In an effort to remind people how important the Asian American Pacific Islander community is, Ashley Newell, a popular local blogger, co-hosted a two-day celebration on May 21-22 with Emily Autenrieth of A Seat at the Table Books.
“I wanted people to feel seen. The last few years have been extremely difficult, so it is important that our morale feels inspired and proud.
The event featured mixed music, art and stories unique to the AAPI culture. Local artists such as the Desi Club at Elk Grove High School; a Filipino stick fighting demonstration given by and hula from Halau ‘O Keikiali’i was presented. Additionally, vendors sold handmade tote bags, stickers, and plants from “Esmiralda Garcia Designs”; baked goods from “Baked by Olga” and clothing alongside storytellers Rachael Cabalse, Karen Su Studios and Andri Tambunan. Speakers included Dr. Winnie Tam Hung; non-profit, “My Sister’s House”; morning radio disc jockey Kevin Nguyen and Instagram celebrity Lisa He.
On the radio, Nguyen broadcasts positive vibes. In person, he is thrilled to encourage people to pursue their dreams because of AAPI’s increased opportunities for success through greater representation. The entertainment industry lacked diversity when he started as “trainee Kevin,” but now he sees more representation. As the familiar voice of 106.5 FM’s Wake-Up Call, listeners embrace her as an AAPI model.
“I’m happy that people identify with me. I want them to be proud to see someone who looks like them succeed,”
– Kevin Nguyen, DJ Radio at 106.5 FM
As the owner of “Borderlands Bakery”, Lisa He did not see her background as an asset to the company. So she hid it on social media, although she was embarrassed to admit it. She now shares her Chinese immigrant story to remind aspiring AAPI small business owners, especially women, that they are not the only ones working towards their goals.
“Entrepreneurship can be very lonely. But I want them to see a lot of us go through the same things…and impact people who are also of my heritage, that’s the next level of fulfillment for me.
-Lisa He, Borderlands Bakery
Elk Grove marked this month to celebrate the AAPI community. Newell’s event added to the growing recognition as she recognized committee members Sebya Gorre-Clancy, Jordan Ritchie and Jazz Williams-Lewis for the success of the event.
To learn more about upcoming events at A Seat at the Table Books, visit them online at: https://aseatthetablebooks.org/