Truth, Inspiration, Hope.

Brooklyn Hosts Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Event to Celebrate Diversity and Culture

Alina Wang
A native of New York, Alina has a Bachelors degree in Corporate Communications from Baruch College and writes about human rights, politics, tech, and society.
Published: May 30, 2023
Brooklyn Borough President, Antonio Reynoso (sixth from left), pictured with guests as they receive proclamations during a special event to honor and celebrate Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in Brooklyn, New York on May 25, 2023. (Image: Vision Times Staff)

BROOKLYN, New York — On May 25, Brooklyn Borough President, Antonio Reynoso, hosted a vibrant event to celebrate Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. The event was held at Brooklyn’s Borough Hall and featured a variety of dancing and musical performances, food tastings, and cultural exhibits to pay homage to the contributions and rich cultural tapestry that Asian Americans have brought to the city.

The event began with a welcome from Reynoso, who spoke about the importance of celebrating the contributions of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders to the borough and the city. He also highlighted the need to continue to fight and advocate against anti-Asian racism and discrimination.

“Our intent is to be as enthused as possible of the diverse cultures, traditions, and customs found in the AANHPI community,” said Reynoso, adding, “Brooklyn has one of the largest Asian communities, and we are so proud to support and work with them to continue fostering a stronger relationship.” 

(Image: via the Brooklyn Borough’s Office)

A lively celebration of culture and tradition

“Everything we can dream up for our city’s future is inspired by the stories and cultures that live within the people who call it home,” Reynoso said in a statement, adding, “I’m so excited that this month is all about celebrating our Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander neighbors’ heritage and vision for Brooklyn. This borough is at its best when we come together in appreciation of what makes us special and in recognition of what binds us as one: Our love for Brooklyn.”

Brooklyn Borough President, Antonio Reynoso, gives a speech to honor and celebrate Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in Brooklyn, New York on May 25, 2023. (Image: Vision Times Staff)

According to the 2020 census, Brooklyn houses the second-largest Asian population in New York City, and the event served as a way to highlight and celebrate these communities. 

Featuring a variety of performances, including a traditional song-and-dance piece by first grade students from P.S. 153 in Homecrest, the event also showcased food vendors from all over Asia. In addition, there were cultural exhibits and proclamations to showcase the rich history and diversity of Asian American communities in New York City and beyond. 

“It is important to celebrate Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month because it is a time to recognize the contributions of this important community to our city and our country,” said Lester Chang (R,C-Brooklyn), member of New York’s 49th State Assembly District. “We must continue to fight against anti-Asian racism and discrimination, and we must also continue to celebrate the rich culture and history of this community.”

Lester Chang (R,C-Brooklyn), member of New York’s 49th State Assembly District, commended the event and said more work is needed to support AANHPI members within the community. (Image: Vision Times Staff)

The event buzzed with energy and excitement as captivating performances and enlightening presentations came to life to create a vibrant and joyful celebration of AANHPI culture. The gathering also served as a unifying platform — welcoming individuals from all across the five boroughs to immerse themselves in the rich and diverse contributions of the AANHPI community. 

Tackling issues facing AANHPI communities 

In addition to the performances, food, and cultural exhibits, the event also featured a panel discussion on the challenges and opportunities facing AANHPI members in New York City. The panelists discussed topics such as education, access to affordable healthcare, employment, and housing. 

The speakers also touched upon the importance of raising awareness against racism and discrimination that Asian Americans continue to face, and highlighted the need to continue supporting minority communities not just in Kings County, but all across the state and country.

“It is important to note our City, our Borough of Brooklyn has long served as a beacon of hope for immigrants and marginalized communities who are looking for a safe haven and a land of new opportunities,” said Damaris Bergas-Misarti, assistant Vice-President and Community Affairs Manager at Ponce Bank, which was one of the event’s sponsors.

A safer and more inclusive space for all

“Our AANHPI neighbors make us stronger, more resilient and more innovative, and we at Ponce Bank, believe that this month brings great joy across Brooklyn, our city, our state, and nationwide, in celebration of the rich heritage Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans have achieved and contributed.”

Overall, the event served as both a celebration of the rich culture and history of AANHPI members, as well as an opportunity to shed light on the challenges facing the community, and the importance of continuing these dialogues. The gathering marked a significant stride towards achieving equality and amplifying awareness of the multifaceted issues faced by many AANHPI communities. 

“With these values held firmly within us, we can ensure our neighborhoods remain safe homes for all, free of hate and judgment, and instead — be full of celebration and respect. Thank you to the many incredible artists, performers, students, local businesses, sponsors, and other partners who have made this evening possible,” said Reynoso to conclude the event.

For more information regarding Brooklyn Borough and its upcoming events, please visit the official website here.

Vision Times reporter Rebecca Tian contributed to this report.