May is Asian American and Pacific Islander American (AAPI) Heritage Month! Back in 2014, we profiled Quyen Dinh, Executive Director of Diverse Elders Coalition member organization Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC). This year, the DEC is excited to introduce Dr. Wes Lum, CEO of the National Asian Pacific Center on Aging (NAPCA). After an extensive nationwide search, Dr. Lum was appointed to the CEO position at NAPCA in March 2015 and has been leading the charge for AAPI elders ever since. Read on for more about Dr. Lum NAPCA:
Those who work with older adults may generally know that the population is growing in size very quickly. In fact, Los Angeles County’s entire 50-plus population grew 28% between 2000 and 2010. What most people don’t know is that the Asian American 50-plus population grew 56% during the same time. In contrast, the entire population of Los Angeles County saw 3% growth during this time while the general Asian American population saw 20% growth.
In other words, the Asian American 50-plus population grew twice as.... Read More
APAHM Spotlight on Southeast Asia Resource Action Center
As we enter into Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, we are just closing a season of celebration and remembrance for Southeast Asian American communities. Lao and Cambodian families celebrated the New Year in April, but all of our communities also paused to remember our shared history of trauma and resilience as a refugee community.
Forty-one years ago on April 17th, 1975, the genocidal Khmer Rouge rolled their tanks into Phnom Penh and evacuated the city into the countryside,.... Read More
May is an exciting month at the Diverse Elders Coalition. Our communities, which are so often left out of mainstream conversations, are highlighted nationally in two different ways during the month of May: not only is it Asian American/Pacific Islander Heritage Month, which allows our AAPI elders take the spotlight, it is also Older Americans Month, which celebrates the legacies and supports the future of all of our diverse elders. We love seeing the many ways in which our communities are working together to honor each other during May and all throughout the year.
The theme for this year’s Asian American/Pacific Islander Heritage Month is “Walk Together, Embrace Differences, Build Legacies.” I love this theme, not only because it celebrates.... Read More
Representing Diverse Elders During AAPI Heritage Month (APAHM)
May is recognized as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. From modest beginnings when President Carter signed a Joint Resolution on October 5, 1978 marking the first ten days of May as “Asian-Pacific Heritage Week,” to 1992, when the entire month of May became officially recognized as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM), it has become an opportunity to lift up the experiences of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders. Across the country, communities, organizations, and governments at local, state, and regional levels celebrate the month in a variety of ways, including cultural performances, political discussions, and other activities.
May has been an important month for me for almost my entire professional career doing policy work in Washington, DC. As Asian American/Pacific Islander Heritage Month (AAPIHM), it has served as an opportunity to focus on the communities I’ve served, lift up issues such as immigration, cultural and linguistic competence, and address anti-Asian violence and racial discrimination. From its modest beginnings in 1977 when it was just the first week of May, to 1992 when it became officially designated for the entire month, it was chosen initially to recognize both the completion of the transcontinental railroad and the role Chinese laborers played there as well as the arrival of the first cohort of Japanese immigrants.
A conversation with Quyen Dinh, Executive Director of the Southeast Asian Resource Action Center (SEARAC)
May was AAPI Heritage Month and this year’s theme was “I Am Beyond.” It is a phrase meant to evoke the rich and complex diversity of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. What does AAPI Heritage mean to you personally and as the ED of SEARAC?
I grew up in Orange County, California, and San Jose, California, homes to two of the largest Vietnamese American communities in the nation. Growing up in these communities to me meant seeing a lot of Asian faces everyday.... Read More
Dion Wong: A conversation with a 69-year-old Chinese gay man (AAPI Heritage Month)
In recognition of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, the Diverse Elders Coalition is featuring stories relevant to AAPI older adults (their successes, their struggles, their history) during May. A new story will be shared every Thursday with additional posts shared throughout the month. Be sure to visit diverseelders.org regularly during the month of May.
By Dion Wong
Dion Wong is a 69-year-old Chinese gay man. Retired since 2002, Dion was a middle school teacher for over 34 years in San Francisco and was married in Canada in 2006 to his partner, Benjamin Aquino, Jr. They have been together for 18 years. Read his experience as a gay Chinese man and his views on the broader.... Read More
Doing a better job of telling diverse elders’ stories, starting with AAPI Elders + an exciting reveal! (AAPI Heritage Month)
May is Older Americans Month. It’s also Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month. As the National Coordinator of the Diverse Elders Coalition, I am honored to work alongside many diverse aging advocates, including leaders in the field of AAPI aging.
Partnering with our member organizations, the National Asian Pacific Center on Aging (NAPCA) and the Southeast Asian Resource Action Center (SEARAC), I have become very intimate with the daily realities of AAPI elders and their loved ones. I’ve learned many lessons along the way, such as the silence of AAPI elders who identify as LGBT, to why the “model minority” myth is damaging to the AAPI elder.... Read More