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Asian American and Pacific Islander Month

nina davuluri 

                                                                                                       

Nina Davuluri was born on April 20, 1989 in Syracuse, New York. She made history in 2014 when she became the first Indian American to win the title of Miss America. She is an advocate and public speaker who is the current host of the popular television show Made in America. Her advocacy work has focused on diversity, gender equality, and the promotion of STEM education for high school and college students. During her tenure as Miss America she promoted her platform “ Celebrating Diversity Through Cultural Competency.” She continues to be a strong voice for equity and equality.

sam chu lin

                                                                                                               

Sam Chu Lin was born in 1939 in Greenville, Mississippi. He is a journalist who began his successful broadcasting career in 1956. In the 1960s, he made history as one of three Chinese Americans in broadcast journalism. He then went on to become one of the first Asian Americans to appear on both radio and television in 1968. Millions of viewers watched him on CBS News in New York. In 1975, he was the first CBS reporter to broadcast nationally the news about the fall of Saigon at the end of the Vietnam War. Mr. Chu Lin contributed to Asian American newspapers such as AsianWeek and Rafu Shimpo.  His work was also featured in major newspapers such as the San Francisco Examiner and the Los Angeles Times.  He was also recognized with several awards including: The History of Asians in the United States for ABC and NBC, Associated Press, The Golden Mike Award, Achievement Award from the Los Angeles chapter of the Organization of Chinese Americans, United Press International, The Press Club of Los Angeles, Spirit of America Award, Chinese American Citizens Alliance, The Radio and Television News Association, and the Asian Legacy Award from the Asian Business Association.

suzanne whang

                                                                                                 

Suzanne Whang was born in Arlington, Virginia. She is a famous television host, radio host, actress, comedian, author, writer, minister, producer and political activist. Millions of viewer across the nation tuned in HGTV where she served as the host of the popular series House Hunters. Ms. Whang received her BA in Psychology from Yale University and a MA degree from Brown University. Ms. Whang has appeared in a number of productions including: General Hospital, Don’t Tell My Mother and Criminal Minds. In 2002, she won the Best Up & Coming Comedian Award at the Las Vegas Comedy Festival. In 2004, she was the recipient of the first annual Andy Kaufman Award at the New York Comedy Festival.

tony finau

                                                                                                

Milton Pouha “Tony” Finau was born on September 14, 1989 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Mr. Finau is a professional golfer who is currently active with the PGA Tour. In 2018, he qualified for the first three majors and qualified for his first Masters competition. He was appointed to the prestigious position of U.S. Team Captain for the 2018 Ryder Cup at Le Golf Nation outside of Paris, France. He and his family also founded and operate the Tony Finau Foundation which provides support to young people and their families. Mr. Finau made history as the first professional golf player of Tongan and Samoan descent to play on the PGA Tour.

regie cabico

                                                                                               

Regie Cabico is a famous poet and spoken word artist. His work has been featured on two seasons of Def Poetry Jam on HBO. His work earned him top prizes in the 1993, 1994, and 1997 National Poetry Slams. MTV featured his work on their production titled “ Free Your Mind.” He has received several New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowships for Poetry and Multi-Disciplinary Performance. His career has also included serving as an artist-in-residence at New York University and De Anza College. 

thuy vu

                                                                                                         

Thuy Vu was born in Vietnam and fled the country at the end of the Vietnam War. She is a three time Emmy Award Winning broadcast journalist. Ms. Vu graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 1992 where she earned her bachelor’s degree with honors in rhetoric. Her career bean with her work at KQED- FM radio in San Francisco, California. She worked for a few Bay Area television stations including KPIX- Channel 5, KTVU- Channel 2, and ABC- Channel 7. In December of 2005, she joined CBS and was based in San Jose, California. She earned an Emmy Award as an anchor and reporter for CBS-5 “Eyewitness News” in San Francisco. In 2012 she became a Multimedia Communications Instructor at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco as well as a board member of the Asian Pacific fund. She is also a proud member of the Asian American Journalists Association. Her work has made an impact on the world of journalism!

gyo obata

                                                                                                    

Gyo Obata was born on February 28, 1923 in San Francisco, California. He is a famous architect whose family was nearly interned with other Japanese Americans during World War II. Mr. Obata had to leave the University of California, Berkeley where he was studying architecture due to his family’s brief stay at an internment camp. He was later able to attend the Washington University in St. Louis which was the only university in the United States that was willing to accept Japanese students. He received his BA in architecture in 1945. He has designed a number of famous structures including the following:

•             Moscone Center, San Francisco, California

•             Levi’s Plaza, San Francisco, California

•             National Air and Space Museum, Washington, D.C.

•             Palo Alto Research Center, Palo Alto, California

•             Wrigley Company Global Innovation Center, Chicago, Illinois

•             King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

•             Japanese American National Museum, Los Angeles, California

•             Florida Aquarium, Tampa, Florida

•             Foley Square, New York City, New York

•             Sendai International Airport, Taipei City, Taiwan

•             Neiman Marcus Store, Houston, Texas

•             University of Michigan Northwoods IV Housing, Ann Arbor, Michigan

This is only a partial list of the many wonderful facilities that Mr. Obata has designed. His work is enjoyed by people around the world!

jane kim

                                                                                                        

Jane Kim was born on July 9, 1977 in New York City, New York. She is a civil rights attorney and politician based in San Francisco, California. Ms. Kim made history when she became the first Korean American elected official in the city of San Francisco. Her successful career in public service included serving as a past member and president of the San Francisco Unified District Board of Education. She most recently was a candidate for mayor in the 2018 San Francisco mayoral election. She continues to serve as a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors representing District 6.

david tran

                                                                                               

David Tran was born in a small village near Saigon in Vietnam. His family made a living during the Vietnam War selling dipping sauces that were packaged in recycled baby jars. The spicy sauce was used to compliment grilled meat. By 1979, Mr. Tran and his family left Vietnam and arrived in the United States of American where he continued to craft his sauce. His Sriacha sauce is a blend of red jalapeños, garlic, sugar and vinegar packaged in a container with his signature rooster. Today, his company Huy Fong Foods produces more than 10 million bottles every year. Fans of the sauce leave messages on Facebook and the customer service line for Huy Fong Foods receives thousands of calls a day from fans that adore the sauce. This wonderful sauce can be found in grocery stores and in restaurants around the world.

Amy Tan

                                                                                              

Amy Tan was born on February 19, 1952 in Oakland, California. She is known around the world for her popular novel The Joy Luck Club, which was eventually featured as a film in 1993. Her novels explore Chinese American culture and the complexities of mother-daughter relationships. Ms. Tan graduated from San Jose State University where she received a BA and MA degrees. She has written several popular novels including: The Kitchen God’s Wife, The Hundred Secret Senses, The Bonesetter’s Daughter, Saving Fish from Drowning, The Valley of Amazement, and The Past Begins: A Writer’s Memoir. Ms. Tan also authored books for children including: The Moon Lady and Sagwa, the Chinese Siamese Cat which was so popular that PBS aired the cartoon based upon the book. This Bay Area Native continues to entertain readers around the world!

pita taumoepenu 

                                                                                                      

Pita Taumoepenu was born on March 9, 1994 in Euless, Texas. But when he was 3 months old, his mother made the tough decision to send him to live in Tonga with his grandparents. He is a linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers. Mr. Taumoepenu was an outstanding player at the University of Utah and in 2017 was invited to participate with the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, Indiana. He was ranked the 29th best outside linebacker prospect by the NFLDraftScout.com. The San Francisco 49ers selected him in the 6th round of the 2017 NFL draft. He received a four-year contract for $2.54 million which included a signing bonus of $145,444. His outstanding skills contributed to his promotion to the active roster in 2018. 

mona pasquil

                                                                                                                                                                                                               

Simeona Fortunata “Mona” Pasquil was born on April 3, 1962 in Sacramento, California. Ms. Pasquil is a successful politician who has dedicated her career to the state of California. On November 4, 2009,former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed her to the position of Acting Lieutenant Governor of the state of California pending the confirmation of Abel Maldonado. Her appointment marked a several firsts for California politics. Ms. Pasquil became California’s first Asian Lieutenant Governor, the first Filipino Lieutenant Governor, California’s first female Lieutenant Governor, and the first California Lieutenant Governor not to succeed the position from the President pro tempore of the California State Senate.

dalip singh saund

                                                                                                  

Dalip Singh Saund was born on January 3, 1957 in Chhajulwadi, Punjab, India. He served as a member of the United States House of Representatives representing the 29th District of California from 1957 to 1963. He made history as the first Sikh American, the first Asian American, the first Indian American and the first member of a non-Abrahamic faith to be elected to Congress. He received a BA from the University of Punjab in 1919 and later obtained a MA degree (1922) and a PhD (1924) from the University of California, Berkeley. His contributions to the state of California and the world of politics exemplify his  leadership.

indra nooyi

                                                                                              

Indra Nooyi was born on October 28, 1955 Madras, India. She is an American business executive who has successfully managed high level corporate positions. She currently serves as one of the Amazon Board of Directors. Her successful career includes her tenure at PepsiCo and most recently her appointment as director of the International Cricket Council. Ms. Nooyi has been honored with the distinction as being the world’s 100 most powerful women. In 2015, she was ranked as the 2nd most powerful woman on the Forbes list. In 2018, Ms. Nooyi was named one of the “Best CEOs in the World.” 

ellison onizuka

                                                                                                       

Ellison Onizuka was born on June 24, 1946 in Kealakekua, Hawaii. He was an astronaut and engineer, and made history as the first Asian American and first person of Japanese ancestry to reach space. On January 28, 1986 Mr. Onizuka was aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger which took from Kennedy Space Center. Unfortunately, he and his other 6 crew members lost their lives when the aircraft was destroyed by a fuel leak shortly after taking off from the launch center. Mr. Onizuka received several awards honoring his work in science including the Air Force Commendation Meal, Air Force Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, Air Force Organizational Excellence Award, and National Defense Service Medal. Several facilities have also been named after Mr. Onizuka including the Onizuka Air Force Station in Sunnyvale, California and the Ellison S. Onizuka Space Center at Kona International Airport in the Kona district of the Hawaii island where he was born and raised. 

terisa tinei siagatonu 

                                                                                          

Terisa Tinei Siagatonu is a well-known spoken word artist, arts educator and community activist from the San Francisco Bay Area. She is graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz and currently serves as the Project Director of PIER: The Pacific Islander Education and Retention project at UCLA. The project is dedicated to raising the numbers of Pacific Island students who enter higher education programs. Pacific Islander high school students in the Los Angeles area receive free tutoring, mentorship and peer advising. She has performed her spoken word at many venues across the country and participated in several professional workshops focused on mental health and clinical support, youth advocacy, Pacific Islander/Indigenous rights, climate change, LGBTQQIA rights and gender based violence. In 2012 President Barack Obama honored her work with the prestigious Champions of Change Award.