Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs provided the keynote speech at the County’s Second Annual Asian Pacific American Heritage Month ceremony and commemorated the celebration with a proclamation presented to the Orange County Asian Committee (OCAC) at the Board of County Commissioners meeting.
“As one of the most culturally inclusive communities in the United States, Orange County continues to be a leader in advancing diversity,” Mayor Jacobs said. “Asian Pacific American Heritage Month is an opportunity to recognize the diverse culture of Asian Americans and the accomplishments and contributions they have made. Throughout the history of our nation, Asian Americans have helped shape America's character, becoming a vital, vibrant, and dynamic asset to the Central Florida community. Their talents, skills, and vitality greatly contribute to the economic growth of our region.”
The event was coordinated by the OCAC, which was formed in 2012 with the goal of promoting and preserving the heritage and culture of Asian Americans, forming partnerships throughout the community, and continuing to build relationships with local and international governments.
“We have more diversity and an inclusive culture within our community,” said Hefang Lin, Ph.D., president of OCAC and statistician for Orange County Corrections. “It’s so exciting to bring everyone together in the same room to celebrate our shared culture.”
This year’s celebration also featured remarks by Congressman Daniel Webster, District 4 Commissioner Jennifer Thompson, District 3 Commissioner Pete Clarke, District 5 Commissioner Ted Edwards, and a representative of District 1 Commissioner S. Scott Boyd.
Additionally, winners of the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month art show were announced and the Distinguished Asian Award was presented to Alvin Wang, Ph.D., dean of the Burnett Honors College at the University of Central Florida, for his outstanding leadership and dedication to education.
The celebration included musical performances by Professor Qiuyu Zhou and by students from University High School, Timber Creek High School, Trinity Preparatory School, and Sanford Middle School.
“We have a wonderful Asian Pacific community in Orange County with a shared heritage we enjoy celebrating this month,” Commissioner Ted Edwards said. “The richness of the culture’s art, music, and dance greatly contributes to what makes our County such a unique, diverse, and great place to live.”
Earlier in May, Mayor Jacobs was honored to deliver a proclamation at Buddha’s Birthday Celebration at Guang Ming Temple where she encouraged all citizens to share in its observance by embracing the ideals of virtuous kindness, compassion, and wisdom
Photos from the Second Annual Asian Pacific American Heritage Month celebration and Buddha’s Birthday Celebration are available on Flickr.