Guest written by Jennie Kim, Las Vegas Asian Chamber of Commerce Director
Did you know May was federally designated Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month in 1992? It is a time when our nation comes together to celebrate our achievements, remember our diverse community, rich history and tradition. There is no debate on the many historical and current contributions and sacrifices of our Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) community. There is no better time than the present to celebrate diversity and condemn the attacks against the AANHPI community by supporting local businesses and acknowledging our workforce, especially those who are in the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In Las Vegas, there is a significant AANPHI representation in the medical field including doctors, nurses, certified nursing assistants, respiratory therapists and more. In addition, they also own medical businesses that provide essential medical services such as pharmacies, group homes, hospice, and nursing agencies to name a few. Each and every individual has and is playing a pivotal role in keeping our community healthy and our economy running.
The AANHPI community has also become an invaluable asset to the Clark County School District providing much needed special education teachers. In fact, in the past four years, over 400 qualified AANPHI teachers have filled much needed special education vacancies.
It is not lost on me that despite all the invaluable contribution and immense efforts, AANHPI-owned business and communities still face systemic barriers to economic justice, health, equity, educational attainment, personal safety, and resources. These challenges are compounded by discrimination, racism, and xenophobia.
As we recognize Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month, I encourage our community to support AANHPI-owned businesses and thank our essential workers in all professions. While Las Vegas has been a welcoming city, there is more work to do locally and in our nation to eliminate systemic barriers.
AANHPI is Las Vegas! AANHPI is America! The Las Vegas Asian Chamber of Commerce is committed and dedicated to bringing our culture and insight to encourage unity and equality. I urge you to get to know your local AANHPI community.
For more resources visit:
- Las Vegas Asian Chamber of Commerce
- Asian Community Resource Center
- New American Economy
- Asian Pacific American Heritage Month