May 17, 2012 Media Contact:
David Lee (703) 623-1721
Coalition of Asian American and Pacific Islander Organizations to host Senate Reception
Over twenty organizations in the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community have come together with members of the U.S. Senate and elected officials from Maryland and Virginia to host a luncheon reception in support of Senate Resolution 201 and Immigration Reform, and to commemorate national Asian American and Pacific Islanders Heritage Month. This is the first such event to be hosted at the Senate in over four years.
The event’s sponsor, Senator Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, along with honorary hosts Senator Ben Cardin, Congressman Steny Hoyer, Congressman Chris Van Hollen, Congressman Mike Honda, Congressman John Sarbanes, Congressman Frank Wolf, MD Delegate Kumar Barve, MD Delegate Susan Lee, MD Delegate Kriselda Valderrama, MD Delegate Sam Arora, VA Delegate Mark Keam, MD Delegate Aruna Miller, and VA Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Trade Jimmy Rhee will attend the May 24th event from 11am-2pm in the Kennedy Caucus Room of the Russell Senate Building. “This reception is the result of wide-reaching collaboration between regional and national AAPI organizations that are dedicated to the advancement of social, political, and economic well-being of those in the AAPI community,” said Judge Chung Pak of the United States Patent and Trade Office. “It is a great opportunity for legislators to reflect on recent successes in the AAPI community, as well as reinforce their commitment to addressing issues which affect members of the growing national AAPI community.”
Host organizations include American Bangladeshi Community Development, American Indian Community Services, Association of Baltimore Chinese, China Alumni Association of Greater Washington, Chinese Culture and Community Service Center, Coordination Council of Chinese American Associations, Federal Asian Pacific American Council, Filipino American Foundation for Charity, Global Hanin Yundai, Greater Washington Chinese American Community, Guangdong Residents Assn. of Greater Washington, Hope Chinese School, Korean American Association of the Washington Metropolitan Area, Korean American Women's Chamber of Commerce, Korean Community Service Center of Greater Washington, Korean Society of Maryland, Maryland Muslim Council, National Asian & Pacific American Association, Thai Tennis Organization, Organization of Chinese Americans-DC, Union of Chinese American Professional Organizations, and the VA Asian Festival sponsored by TTOA.
Senate Resolution 201, which expresses regret over the Chinese Exclusion Acts and reaffirms the Senate’s commitment to civil rights, was passed unanimously by the Senate late last year. It is currently with the House Subcommittee on the Constitution as HR 282. The Chinese Exclusion Acts were a series of legislative acts which imposed severe restrictions against persons of Chinese descent and were the first to restrict a group of immigrants based on race and class. “The unanimous passing of S. Res. 201,” said Maryland State Delegate Susan Lee, “marks a significant step in our country’s dedication to equality and opportunity and to reconciling the mistakes of the past.”
Performances for the reception will represent the artistic traditions of a variety of pan-Asian cultures. “I am thrilled to bring the ancient Chinese art of WuShu to the Senate,” said Tiffany Wang, a martial artist with the U.S. Wushu Academy. “I feel it is very important to share this tradition with others. The United States is fortunate to have such a rich diversity of cultures with unique histories and experiences. We have a lot to learn from one another.” Other performances include Korean flower dance, Nepalese traditional dance, Korean musical performance, a Chinese zither performance, and a demo of Korean painting.
For additional information, please contact David Lee at (703) 623-1721.