Tag Archives: AAPI Heritage Month 2021

Beacon Hill Resident Gene Moy Celebrated As One of Oldest Living World War Two Vets

by Mark Van Streefkerk 

Last Thursday, right before the Mariners win over the Texas Rangers, there was a special pregame presentation in honor of Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month. As part of the presentation, the Mariners recognized important AAPI contributions to the region, honored the founders of Our Stories Are Your Stories, and in a special segment — Salute To Those Who Serve — the team recognized Gene Moy, a 104 year-old Chinese American World War Two veteran. 

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Hungry

by Andy Panda


This comic is a story of common miscommunication between my grandmother, who didn’t speak much English, and young me, who didn’t (doesn’t) speak much Chinese. The dialogue is in both Chinese and English to emphasize the miscommunication, but includes enough of each so you, the reader, can understand what is going on. In the end, food becomes the ultimate communicator. Growing up with an immigrant grandmother, when neither of you spoke the same language, was sometimes difficult. My grandmother and I shared a room (that’s a whole other comic) and she babysat me often, yet we could barely communicate. Like many immigrant families, we had to just make it work. This is a story about one of the times we just made it work. Thanks to PARISOL for translation help and to Bill Cheung for the pun idea.

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POETRY: We Are the Spring

by Dragon Moon (translation by Kalayo Pestaño)


Dragon Moon wrote this bilingual song for a kids’ garden show, but it has since become an anthem for all ages. Inspired by the Tagalog song “Bahay Kubo” as well as the famous quote by Pablo Neruda, the song illustrates how plants and humans grow and create cycles of change. It is in English and Tagalog.

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Intentionalist: Celebrate Pacific Islander-Owned Businesses

by Kristina Rivera

Intentionalist is built on one simple idea: where we spend our money matters. We make it easy to find, learn about, and support small businesses and the diverse people behind them through everyday decisions about where we eat, drink, and shop. #SpendLikeItMatters


Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month can often be an invisibilizing time for Native Hawai‘ian and Pacific Islander communities in the United States. The focus tends to shift toward East Asian countries, which pushes Native Hawai‘ian and Pacific Islander experiences by the wayside.

Putting Native Hawai‘ians and Pacific Islanders under the umbrella term AAPI (Asian American and Pacific Islander) erases the dozens of diverse cultures and countries that make up the Pacific Islands. Washington is home to the third highest Native Hawai‘ian and Pacific Islander population in the United States, so it’s crucial we actively support and center the voices of the people who too often go ignored — especially during a month that’s supposed to be about the celebration of their culture, too.

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New Graphic Novel Tells Three Stories of Nikkei Resistance to Wartime Incarceration

by Mark Van Streefkerk


The upcoming graphic novel We Hereby Refuse: Japanese American Resistance to Wartime Incarceration offers a new take on the history of World War II — one told through the resistance of three people. Revolving around the experiences of Jim Akutsu, Hiroshi Kashiwagi, and Mitsuye Endo, We Hereby Refuse weaves their acts of refusal into one overarching plot. A result of a collaboration between co-authors Frank Abe and Tamiko Nimura, illustrated by artists Ross Ishikawa and Matt Sasaki, the 160-page graphic novel is co-published by the Wing Luke Museum and Chin Music Press. The book is slated for release on May 18. 

In telling Akutsu, Kashiwagi, and Endo’s stories, “We decided not to do it as three different chapters but as one timeline, one story arc that would interweave these three characters. The focus is not ‘These are three heroes of camp resistance.’ No. There’s an overarching narrative of the incarceration experience,” said Abe. “We call it the ‘story of camp as you’ve never seen it before.’”

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‘Our Stories Are Your Stories’ Video Collection Celebrates AAPI Heritage

by Mark Van Streefkerk


A video storytelling campaign was launched at the beginning of this month to celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) heritage. “Our Stories Are Your Stories” (OSAYS) is a growing video collection of short oral histories from AAPI people of all walks of life in the greater Seattle area. Coinciding with AAPI Heritage Month, another goal of OSAYS is to help dispel harmful misconceptions about these diverse communities and create empathy as a response to the disturbing trend of anti-Asian violence and xenophobia. 

Notable Seattle athletes, artists, actors, and community leaders like Doug Baldwin, Dr. Vin Gupta, Hollis Wong-Wear, Gary Locke, Lana Condor, Yuji Okumoto, Lauren Tran, and more have kicked off the campaign by contributing their stories — and OSAYS expects more to come. The oral histories don’t have strict guidelines but primarily explore the questions, “What does it mean to be Asian American or Pacific Islander?” and “How does identity inform your life?” Anyone from the AAPI community is encouraged to contribute. The OSAYS videos will become part of the Wing Luke Museum’s oral history archives. 

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The Key to a Refugee Community’s Success

by Julie Pham

(This article previously appeared on Người Việt Tây Bắc and has been reprinted under an agreement.)


“Một cây làm chẳng nên non. Ba cây chụm lại thành hòn núi cao.” This Vietnamese proverb means that a single tree doesn’t matter much. Three trees together look like a mountain. 

How does a refugee community like the Vietnamese achieve so much when we came with so little? My father, Kim Phạm, always stressed that the success of our community is rooted in a willingness to support and uplift one another so that we can achieve our dreams. We have been able to do so much more with what little we have because we have each other’s backs. 

Many of these dreams started in Vietnam. Like hundreds of thousands of other South Vietnamese who fought against the communists during the Vietnam War, my father was forced into a communist prison camp to be reeducated in the years after the Fall of Saigon in 1975. Inside the camp, he dreamed of starting a newspaper in the U.S. The dream was realized in Seattle, where my parents and I managed to find refuge after fleeing Vietnam as boat people. My parents named the newspaper Người Việt Tây Bắc (NVTB), which translates to “Vietnamese people of the Northwest.” 

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OPINION: I Have Always Been Proud of My Mother

by Rayna Mathis (Tagalog translation by April Jingco)


This is a speech I performed at Hing Hay Park for the #StopAsianHate rally organized by Seattle Rice Society on April 3, 2021. When asked to perform, I only had a few days to decide my direction, and once the anxiety settled, I realized that the only, genuine approach I could offer was to tell everyone about the person I love most in this world: my mom. We experience the world quite differently and even though we may not always understand the other’s experiences, I have never doubted for a second how much my mom and I love each other.

I have always been proud of my mother. At just 19, she followed her family across the ocean to come to the States, where she enjoyed a successful career, earned two degrees, raised four children, and now dotes on six grandchildren. She is the strongest and easily the funniest person I know. She can make anything out of scratch and to this day, still won’t even give ME her recipes. I fight her for them every few weeks. She is observant and calculated, brave and humble, and shows her love in food. When it was time for her to finally retire in this country, she knew it was time to travel back across those same waters that first brought her here, to return home. I have always wondered since she left, does she feel the time here was worth it all?

As anti-Asian hate crimes steadily rose at the beginning of the pandemic — and then when the shootings in Atlanta happened — I thought of my mother. I felt grateful that she was out of harm’s way away from the violence here, tucked away safely in the Philippines, but I missed her even more so in these moments. The 15-hour time difference meant constantly doing the math to figure out the best times to call each other. On top of that, the pandemic had separated us across two different continents for over a year now. And all I wanted was to lay across my mother’s lap again, falling into a food coma she put me in, only to wake up to her banging around pots in the kitchen already plotting the next meal. 

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Virtual Event Sunday to Honor Donnie Chin’s Legacy as CID Advocate

by Ronnie Estoque


The recent rise in violent attacks against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) nationally has galvanized community organizers, old and new, to take a stand for justice. History shows us that such hate-fueled violence is not new in any way, and activist legacies left by the likes of Seattle’s Chinatown-International District’s (CID) Donnie Chin continue to inspire the next generation of young AAPIs to organize and protect those most targeted and vulnerable in our neighborhoods.

Donnie Chin was a respected Seattle Asian American activist and organizer. Chin left his impact on the CID community through the establishment of the International District Emergency Center (IDEC), which started in 1968 as the Asians for Unity Emergency Squad. He was inspired by the Black Panther Party to support the CID community with a block watch patrol, free emergency medical services, de-escalation, substance-abuse and mental health check-ins that city departments failed to provide.  

“Donnie Chin was a selfless defender of this Chinatown-International District community,” said Robert Fisher, Collections Manager at the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience. “He spent his entire life helping others and the community. His daily presence is missed even more today.”

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Intentionalist: Celebrate ASIAN AMERICAN-Owned Businesses

by Kristina Rivera

Intentionalist is built on one simple idea: where we spend our money matters. We make it easy to find, learn about, and support small businesses and the diverse people behind them through everyday decisions about where we eat, drink, and shop. #SpendLikeItMatters


May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, and it’s time to celebrate.

During the pandemic, we’ve seen local businesses scramble and adapt to the ever-changing conditions around them, with recent research showing Asian-owned small businesses have been disproportionately affected. But, despite this, we’ve also seen countless local businesses step up in so many ways to help the communities around them.

And we at Intentionalist think that’s a cause for celebration.

We believe AAPI Heritage Month isn’t just about supporting the AAPI-owned businesses in our neighborhoods — it’s about celebrating them and all the character, culture, and vitality they bring to our communities.

To kick off AAPI Heritage Month, here are three businesses you can support:

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