Celebrating Asian American Pacific Islander heritage

Local News
Kara Chu

FILE – In this March 13, 2021, file photo, Chinese-Japanese American student Kara Chu, 18, holds a pair of heart balloons decorated by herself for the rally “Love Our Communities: Build Collective Power” to raise awareness of anti-Asian violence outside the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo in Los Angeles. The shootings at three Georgia massage parlors and spas Tuesday, March 16, that left eight people dead, six of them women of Asian descent, come on the heels of a recent wave of attacks against Asian Americans since the coronavirus first entered the United States. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – May is Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month. During this time, communities are gathering together to recognize and pay tribute and homage to the Asian American and Pacific Islander community.

On May 22, Utahns are invited to a free community celebration to acknowledge Asian contributions to Utah and national history.

Kicking off at 11 a.m., the rally, located at 451 S. State Street, will celebrate the following themes: Unity, Community, and Celebration.

“We are thrilled to invite you to celebrate the contributions that generations of AAPI have made to Utah history, society, and culture,” shares event organizers Janice Ly, Floyd Mori, and Stephanie Sato Sueoka.

According to the trio, the event will introduce government officials, local speakers, youth advocates, and performing artists.

Notable speakers include ABC4’s very own Rosie Nguyen and Jason Nguyen, Author of Setsuko’s Secret Shirley Ann Higuchi JD, Former California State Assemblyman Floyd Mori, Utah Governor Spencer Cox’s Office, Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall, Jani Iwamoto, Karen Kwan, Darin Mano and, Sara Jones.

“You are encouraged to bring signs with messages such as, ‘Proud AAPI of Utah,’ ‘Happy AAPI Heritage Month,’ ‘Celebrate AAPI Joy,’ ‘Support AAPI Communities,’ etc. Personalized signs, banners, and attire is also encouraged to represent your organization or profession,” they add.

Performers for the event include Ogden Buddhist Church Taiko, Korean Traditional Dance, Laotian Dance, and SLC Ballet.

Those interested in attending are asked to wear masks if they have not yet been vaccinated and to practice social distancing. Attendees are also free to bring their own chairs. Security will also be at the event to help ensure the safety of participants.

“April was an especially difficult and fearful month for our community… but hopefully in May, we can bloom from the adversity,” shares Amanda Lau, the event’s graphic designer.

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