AAPI Heritage Month 2023

Somehow, May 2023 flew by so fast. Some stuff for consideration.

Per this May 2, 2023, Associated Press piece by Terry Tang: Mattel released an Anna May Wong doll for AAPI Heritage Month.

Eyewitness News’s CeFaan Kim reported on the story, “1st Asian American NYPD pilot shares journey of soaring through glass ceiling,” May 12, 2023 (https://abc7ny.com/nypd-asian-american-pilot-sgt-jenda-wu/13238431/) – someone who had been a lawyer before he became a police officer:

“‘As an attorney, my God, you bring your work home, your work like lives in your head over the weekend for weeks on end and months on end, [Sgt. Jenda] Wu said. ‘As a police officer, helping people in that way had a finality to it.'”

Wu’s not wrong about how being a lawyer means your brain’s stuck on work at perpetual times. But, it’s pretty cool that Wu didn’t give up the dream to be a pilot, even if it meant a winding path to get there. I hope that he didn’t give up that law license either; there really can’t be very many Asian American police officers with law licenses (after getting law degrees). Plus, since he’s reportedly with NYPD for a long time, it even looks like he has a pension out of this. Good for him.

Eyewitness News’s CeFaan Kim also reported on “Columbia students create card game in honor of AAPI month,” May 16, 2023: Master degree graduate students developing ways to teach AAPI history (https://abc7ny.com/aapi-card-game-columbia-university-masters-students/13255488/). Strategy and application of ideas in a fun way? Hey, why not?

I didn’t get to go to the 2nd annual AAPI Cultural Heritage Parade on May 21, 2023 (see a report on Eyewitness News here – https://abc7ny.com/aapi-cultural-heritage-parade-month-2023-pride/13278945/), but FC and a contingent our very own Asian American Bar Association of NY (AABANY) marched in the parade!

There’s a lot to unpack with the end of AAPI Heritage Month, which was also Mental Health Awareness Month. Consider: “‘Perfect storm’ of anti-Asian violence, bias in NY fuels mental health crisis” by Arya Sundaram, Gothamist, May 29, 2023 (https://gothamist.com/news/perfect-storm-of-anti-asian-violence-bias-in-ny-fuels-mental-health-crisis).

It’s hard for people of AAPI heritage to get mental health resources that they need, when there isn’t much funding and there’s not enough mental health providers who are culturally competent, let alone serving populations of Limited English Proficiency.

There’s also real need for interpreters for medical health treatment, not just mental health, as reported in this PBS NewsHour report, “For many Asian Americans, medical interpreters are a vital but scarce resource” by Ali Rogin, May 28, 2023 (https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/for-many-asian-americans-medical-interpreters-are-a-vital-but-scarce-resource).

Frankly, it’s not just Asian immigrant populations, but also other Limited English Proficiency populations. We need to attract, train, and retain qualified interpreters for medical and legal needs; if only we’re willing to invest in this type of work.

Separate from AAPI Heritage Month 2023, it was the 140th birthday of the Brooklyn Bridge on May 24, 2023. I think that we can enjoy this for the whole year!

Photo that I took in 2007? Sometime before 2012, for sure. There is no bad photo of the Brooklyn Bridge…!