Rozic Honors Asian American Heritage with Community Leaders

May 25, 2018

Flushing, NY – In honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, Assemblywoman Nily Rozic (D,WF-Fresh Meadows) hosted an event to recognize Asian American community leaders in Queens for their dedication to public service, advocacy, and commitment to civic and youth engagement. This year’s celebration was held at Townsend Harris High School, Rozic’s alma mater.

Rozic’s Asian American Heritage Celebration aims to amplify the values and contributions of Asian Americans to efforts in civic engagement, community partnerships, and social justice in Queens. By engaging Townsend Harris High School as a key event partner this year, Assemblywoman Rozic hopes to highlight the importance of youth participation and civic engagement.

“Our event celebrates leaders in the Asian American community 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. I am proud to honor representatives from the organizations and communities that create social change within Asian American communities and beyond. This event is not only a celebration of the diverse Asian American experience but also a reminder that we move forward as a Queens community in dialogue,” said Assemblywoman Rozic.

Community leaders honored for their work this year included: 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 Dr. Raj Bhayani of the Hindu Center Temple.

This year’s event is the sixth year that Rozic hosted a celebration. Congresswoman Grace Meng served as honorary co-host. The event was co-sponsored by City Comptroller Scott Stringer, Public Advocate Letitia James, Borough President Melinda Katz, State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, Assembly Member Edward Braunstein, and Council Members Peter Koo, Rory Lancman, Paul Vallone, and Barry Grodenchik.

“I’m thrilled to celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM) and pleased to partner with Assemblywoman Rozic on this afternoon’s event,” said Congresswoman Meng. “APAHM is a joyous month to reflect on the unique and many contributions that AAPIs have made to our country. AAPI participation in American society has grown exponentially. From the first Korean immigrants to the United States who arrived in Hawaii to the Chinese workers who built the Transcontinental Railroad to the millions of small business owners across America, AAPIs are part of the American social fabric. Today, it is encouraging to see AAPIs participating in our political system, the military, academia, entertainment, and sports. They are actors and actresses, politicians, doctors, lawyers, bankers, athletes and soldiers. While we celebrate our shared success, we must also invest in overcoming inequality and ensure AAPIs have an equal chance at the American Dream. In Congress, I will continue to fight for policies that ensure AAPIs receive equal treatment and justice and to have our contributions to American society recognized nationally. I wish a very happy APAHM to all who celebrate here in Queens and across the nation.”

“Asian American and Pacific Islander Month gives us an opportunity to celebrate our city’s rich cultural diversity and express gratitude for the vital role Asian Americans and Pacific Islander New Yorkers have always played in our city and its economy,” said New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer

“Queens recognizes the major contributions that Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have made to uplift and strengthen our borough, city, state and nation. Today is a special opportunity to celebrate the cultures and heritages of those of Asian or Pacific Island descent who are integral to the unique fabric of Queens,” said Queens Borough President Melinda Katz.

“All around our State and our Nation, the contributions of Asian Americans is impossible to ignore. As a State Senator who represents a district that is more than half Asian-American, I have a tremendous sense of respect and pride in these contributions,” said State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky.

“I am proud to join Assemblywoman Rozic and my colleagues in celebrating Asian American Heritage Month today. During Asian American Heritage Month, all New Yorkers celebrate Asian American culture and the special contributions this population makes towards our city. I also want to congratulate the exceptional honorees who are being recognized during this event,” said Assembly Member Edward Braunstein.

“I am pleased to join my colleagues in recognizing the accomplishments and contributions of Asian Americans in Queens,” said Council Member Barry S. Grodenchik. “Our diversity is a source of strength, and I thank Assemblywoman Nily Rozic for once again organizing this valuable event.”

“May is Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month, a dedicated time to honor generations of Asian and Pacific Islanders in the United States who have enriched America’s history. Today, as we remember the AAPI community's contributions to our economy and cultural heritage, I am proud to recognize these great individuals with Assemblywoman Rozic and my colleagues for their selfless dedication and outstanding leadership that creates change locally,” said Council Member Peter Koo.

“I am pleased to co-sponsor this Asian American Heritage Month Celebration. This event is an opportunity for all of us to reflect on how Asian Americans have contributed to our city, state and nation. The Asian American community is an integral part of what makes Queens and New York City such a special place,” said Council Member Rory Lancman.

“Asian-Americans are an integral part of our City and have made important and lasting impacts,” said Council Member Vallone. “I’m excited to once again recognize Asian American Heritage Month as we celebrate their rich history and culture and honor community leaders for their outstanding achievements and contributions.”

“Immigrant New Yorkers are woven into the rich fabric of our city. 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,” said Julie Ae Kim, ActionNYC Program Manager at the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs. “I am honored to be recognized by Assembly Member Nily Rozic as a Community Honoree and delighted to return to Townsend Harris High School, my alma mater, to receive the award.”

“It’s truly an honor to be recognized by Assembly Member Rozic, who has been at the forefront of advancing justice not only for Asian Americans but also for women and youth throughout NY State. 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 – we must understand the differences, both big and small, among us,” said Bright Limm, Korean Americans for Political Advancement.

In 1992, the federal government designated the month of May as Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month in commemoration of the long history and continued contributions of the AAPI community. The month of May was chosen in honor of the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States and the Chinese immigrants who made up the majority of the workers on the transcontinental railroad which was completed on May 10, 1869.