The APASA Community Fair + Dinner was part of the Asian Pacific American Heritage Festival, a multi-week celebration of Asian Pacific American (APA) culture. The Community Fair + Dinner occurred on Friday, March 30, 2018 in the TCC Forum. It featured a variety of community cultural organizations from the Los Angeles area including Kizuna, LEAP, Tuesday Night Cafe, APAIT, Little Tokyo Service Center, A3M, Kollaboration, and Satrang. Some notable guests included: Sean Miura (Buzzfeed), Jen Ruggirello (Buzzfeed), and Jonathan Wang (APASS). Guests of the event were able to speak to representatives from community organizations, learning more about their causes and ways to get involved.
The event began with the community fair portion; guests (with free Coke Floats in hand) were able to approach whichever booth caught their interest. I personally spoke with Yasue from the Little Tokyo Service Center, learning more about initiatives to promote cultural integrity and combat gentrification in the Little Tokyo Historic district. Others were able to acquire information on avenues for volunteering or internships with the organizations.
Following the community fair, guests and representatives enjoyed a delicious dinner of Chinese food centered around intimate dinner tables featuring stunning centerpieces (made by APASA members). Guests were able to get to know representatives on a deeper level, gaining insight into their journey in the APA community and why they are passionate about their respective organizations. After speaking to Sean Miura, I understood the importance of promoting Asian American music artists in a sector of the entertainment industry that traditionally underrepresented minority groups. Several of my friends greatly enjoyed their respective conversations with other guests such as Jen from Buzzfeed or Taylor from Kizuna.
Overall, the event was a powerful and extremely fun opportunity to connect with organizations deeply intertwined with the APA community in Los Angeles. We hope that the Community Fair + Dinner inspires and provides students the opportunity to get more involved with the APA community!