California Community Foundation Celebrates the Resilience, Activism and Heritage of the AANHPI Community

June 11, 2024

AANHPI event 2024On Thursday, May 30, the California Community Foundation (CCF) hosted a vibrant celebration in honor of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month at Terasaki Budokan community center. The event brought together key stakeholders and cross-sector partners, including community leaders, donors, philanthropy, and elected officials for an evening dedicated to celebrating and amplifying AANHPI voices.

“We are thrilled to host this celebration in Little Tokyo, a neighborhood steeped in rich history and cultural significance,” said Miguel Santana, President and CEO of the California Community Foundation. “Our partnerships with AANHPI community organizations and elected officials are essential to driving positive systemic change in Los Angeles. Together, we are advocating for affordable housing, immigrant inclusion, civic engagement, and social justice.”

The event featured distinguished speakers who are making history in the AANHPI community with their activism, public service, and philanthropy.

Congresswoman Judy Chu highlighted the significant contributions of the AANHPI communities whose histories, culture, and experiences are deeply woven into the fabric of our nation stating, “From the Chinese railroad workers who built our nation’s first transcontinental railroad to the Filipino American organizers who fought for labor rights, our community has played a vital role in shaping America’s past, present, and future.”

Following her remarks, Connie Chung Joe, CEO of Asian Americans Advancing Justice, reflected on the challenges faced by the AANHPI community during the pandemic.

“The rise in anti-Asian hate during the pandemic has been a sobering reminder that our community still faces discrimination and prejudice. But amidst these challenges, there is also hope,” Chung Joe emphasized, recognizing the importance of AANHPI voices in the fight for racial justice.

Other notable speakers included the Los Angeles City Councilmember Nithya Raman, William Fujioka, Board Chair of the Japanese American National Museum and former LA County CEO; Meloni Hallock, Board Emeritus of CCF; and Erich Nakano, Executive Director of the Little Tokyo Service Center.

Guests had the opportunity to engage with a variety of local businesses that play a vital role in the economic vitality of Little Tokyo, including Far Bar, Chado Tea Room, Fugetsu-do, and Little Tokyo Florist. Additionally, the event highlighted the transformative power of music and art, featuring performances by Gingee, a renowned DJ, producer, percussionist, and vocalist, and an exhibition by Phung Huynh, an esteemed artist and educator who is a CCF Fellowship for Visual Artists (2022) Alumni.

This gathering reinforced CCF’s commitment to foster a more inclusive and equitable Los Angeles by elevating the voices of diverse communities. CCF’s AANHPI Heritage Month celebration aimed to provide opportunities for connection, learning, and celebration. By highlighting the achievements of AANHPI leaders, supporting local businesses, and showcasing the vibrant culture of Little Tokyo, the event underscored the importance of fostering a sense of pride and representation within the AANHPI community.

“Let us remember that our diversity is our strength, and our unity is our power,” added Santana. “As we reflect on the stories shared tonight — tales of resilience, activism, and community — let us harness the lessons learned to drive meaningful change to redefine the narrative, dismantle systemic barriers, and shape a future where all Angelenos can thrive.”

We invite you to view the event video here.

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