Santa Monica to Celebrate Cultural Diversity, Explore Identity During AAPI Heritage Month

The City of Santa Monica will celebrate Asian American Pacific  Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month with two virtual community events on May 19 and 20 celebrating the diverse cultures within the AAPI community, highlighting AAPI contributions, and exploring the challenges faced by the community during the pandemic.

You don’t need to be in sunny California to enjoy these events planned by Santa Monica. There are some interesting panels and performances being presented at the two-day event.

Community members are invited to celebrate AAPI Heritage Month through two events  next week: 

Community Forum: Wednesday, May 19, 2021, from 6-8 p.m. 

A virtual community forum titled “Being AAPI in 2021: A Discussion on Identity, Community, and the Model Minority Myth” will feature AAPI leaders who will discuss the current and  historical challenges faced by the AAPI community and their experiences amid  the heightened acts of hate against the community during the pandemic. 

Panelists will touch upon topics that include identity and belonging, the AAPI community’s  history and contributions locally and nationally, the diversity of the AAPI community,  the harm caused by the model minority myth, and the importance of coalition building to  advance anti-racism work.

Speakers include: 

• Congressman Ted Lieu will provide special remarks. 

• Jeff Nguyen, CBS2 / KCAL 9 reporter, will moderate.

• Dr. Arlene Daus-Magbual, the Director of Asian American and Pacific Islander  (AAPI) Student Services at San Francisco State University, will speak about AAPI  history in the U.S. and AAPI hate. 

• Hakhamanesh Mortezaie, a staff attorney and Equity and Inclusion Officer for the  City of Santa Monica’s Rent Control Board, will focus on AAPI history in Santa  Monica. 

• Christopher S. Tang, Distinguished Professor and the holder of the Edward W.  Carter Chair in Business Administration at the UCLA Anderson School of  Management, will focus on how the corporate glass ceiling has barred Asian  Americans from leadership ranks for decades. 

Attendees will have the opportunity to submit questions for the panelists during the  event.     

If you’re interested in attending, please register and learn more at Eventbrite. The forum will be livestreamed on CityTV Channel  16 and the City’s YouTube channel.    

Virtual Celebration: Thursday, May 20, 2021, from 10:30-11:30 a.m. 

A virtual celebration titled “Honoring AAPI: A Celebration of Cultures” will feature segments  from the following AAPI performance artists, magazine creators, and community  members celebrating AAPI heritage and cultures:        

• Japanese drum group Kishin Daiko   

• Indian drum group Dholnation 

• Filipino-American singer Dasha Dorlandt   

• Samoan graphic artist Jason JP Pereira 

• Koreatown volunteer group Neighborhood Safety Companions 

• Venice Japanese American Memorial Monument Committee 

• Hapa Mag (soon to be Mixed Asian Media) 

Register FREE here. The event will be livestreamed on CityTV Channel 16 and the City’s  YouTube channel.