On Wednesday, May 30, AABANY joined the NYS Office of the Attorney General to co-sponsor an event featuring guest speaker New York Congresswoman Grace Meng, in celebration of Asian Pacific American (APA) Heritage Month. The event explored both the immense progress that Asian and Pacific-American communities have achieved, as well as the obstacles that have been encountered along the way.

Opening remarks were delivered by Attorney General Barbara Underwood and AABANY Executive Director Yang Chen. Attorney General Underwood, highlighted the importance of moving beyond mere token representation and toward greater levels of inclusion within our institutions.

When Congresswoman Grace Meng took the podium, she shared the visions and experiences that led her to become the first Asian American member of Congress from New York State. She also shared highlights from her efforts to promote awareness and diversity as a member of Congress, including a bipartisan bill that effectively removed the term “Oriental” from federal law. While her words drew attention to progress, they also reminded the audience of the work that must be done to further empower Asian/Pacific-Islander and other minority communities. In this respect, she emphasized the importance of mentorship and reaching out.

Congresswoman Meng’s talk concluded with questions from audience members, which addressed topics such as bipartisan collaboration within Congress, advice on how we can better reach out to our own communities as mentors, and successful models that can be implemented to promote diversity within institutions.

We thank Attorney General Underwood and the OAG for working with AABANY to co-sponsor this memorable event in celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.