some say this is a time to reflect on the progress made from the past, the problematic issues that still exist in the present, and the work that still needs to be made in the future.

Sara Jones, president of InclusionPro, joined ABC4’s Rosie Nguyen on the CW30 News at 7 p.m. for an IN FOCUS discussion about her unique and incredible story as a transracial adoptee, what Asian Pacific American Heritage Month means to her, what she would like the public to know about people with a similar background to her, how businesses should think about inclusion in the workplace, and how the community can better support Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans.

Poonam Kumar, a community advocate, also talked about what Asian Pacific American Heritage Month means to her, her thoughts on how these ethnic groups are not a monolith, the concept of “otherness,” and what her lived experiences are with hate crimes against Asian Americans this past year as well as after 9-11.

Ofa Matagi, chair of the Utah AAPI Democratic Caucus, shared her thoughts on what Asian Pacific American Heritage Month means to her, why representation and visibility in elected positions are so important, and how community members within the AAPI categorization work collaboratively to create unity but also recognize the distinct uniqueness of the varied ethnicities within.

To watch the full IN FOCUS discussion with Jones, Kumar, and Matagi, click on the video at the top of the article.

Catch IN FOCUS discussions with ABC4’s Rosie Nguyen weeknights on the CW30 News at 7 p.m.

Rosie Nguyen is an award-winning journalist who joined the ABC4 News team as a reporter in January 2018. In September 2020, she embarked on a new journey as the anchor for the CW30 News at 7 p.m. Although she’s not out in the field anymore, she is continuing her passion for social justice and community issues through the nightly “In Focus” discussions.

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