CHICAGO (May 3, 2018) – Gov. Bruce Rauner proclaimed the month of May as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage month. He designated this month as a celebration of the culture, traditions, history and accomplishments of Asian Pacific Americans here in Illinois.
“Asian Pacific Americans have made invaluable contributions to our state and our nation,” Rauner said. “Their determination and perseverance have led to successes in so many areas: business, technology, education, medicine, government, and nonprofits. Yet they put family first and always work to create opportunities for future generations.”
Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti, the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR), the Illinois Bicentennial Commission and other distinguished guests gathered at the James R. Thompson Center in downtown Chicago today to recognize six organizations for their ongoing economic and cultural contributions and leadership.
- Asian American Law Enforcement Association
- Pakistani Americans of Bolingbrook
- Indian Community Outreach of Naperville
- Japan American Society of Chicago
- Korean American Association of Chicago
- Xilin Association
“We cherish our inclusion, we cherish our diversity, we cherish the heritage and traditions of our native nations, and we cherish what we share together as American citizens: family, faith, hard work, devotion to education, and love of helping our communities,” Sanguinetti said. “Illinois is so blessed to have such a vibrant Asian Pacific American community. The accomplishments we celebrate today should remind us all that Asian Pacific American history is part of our shared history and should be embraced every day.”
“It is crucial that we celebrate and recognize the achievements made in the Asian American Pacific Islander community,” said IDHR Acting Director Janice Glenn. “They are playing leading roles in every sector of our society. Today, we honor some of these leaders, who contribute not only to their local communities, but to their home countries as well.”
Ron Bongat, president of the Asian American Law Enforcement Association and detective at Oak Park Police Department, was the keynote speaker at the event.
“Thank you to the Governor’s Office and Illinois Department of Human Rights for bringing everyone together to salute Illinois’ legacy, contributions, and positive impact made to the Asian Pacific American community,” Bongat said. “As president of AALEA, we will continue to do our part to support Asian Pacific American law enforcement officers and promote a greater understanding and cooperation between the community and law enforcement agencies.”
The event also included performances by SoriBeat, Xiao Chen, and Mer and featured Chicago’s ABC 7 Anchor Judy Hsu as the Mistress of Ceremonies.