API heritage celebrated

Community enjoys food, culture and performances

Cynthia Vasquez, Staff Writer

Members of the Asian Pacific Islander Club were proud to welcome the students and staff at Los Medanos College to a celebration of Asian culture at their second annual Heritage Day event.

“We’re just a community here to serve each other.” said API president Sierra Abel on welcoming new people to the club with the event. The president wanted the rest of the campus to know that everyone is welcome to join the Asian Pacific Islander club, regardless of their race.

Keynote speaker  Andy Li — Contra Costa Community College District Governing Board member — shared a personal anecdote of his recent experience with racism when a woman assumed he didn’t speak any English just by a single look at him. Li stressed the importance of Asian representation, especially in politics and positions of leadership like his own where he’s the only Asian person on the governing board.

“We need to work with all other groups of people, we alone cannot fight it,” said Li when speaking about the discrimination that Asians currently face. The speaker went on to say that the majority of people do not realize that even today, Asians are still facing prejudice that often goes by unnoticed.

Performances by staff members Dave Vigo and Carminda Guitierez sang and played the ukulele, entertaining the crowd while they were fed traditional food from various Asian countries such as China, Vietnam, the Philippines and more.

The tables filling the room presented other aspects of Asian culture like the historical impact of Asians entering the country through the transcontinental railroad, an origami art table and a table with a game of chinese chess.

The event’s coordinator Beverly Bui explained that the goal of the event was to spread awareness and teach everyone something new about the Asian culture we have at LMC.

“As long as there’s something that they took away from the event we feel that it was successful, just for people to gain an understanding of the cultures that are out there.” said Bui, as she started taking down the various Asian inspired decorations across the walls in the conference room.

The annual event was hosted right before Asian heritage month begins in May, when students are set to start finals. Honoring culture and heritage in spite of the tremendous amount of stress the campus is under seemed to be a desperately needed breath of fresh air.

Further information on future Asian Pacific Islander events can be found through the directory of student life clubs on the LMC home page.