Local elected officials and students came together in Flushing last week to honor the city’s community leaders as part of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month.
On May 24, Gabriel Hisugan of Asian Americans for Equality, Bright Limm of Korean Americans for Political Advancement, Julie Ae Kim of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs and Raj Bhayani of the Hindu Center Temple were recognized at Townsend Harris High School.
The annual “Asian American Heritage Celebration” was held at the school to highlight the importance of civic engagement.
“Asian [Pacific] American Heritage Month is worth celebrating because in order to truly form a more perfect union, especially in this borough, city and state of unprecedented cultural breadth,” Limm said. “We must understand the differences — both big and small — among us.”
The leaders were chosen for their dedication to public service, advocacy and civic and youth engagement. Assemblywoman Nily Rozic and Congresswoman Grace Meng hosted the event.
Rozic said the annual event celebrates those local leaders “who support and uplift others.”
“By recognizing these individuals, we also celebrate the organizers, advocates and leaders throughout New York that empower others to advocate for social and economic equity,” Rozic said. “I am proud to honor representatives from the organizations and communities that create social change within Asian American communities and beyond.”
“Immigrant New Yorkers are woven into the rich fabric of our city,” said Julie Ae Kim, a program manager at the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs and Townsend Harris High School alumna. “At the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, I have the honor of serving my fellow New Yorkers by connecting people with free and safe immigration legal services through ActionNYC.”
May was established as AAPI Heritage Month by the federal government in 1992. It is meant to honor the AAPI community’s ongoing history and contributions.
The event was sponsored by City Comptroller Scott Stringer, Public Advocate Letitia James, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and other local elected officials.