Communities from all over the Bay Area turn out for the API Heritage Celebration hosted by SEIU 1021 and 20+ labor and community organizations
On Saturday, May 15, 2021, over 20 local labor, API, and community organizations hosted an API Heritage Celebration on the steps of the historic Frank H. Ogawa Plaza in Oakland to honor and acknowledge the accomplishments, contributions, and expansive heritage of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities.
“In recent times, we’ve seen a significant increase in the violence that has been directed at the API community, especially towards our elders. These acts of violence are not new and are the experience of many Black and brown communities in this country, unfortunately. Because of our shared struggle and sacrifice for equality and justice, we saw Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month as an opportunity to bring all these intersecting communities together with the intention of centering joy and acknowledgment to celebrate what our solidarity means for our collective shared future. The only way to combat race-based violence is through unity and collaboration and that is what we want to accomplish. Events like this will lay the foundation to create the version of the world we want to see for the next generation.” said Yeon Park, API Heritage Celebration organizer and East Bay Vice President at SEIU 1021.
The event featured resource tables for community services hosted by organizations like La Clinica, Mental Health Association for Chinese Communities, Asian Pacific Environmental Network, Asian Health Services, and many more to provide valuable information to communities in need. The celebration also showcased live music, a program featuring Lion Dancers, spoken word, remarks from numerous labor, community organization, and local government leaders, and free meals will be provided for children and their families.
As hashtags like #StopAsianHate and #BLM continues to trend on social media, the event — themed, “Celebrate Our Shared History and Shared Future” — brought members of the labor and API communities together to elevate our voices, skills, and activism through celebration.
The API Heritage Celebration was presented by: SEIU 1021, Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA), Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN), Filipino Advocates for Justice (FAJ), IFPTE 21, SEIU 2015, Korean Community Center of the East Bay (KCCEB), Bay Rising, Alameda Central Labor Council, Oakland Educators Association, SEIU-UHW, IBEW Local 595, TRYBE, Asian Health Services, Brotherhood of Elders Network, East Bay Toishan Association, Chinese Progressive Association, La Clinica, National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW), the Mental Health Association for Chinese Communities (MHACC) and more.