Governor Whitmer Celebrates Asian Pacific American Heritage Day at State Capitol

Event recognizes economic and cultural contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

Media Contact: LARA Communications 517-335-LARA (5272)

May 9, 2019 – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer today celebrated Asian Americans’ and Pacific Islanders’ contributions to Michigan’s economy and culture at the Asian Pacific American (APA) Heritage Day held at the State Capitol in Lansing. Legislators, state officials and Michigan residents attended the annual event hosted by the Michigan Asian Pacific American Affairs Commission (MAPAAC), Michigan Dept. of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) where MAPAAC is housed, and Asian & Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote) - Michigan.

“Michiganders of Asian and Pacific Islander heritage have made countless contributions to our economy and our state,” said Gov. Whitmer. “They’ve helped strengthen our economy, build our workforce, create jobs, and increase our global competitiveness. This event is a great example of how Michigan’s strength comes from our great diversity. If we’re going to solve problems for everyone here in Michigan, we need a diverse set of voices at the table.”

APA Heritage Day showcases the accomplishments and contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in Michigan and the U.S. during national Asian Pacific American Month which is commemorated every May. 

“This year’s theme - Together We Rise - is especially fitting,” said LARA Director Orlene Hawks. “Michigan has always been strengthened by its diversity, and today is a shining example of a vibrant and growing Asian Pacific American community in Michigan.”

Remarks were also given by:

  • Kaushik Nag, vice-chair of MAPAAC
  • Yasir Muhammad, chair of APIA Vote-Michigan

The event featured an introduction of the APA Legislative Caucus that presented a resolution honoring Michigan’s Asian American and Pacific Islanders.

“The APA community and MAPAAC is pleased to showcase our heritage and culture,” said MAPAAC Chair Jamie Hsu Ph.D. “Today’s event provides yet another great opportunity to build relationships and celebrate our diversity as a state.”

Lora Painter, News anchor at WWMT Channel 3 was the master of ceremonies for the event, which included APA community stories, and a cultural performance.

For more information, please contact Denise Yee Grim at or Rebeka Islam at

MAPAAC was established to advance the full and equal participation of APAs in the building of a greater Michigan. The Commission, made up of 21 individuals appointed by the governor, advises the governor and state legislature on policy matters and serves Michigan’s APA population by promoting their development and welfare, and recognizing their achievements. Each member of the Commission has a specific interest or expertise in APA concerns.

To learn more about MAPAAC, visit and

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