PHOTO RELEASE: Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives Hosts Annual Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Celebration
ANNAPOLIS, MD – The Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives, in partnership with the Governor’s Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs and the Governor’s Commission on South Asian American Affairs, yesterday evening hosted its annual Asian Pacific American Heritage Month celebration. Maryland First Lady Yumi Hogan joined the event to honor the contributions of Maryland’s Asian American and Pacific Islander communities, hosted at the Center for Social Change in Elkridge.
“Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have contributed so much to enrich the history, present and future of the United States and the State of Maryland,” said First Lady Yumi Hogan. “We are proud to recognize and celebrate all that our Asian American and Pacific Islander communities have achieved and we remain committed to working together to ensure continued prosperity, strength and unity.”
Asian Pacific American Heritage Month is observed annually in May and celebrates the history, culture, arts, contributions, and legacy of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States. The month of May was chosen to commemorate two significant events: the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants to the United States on May 7, 1843; and the Chinese American contribution to the completion of the U.S. transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869, also known as “Golden Spike Day.”
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are more than 400,000 Asian Americans and 10,000 Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (both single and multi-race individuals) in Maryland, who account for more than five percent of the state’s total population. The Asian Pacific American community is also one of the fastest-growing populations in Maryland.
The evening’s celebration featured cultural demonstrations including Korean drumming and flute; Beijing opera and Chinese yo-yo; Cambodian, Indian, Balinese, Bangla, and Mongolian dances; Javanese instrumentals; a Japanese tea ceremony and martial arts; poetry recitation; and a variety of ethnic cuisine from East Asia and South Asia.
“Our celebration reflects the incredible diversity both in culture and contribution that Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have made as part of our state,” said Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives Steven J. McAdams. “We can all be proud, as Marylanders—and we’re delighted to join in celebrating and honoring this rich history.”
Through the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives, both the Governor’s Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs and the Governor’s Commission on South Asian American Affairs connect Marylanders from their respective communities to state resources and advise Governor Hogan on their communities’ needs. The commissions also work to raise public awareness about the culture and history of Asian Americans and Asian Pacific Americans, and to identify areas where their communities can serve Maryland.
For more information about the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives, visit goci.maryland.gov.
About the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives
The Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives is Governor Larry Hogan’s office to enhance and improve opportunities for Maryland residents. It oversees the Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism, Volunteer Maryland, community affairs and engagement within the executive branch of Maryland government, faith-based outreach, and the governor’s eight ethnic and cultural commissions.