We had a very busy month of APAHM events and campaigns that we led, supported and launched around the country. Not your run-of-the-mill campaigns, every celebration and event we were involved in some capacity commemorated the history and heritage of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, paying homage to the past as well as looking forward to what happening next for the community.
HBO APA Visionaries at Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival
Our events for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month kicked off on April 28 with a special sold-out screening of HBO APA Visionaries short films at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. The three winning films made their world premiere at this year’s showcase, and all dealt with controversial issues in the APA community, including Dinh Thai’s first place “Monday,” which is about a young drug dealer who finds himself struggling with the moral implications of his illicit profession. TV show “Silicon Valley,” star Jimmy O. Yang was the program’s ambassador and moderated the Q&A after the showcase with the young filmmakers, who were on-hand for on-camera interviews with media. It was also announced that “Westworld” star, Leonard Nam, will be the next APA Visionaries ambassador. A celebration at a nearby venue followed. The films can be viewed until the end of May on HBO platforms, HBO NOW®, HBO GO®, HBO On Demand® and HBO Zone®.
Bringing “Relocation, Arkansas” to the Bentonville Film Festival
A maxed capacity of over 100 people attended the special screening of “Relocation, Arkansas: Aftermath of Incarceration” on May 5 at the Bentonville Film Festival (BFF) in Arkansas. The documentary, produced and directed by Vivienne Schiffer, is based on the Japanese-American experience in relocation camps situated in Arkansas during WWII. After the screening, Schiffer participated in a panel discussion with moderator David Ono (from Los Angeles’ ABC7) and the ex-mayor of McGehee, Ark., Rosalie Gould, descendants Richard Yada and Paul Takemoto, whose mother, Alice, who was sent to a relocation camp, was the guest of honor. Spearheaded by Geena Davis, BFF is a global film competition that champions women and diversity in all aspects of entertainment media. BFF offers guaranteed distribution to its winning films to include a theatrical release in partnership with AMC theaters, television in partnership with STARZ and LIFETIME and digital and retail home entertainment distribution in partnership with Walmart.
Asian Indian Legend Speaks at Walmart Associates Celebration
Walmart hosted its annual Asian Pacific American Network (APAN) Heritage Celebration for its Asian Pacific associates at the retailer’s headquarters on May 16. More than 1,000 associates from Walmart’s home office, as well as overseas offices in the United Kingdom and Mexico City and, for the first time, Jet.com staff in New Jersey attended in person or observed online. Along with cultural music and dance and food and snacks from local Asian restaurants, this year’s speakers, Walmart U.S. President and CEO Greg Foran and Senior Vice President and Chief Culture, Diversity and Inclusion Officer Ben Hasan engaged in a fireside chat with key APAN members/senior associates, Nidhi Munjal, Rahul Jalali, Allen Leung and Paul Anthony. And this year, special guest Vijay Amritraj – former Indian tennis player who once ranked no. 16 in the world, as well as actor (“Octopussy”), UN Ambassador and philanthropist – joined the fireside chat.
2017 National AAPI Business Summit
Lead by National ACE and the U.S. Department of Commerce, the business summit on May 16 to celebrate APAHM provided a forum to celebrate AAPI business success and address the challenges faced by Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) business community. The honorable Rep. Judy Chu provided keynote remarks during the afternoon portion of the program. During the event, attendees participated in discussions on AAPI business success, customer and supplier relationships, the state of AAPI Business and Entrepreneurship and challenges and successes for the next generation of AAPI entrepreneurs. Some of the key takeaways from the discussions included the importance of building communities and networking while growing your business, embracing innovation, and having an entrepreneurial mindset. Speakers also encouraged business owners to tell their stories and share their experiences as part of their journey.
McDonald’s RMHC in New York Honors Asian-American Women Trailblazers
Ronald McDonald House Charities of the New York Tri-State Area (RMHC-NYTSA) celebrated APAHM at the W Hotel in New York City’s Union Square on May 19 with an awards luncheon honoring Judge Doris Ling-Cohan with its 2017 RMHC Community Leadership Award and recognizing the winners of its annual RMHC/ASIA Scholarship Program. Hosted by ABC 7 reporter CeFaan Kim, the event also featured Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou as the keynote speaker.
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