Mayor Gray's 2014 Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month Celebration honored the unsung heroes of the AAPI community.
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(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Mayor Vincent C. Gray and the Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs (OAPIA) celebrated the achievements and contributions of unsung heroes serving the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community before an audience of more than 1,000 individuals at the Lincoln Theatre on May 30, 2014. OAPIA hosted the Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month Celebration in partnership with the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities (DCCAH).
“We come together to recount the ways Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have shaped our city,” said Mayor Gray. “From the young to the elderly, from small businesses to firms, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have contributed to the District’s economy and helped make the District a richer, diverse, and more welcoming city for everyone.”
Mayor Gray presented an award to volunteers from the Chinatown Service Center’s English language and citizenship tutoring program, who dedicated their time to providing English language instruction to the District’s limited English proficient (LEP) and non-English proficient (NEP) AAPI residents. There was also an award recognizing community leader and activist Deepa Iyer for her pioneering spirit and contributions to language access in the District.
“The recipients of this year’s Community Service Award and Deepa Iyer are ordinary people committed to improving the lives of others through language access,” said Soohyun “Julie” Koo, OAPIA Director. “Through their services and dedication, the LEP/NEP AAPI community is better able to overcome language and cultural barriers to become more active and engaged in the District’s social and civic life.”
DCCAH Director Lionell Thomas and OAPIA Director Koo made welcoming remarks. FOX 5 television’s Annie Yu served as the Mistress of Ceremonies for the program, which featured performances by musical artist Isabelle de Leon, musical artist Kiran Gandhi, SamulNori, a Korean percussion ensemble led by internationally renowned South Korean performer Kim Duk Soo, and breakdancing from the Rockvillians Crew.