City of Los Angeles to Honor Contributions of Asian and Pacific Islander Americans at the 2012 Heritage Month Opening Ceremonies

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The event featuring food, music and entertainment is free and open to the public.

City of Los Angeles Heritage Month Celebrations

The City of Los Angeles will honor three outstanding individuals who have greatly contributed to Asian and Pacific Islander culture and traditions in the U.S. during the Opening Ceremonies to Asian and Pacific Islander American Heritage Month (APIAHM). Among this year’s honorees are: Spirit of Los Angeles awardee KW Lee – an award-winning journalist and founder of the first national English-language Korean American newspaper, Koreatown Weekly, in L.A. Koreatown; Dream of Los Angeles awardee Jyoti Nanda – a faculty member in the David J. Epstein Public Interest Law Program and the Critical Race Studies Program at UCLA School of Law; and Hope of Los Angeles awardee Michelle Kwan – the most decorated figure skater in U.S. history.

City residents including celebrities, business and community leaders will join Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa for the Opening Ceremonies at City Hall (200 N. Mains Street) on Friday, April 27, 2012 from 10 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. The event themed “Breaking the Mold,” and sponsored by TimeWarner, will begin with a ceremony inside Council Chambers where, in addition to honoring the award recipients, Mayor Villaraigosa will unveil the 2012 Asian and Pacific Islander American Heritage Month Calendar and Cultural Guide produced by the Department of Cultural Affairs. The ceremony will be followed by food and live entertainment at City Hall South Plaza located at 200 N. Main Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012. The event is free and open to the public.

“I am proud to be paying tribute to the generations of Asian and Pacific Islanders who have enriched Los Angeles’ history and are instrumental in its future success,” Mayor Villaraigosa said. “Today and throughout the month of May we celebrate the immeasurable contribution you have made to our City and our Nation.”

Asian and Pacific Islander American Heritage Month launches a month-long calendar of cultural events; and a Poster Contest open to all Los Angeles County students (grades K-12) that encourages the creation of original artwork based on their interpretation of the 2012 Asian and Pacific Islander American Heritage Month’s theme “Breaking the Mold.” Poster competition deadline is May 4, 2012. Winners will be notified after May 14, 2012.
A list of all activities and events is available at For more information, call (213) 922-9762, or follow us on Facebook at

About Asian and Pacific Islander American Heritage Month
In 1978, a joint congressional resolution established Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week. The first 10 days of May were chosen to coincide with two important milestones in Asian/Pacific American history: the arrival in the United States of the first Japanese immigrants (May 7, 1843) and contributions of Chinese workers to the building of the transcontinental railroad, completed May 10, 1869. In 1992, Congress expanded the observance to a month long celebration.

As Los Angeles is home to people originating from all around the world, during the month of May we celebrate our rich Asian and Pacific Islander cultures and honor Asian Pacific Islander Americans who have inspired progress and contributed to the betterment of our diverse Los Angeles community.

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Evelyn G. Aleman

Amanda Parsons
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