ABC7 celebrates Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month 2017


In honor of Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month, ABC7 celebrates the amazing Asian culture #whereyoulive.

5/22/17: Sarita Kohli, AACI
Sarita Kohli was recently announced as the new President and CEO of the San Jose-based nonprofit, Asian Americans for Community Involvement (@AACIorg). For nearly 44 years, AACI has been dedicated to serving the needs of the marginalized, low income, low access individuals in our society through a variety of culturally sensitive healthcare, behavioral health, and wellness services. Sarita has been with AACI for nearly 14 years serving previously as Executive Vice President, Director of Behavioral Health, and Program Manager for the Center for Survivors of Torture. "I joined AACI 14 years ago because I knew I wanted to be part of an organization that would make a difference. The team at AACI is dedicated and passionate to serve and I am honored and excited to have the opportunity to lead in this new capacity. I am looking forward to working with the team to not only continue providing high quality and culturally sensitive care, but to also think strategically as to how we can expand our impact here in Silicon Valley," said AACI's new President and CEO, Sarita Kohli. Photo courtesy of Nam Le. #ABC7celebrates #APAheritagemonth #BeInspired #whereyoulive #AACI #SaritaKohli #asianamericans #sanjose #nonprofit #CEO
5/21/17: Tyrus Wong
Disney Legend Tyrus Wong was the man whose personal artistic style heavily influenced the classic Disney animated feature, "Bambi." As a young child, Wong immigrated to America from China with his father, leaving behind his mother and sister. They first arrived at San Francisco's Angel Island Immigration Station, where Wong was separated from his father for an entire month, until he and his father took a test to prove that they were actually related. Once reunited, they moved to Sacramento. Wong's talent and interest in art emerged early and his father encouraged it by having him practice calligraphy on newspaper. After attending the Otis Art Institute in Southern California, on a full scholarship, Wong began working at @Disney in 1938 as an in-betweener - which is a critical job in animation that requires the artist to fill in the drawings between the set poses created by the main illustrator. But when pre-production began on "Bambi", Wong painted several small pictures of a deer in a forest that captured Walt Disney's attention. Those sketches became the basis for the style of the entire film! There's now even been a documentary film about his amazing life, simply called "Tyrus" (@tyrusthemovie). Although he passed away in December at the age of 106, his beautiful art and legacy live on! Photo courtesy of The Walt Disney Family Museum. The Walt Disney Company is the parent company of ABC7. #ABC7celebrates #APAHeritageMonth #WhereYouLive #BeInspired #TyrusWong #WaltDisney #Disney #Bambi #AngelIslandImmigrationStation #OtisArtInstitute #DisneyLegend #WaltDisneyFamilyMuseum
5/20/17: Tookta
Get ready to kick off San Francisco Pride(@sanfranciscopride) celebrations, with a unique event highlighting Thai and Lao culture hosted by SF Pride Board President, Michelle Meow (@msmichellemeow), on May 31st! The "Celebration of Diversity" benefit will include a discussion between Meow and Michelin star Chef James Syhabout of Hawker Fare (@hawkerfaresf). Internationally renowned Thai folk singer Orawan Chanpanya (pictured here), known by her stage name Tookta, will perform as well! Singing since the age of 12, most of her songs reflect on Thai life and touch on topics like poverty, farming, relationships, and inspiration for a better life. They'll also launch a special SF Pride art exhibit at the event, in which community members will have the opportunity to offer support. #ABC7celebrates #APAHeritageMonth #WhereYouLive #BeInspired #SanFranciscoPride #SFPride #MichelleMeow #CelebrationofDiversity #HawkerFare #JamesSyhabout #Tookta #Thai #Lao #Issan #michelinstar
5/19/17: Rep. Ana Eshoo Art Competition
Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (CA-18, @repannaeshoo) recently announced the winner of the annual Congressional Art Competition for her district, and Leigh High School student Jiyeon Chun grabbed the top spot with her painting, "Friendship." "I'm exceedingly proud to represent such talented students in our Congressional District," Rep. Eshoo said in a statement. "Creativity and freedom of expression are bedrock American values and the Congressional Art Competition is a great opportunity to recognize the creative talents of the young adults in the 18th Congressional District. Congratulations to Jiyeon and all the talented students who have embraced art to express themselves." Since 1982, the Congressional Institute has hosted an annual visual art competition for high school students to recognize artistic talent throughout the nation. The winning artwork from each congressional district is exhibited for a full year at the U.S. Capitol. Winners receive two round-trip tickets to Washington D.C. for the annual awards ceremony and launch of the exhibition. Congratulations, Jiyeon! Photo courtesy of Rep. Anna Eshoo's office. #ABC7celebrates #APAHeritageMonth #WhereYouLive #BeInspired #AnnaEshoo #CongressionalArtCompetition #18thDistrict #JiyeonChun #SanJose #LeighHighSchool #CongressionalInstitute
5/18/17: Finding Cleveland Screening - Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation
Asian American rap artist Only Won (@onlywonmc, aka Baldwin Chiu) and singer-songwriter Larissa Lam (@larissalammusic) will be performing in Oakland next Thursday on May 25th, prior to the screening of their award-winning documentary short film, "Finding Cleveland" (@findingcleveland). Their visit to the Oakland Asian Cultural Center (@oaklandasiancc) is being sponsored by several local nonprofits, including the Asian Island Immigration Station Foundation. "Finding Cleveland" has touched multigenerational audiences across the US with its compelling story about the search by Baldwin Chiu and his family for details about his grandfather, KC Lou. Their journey leads them to Cleveland, Mississippi, where they learn about the little known history of early Chinese immigrants during segregation and the Chinese Exclusion Act. Don't miss out on this unique Bay Area experience! Photo courtesy of "Finding Cleveland." #ABC7celebrates #APAHeritageMonth #WhereYouLive #BeInspired #AIISF #AngelIslandImmigrationStationFoundation #OaklandAsianCulturalCenter #Oakland #FindingCleveland #LarissaLam #BaldwinChiu #OnlyWon #ChineseExclusionAct #Documentaryshort
5/17/17: Minh Tsai/Asian Art Museum
Do you like tofu?? If you do (or if you've never tried it), then don't miss an exciting Tasting Menu program at the Asian Art Museum (@asianartmuseum) tomorrow, May 18th! Minh Tsai, the founder of Oakland-based artisanal tofu company Hodo Soy, will be on hand to discuss "Reclaiming Tofu." There will also be yummy tofu dishes to try from several local chefs, from San Francisco restaurants like State Bird Provisions, Mister Jiu's, and Greens. Photo courtesy of the Asian Art Museum. #ABC7celebrates #APAHeritageMonth #WhereYouLive #BeInspired #AsianArtMuseum #MinhTsai #HodoSoy #Oakland #ReclaimingTofu #StateBirdProvisions #MisterJius #Greens
5/16/17: Evan Low
Thanks to the dedicated work of California State Assemblyman Evan Low, May 10th has officially been proclaimed California Chinese Railroad Workers Memorial Day! The resolution was passed unanimously by the state assembly in commemoration of the 12,000 Chinese railroad workers who helped construct the Transcontinental Railroad over 150 years ago. Completed on May 10, 1869, the railroad is considered one of the most remarkable engineering achievements of the 19th century. With its completion, the West and the East were finally linked for the first time in American history. The Chinese workers were credited in constructing the toughest stretch of the railroad through difficult mountain terrain in the Western section. Impressively, the Chinese railroad workers were actually able to set a world record by completing 10 miles of railroad track in just one workday! But this success came at the cost of the lives of almost 1,200 Chinese workers. As Assemblymember Low stated"The thousands of Chinese immigrants who risked their lives to build the Transcontinental Railroad faced prejudice, unsafe working conditions, and low wages. Their sacrifice and courage must never be forgotten." Photo courtesy of Evan Low's office. #BeInspired #whereyoulive #ABC7celebrates #APAHeritageMonth #EvanLow #CaliforniaChineseRailroadWorkersMemorialDay #ChineseRailroadWorkers #TranscontinentalRailroad #RememberWhoBuiltTheRailroad #CaliforniaHistory
5/15/17: Sue Lee
After 13 years as Executive Director, Sue Lee is stepping down from the Chinese Historical Society of America. CHSA is the oldest organization in the country dedicated to the interpretation, promotion, and preservation of the social, cultural and political history and contributions of the Chinese in America. "It has been a privilege and honor to have worked with trailblazing historians like Phil Choy and Him Mark Lai who helped to establish the field of study and who worked to assure Chinese America's rightful place in the overall American historical narrative," said Lee in a statement. Visit CHSA's museum in San Francisco's Chinatown to see the legacy and impact of Sue Lee. Photo courtesy of Amy Osborne, SF Chronicle. #whereyoulive #APAHeritageMonth #BeInspired #CHSA #ChineseHistoricalSociety #SueLee #ChineseAmericans #ChinatownSF
5/14/17: The UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Archive
The ancient art of belly dancing has its roots in the Middle East and Asia Minor. The dance form has evolved over the years with new styles across the globe. And you can see a beautiful demonstration of modern belly dance at the Shake the Bay charity show, happening on May 20th at San Francisco's @BravaTheater and benefiting the Alzheimers Association. There you will see the local troupe @FatChanceBellyDance (pictured here) performing the American Tribal Style (ATS) of belly dance. FatChanceBellyDance founder Carolena Nericcio-Bohlman created ATS 30 years ago, blending influences from the folkloric dances of India, the Middle East, Spain, and North Africa. Don't miss the exciting Shake the Bay show to see some amazing Bay Area belly dancers! Photo courtesy of Kristen Sard. #whereyoulive #APAHeritageMonth #BeInspired #bellydance #ShaketheBay #BravaTheater #AlzheimersAssociation #FatChanceBellyDance #AmericanTribalStyle
5/13/17: Shake The Bay
The ancient art of belly dancing has its roots in the Middle East and Asia Minor. The dance form has evolved over the years with new styles across the globe. And you can see a beautiful demonstration of modern belly dance at the Shake the Bay charity show, happening on May 20th at San Francisco's @BravaTheater and benefiting the Alzheimers Association. There you will see the local troupe @FatChanceBellyDance (pictured here) performing the American Tribal Style (ATS) of belly dance. FatChanceBellyDance founder Carolena Nericcio-Bohlman created ATS 30 years ago, blending influences from the folkloric dances of India, the Middle East, Spain, and North Africa. Don't miss the exciting Shake the Bay show to see some amazing Bay Area belly dancers! Photo courtesy of Kristen Sard. #whereyoulive #APAHeritageMonth #BeInspired #bellydance #ShaketheBay #BravaTheater #AlzheimersAssociation #FatChanceBellyDance #AmericanTribalStyle
5/12/17: Toan Lam
Social entrepreneur and "Inspirator" Toan Lam (@ToanLamTV) is a Vietnamese immigrant who came to the U.S. at age 3. After building a successful career in broadcast journalism, teaching and motivational speaking, Toanfounded the nonprofit Go Inspire Go (GIG - @goinspirego), which produces stories about everyday heroes and leverages social media to inspire the hero in YOU to help. His most recent project is the podcast "TruthDare" (@truthdaretalk), which is a series of intimate conversations with people who are living their true calling and using it to help others. His goal is to dare listeners to live their truth. As Toan says, "Trust your truth. I dare you." Photo courtesy of Coco Tran. #whereyoulive #ABC7celebrates #APAHeritageMonth #BeInspired #ToanLam #Vietnam #GoInspireGo #TruthDareTalk #DareToBeYou #TruthTribe #TelltheTrut
5/11/17: Chinese New Year Parade History
San Francisco is home to the largest Chinese New Year Parade in the world, but did you know that its history goes all the way back to the 1860's? As Chinese immigrants joined the flood of people who moved to San Francisco after the California Gold Rush, they grew eager to share their culture with those who were unfamiliar with it. To do so, they chose the American tradition of the parade. Nothing like it had ever been done in their native China. Participants marched down what today are Grant Avenue & Kearny Street, carrying colorful dragons, flags, banners, lanterns, firecrackers and drums. Gung Hay Fat Choy! Photo courtesy of UC Berkeley, Bancroft Library, Online Archive of California. #BeInspired #whereyoulive #APAHeritageMonth #Chinatown #SanFrancisco #ChineseNewYear #ChineseNewYearParade #dragon #GoldRush #GungHayFatChoy
5/10/17: San Francisco Japantown
Did you know that 2 of the only 3 Japantowns left in the United States are in the Bay Area? Both San Jose and San Francisco are home to these historic neighborhoods, which are also commonly known as Nihonmachi - which literally translates to "Japan town" or "Japan street". Pictured here is a glimpse of San Francisco's Japantown from 1911. The neighborhood is located in San Francisco's Western Addition area, where many Japanese immigrants moved after the devastating 1906 earthquake destroyed their homes. As they settled here, they built churches and shrines and opened typically Japanese shops and restaurants. The neighborhood took on a very Japanese character and before long became a miniature version of the Ginza area of Tokyo. Due to this familiarity, by World War II, the neighborhood became one of the largest such enclaves of Japanese outside of Japan. Photo courtesy of the Online Archive of California. #BeInspired #whereyoulive #ABC7celebrates #APAHeritageMonth #Japantown #SanFrancisco #SFJapantown #Nihonmachi #1906Earthquake #Ginza #Immigrants #UnionSquare #WesternAddition
5/9/17: Listen to the Silence Conference, Stanford
Listen to the Silence (LTS) is Stanford University's annual Asian American issues conference organized by the Asian American Students' Association (AASA). This year's conference took place in January. Listen to the Silence began at Stanford in 1995 out of the need to increase the visibility of Asian American issues and to educate those in the community and beyond about the conditions of the Asian American community. The conference name spoke to the idea that Asian American students didn't feel that they had a space where they could voice their issues. So "Listen to the Silence" became a command to listen to this community that has a history of oppression. The conference goals have since expanded to include the empowerment of Asian American students to take direct action to improve their communities and work towards social justice. Photo courtesy of Stanford University Archives, Online Archive of California. #whereyoulive #ABC7celebrates #APAHeritageMonth #BeInspired #Stanford #ListentotheSilence #LTS #AASA #oppression #studentactivism
5/8/17: AAWAA "Shifting Movements" Exhibit
Local visual artist Cynthia Tom ( is both the Board President of the Asian American Women Artists Association (@AAWAA_sf) and one of the featured artists in the new @SOMArts exhibit, "Shifting Movements: Art Inspired by the Life & Activism of Yuri Kochiyama (1920-2014)," curated by AAWAA's Michelle Lee. The exhibit features artists, primarily from Asian, Black, and Latinx American communities, illuminating the legacy of social rights activist Yuri Kochiyama. Influenced by her WWII Japanese-American family's internment and her association with Malcolm X, Yuri was a powerful civil rights activist leader who spent her life advocating for human rights causes including Black separatism, the anti-war movement, Puerto Rican independence, reparations for Japanese internees and the rights of people imprisoned by the US political prisoners. Cynthia's inspired artwork, "I Wish Umbrellas Could Protect Our Women and Children," uses the image of petite umbrellas as shields from the elements as metaphor for small actions many can take to create a safer society. Guests are invited to write their own hang tag and take action. What simple thing can you do to make a difference? You can participate, too, by posting on Facebook and Instagram #actionumbrella! She shared with us, "I strongly identify as a truth teller for my communities, taking ownership of my feminist voice. I believe artists must use their creative powers to educate deeply in order to activate profound change on a heartfelt level." Photo courtesy of Cris Matos. #whereyoulive #ABC7celebrates #APAHeritageMonth #BeInspired #AAWAA #SOMArts #CynthiaTomArt #AsianAmericanWomenArtistsAssociation #YuriKochiyama #feminist #umbrellas #artactivism #ShiftingMovements
5/7/17: CAA's Celebration of Justice
San Francisco-based nonprofit, @ChineseforAffirmativeAction (CAA), proudly honors Chris Ahn, Larry Mock, and Ron Wallace - architects dedicated to service and civil rights! For decades they have donated their skills and time, including pro bono work to redesign and renovate the CAA headquarters in San Francisco's Chinatown. Their generous donation made it possible for CAA to create a welcoming home for the Chinese immigrant community, activists, and social justice leaders for generations to come. Join CAA in honoring them and other heroes at their 48th anniversary #CelebrationofJustice dinner, taking place on June 8th. Photo courtesy of CAA. #whereyoulive #ABC7celebrates #APAHeritageMonth #BeInspired #COJ48 #CAA #architects #Chinatown #SanFrancisco #civilrights #immigrant #socialjustice
5/6/17: Pacific Islanders' Cultural Association
This August, the 22nd annual San Francisco Bay Area Aloha Festival will take place in San Mateo. The volunteers of the Pacific Islanders' Cultural Association (PICA) make this exciting festival happen each year. One key person leading the charge is Joanna "Kaleolani" De Sa, the PICA Board President since 2005. PICA's mission "to develop and perpetuate through education the histories, cultures and traditions of all Pacific Islanders'" has been a key focus of Joanna's lifetime commitment to "create a future in support of my Pacific Islander community, elders, and the environment." Recently retired with over 28 years of local government work protecting the environment, she is caring for her mother, and working with the PICA Board to expand the organization's many programs and resources. Keep up the important work, Joanna! Photo courtesy of the Bay Area Aloha Festival. #whereyoulive #ABC7celebrates #APAheritagemonth #AlohaFestival #BayArea #festival #PacificIslander #PICA #SanMateo #pacificislandersculturalassociation
5/5/17: Cherry Blossom Festival
Every April for the past 50 years, San Francisco's Japantown has hosted the annual Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival. Each year, over 200,000 people attend this dazzling display showcasing the color and grace of the Japanese culture and the diversity of the Japanese American Community in one of only three remaining Japantowns in the United States. There you can see cultural demonstrations like "Junihitoe" - a twelve layer kimono displayed by one of the 15 groups that travelled all the way from Japan specifically for the festival. You don't see much like this outside of Japan. Festival organizers are proud to always refer to their festival as the one single place to experience true Japanese culture outside of Japan. Happy 50th Anniversary, Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival! Photo courtesy of Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival. #whereyoulive #ABC7celebrates #APAHeritageMonth #CherryBlossomFestival #CherryBlossom #Japantown #SanFrancisco #Junihitoe #kimono #Japan #NorCal #northerncaliforniacherryblossomfestival #50thAnniversary
5/4/17: Jyoti Gurung, Refugee Transitions
Meet Jyoti Gurung (@imjoyti)! She works for the local nonprofit, Refugee Transitions, and was just honored with the Asian Pacific American Heritage Award for Youth Leadership from the APA Heritage Foundation. Jyoti, 24, was born in a small village in Bhutan. As an infant, her family was forced to flee the country when the government of Bhutan began its ethnic-cleansing strategy to purge individuals of Nepali descent. She grew up in a Bhutanese refugee camp in Nepal, eventually securing permission to enter the U.S. as a refugee with her family in 2009. The family's journey as refugees was fraught with fear, uncertainty, and enormous hardship, but also hope. Once in the U.S., Jyoti attended Oakland International High School, where she excelled in her studies. During her tenure, she made time to help other students as a Refugee Transitions Peer Tutor. She continued her studies at San Francisco State University, ultimately earning a B.S. degree in Business Management. Jyoti continued her work with RT as an Alumni Tutor and Intern. She subsequently joined the Refugee Transitions as a full-time Development and Program Associate. And she is a founding board member of the new nonprofit, Foundation for Conscious Activism (@foundationforconsciousactivism). Follow Jyoti's journey in "Pursuing Dreams," a documentary produced by Refugee Transitions. Photo courtesy of Jyoti Gurung. #whereyoulive #ABC7celebrates #APAHeritageMonth #JyotiGurung #RefugeeTransitions #SanFrancisco #Oakland #oaklandinternationalhighschool #oihs #FoundationforConsciousActivism #PursuingDreams #Bhutan #Nepali #YouthLeadership #Refugee #RefugeesWelcome
5/3/17: Asian Art Museum
Don't miss the beautiful exhibit, "Tomb Treasures: New Discoveries from China's Han Dynasty", on display now at the Asian Art Museum (@asianartmuseum)! Local experts worked with the Museum to create an "underground tour" called "Tomb Pleasures." Visitors can follow the tour on their phones, and learn the experts' thoughts on 9 surprising highlights among the ancient burial art. For example, the sculpture seen here - known as "The Dancer" - features the commentary of SF Ballet's principal dancer, Yuan Yuan Tan (@yuanyuan_tan). There's a lot to see, so plan your visit today! The exhibit closes May 18th! #whereyoulive #ABC7celebrates #APAHeritageMonth #AsianArtMuseum #TombTreasures #TombPleasures #burialart #SFBallet #YuanYuanTan #HanDynasty #China #history
5/2/17: Manufou Liaiga-Anoa'i
As Mother's Day approaches this month, we wanted to tell you about one amazing local mom! One of our ABC7 viewers, Reno Anoa'i, shared his pride and this photo of his mother, Manufou Liaiga-Anoa'i. He writes, "She served as Mayor Willie Brown's very first Pacific Islander Liaison and is now the first Pacific Islander to serve on the San Mateo County Commission on the Status of Women - 4 years now. She also founded Camp Unity - a Pacific Islander-inspired summer day camp that brings together youth from all over the Bay Area. She is a role model for so many and is always hoping, praying and pushing for the improvement of the communities we live providing food for those in need, supplies for our Island countries during times of devastation and sending books to the South Pacific to raise literacy rates and getting Polynesian books to share with our youth here so that they can be proud of their heritage, their culture. This is my Mom and I am so proud to be her son." Thanks for sharing your mom's story with us, Reno! We agree - she's AMAZING! #whereyoulive #ABC7celebrates #APAHeritageMonth #ManufouLiaigaAnoai #CampUnity #PacificIslander #SanMateo #CommissionontheStatusofWomen #MothersDay #Polynesian #SouthPacific
5/1/17: National Alliance on Mental Illness of Alameda County South
Through its Asian Community Programs, the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Alameda County South (NAMI ACS) fights tirelessly to encourage Chinese communities in the Bay Area to overcome the stigma of mental illness and provide access to mental health services. NAMI ACS launched a Chinese-language NAMI website full of resources tailored for the Bay Area's Chinese population. In addition, Elaine Peng, Director of NAMI ACS' Asian Community Programs teaches mental health courses in Mandarin and Cantonese, is a NAMI peer-to-peer mentor, and chairs the Alameda County API Mental Health Awareness Planning Committee. And this year, NAMI ACS will participate in East Bay Gives, a 24-hour online giving day benefiting nonprofits across the Bay Area on May 4. You can find out how to support NAMI ACS or any of the hundreds of participating nonprofits organizations by visiting Photo courtesy of NAMI ACS.
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