City Hosts “Back to the Roots” Celebration to Honor Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Entrepreneurs | Department of Commerce

PHILADELPHIA — On Thursday, May 25, in recognition of Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, the city of Philadelphia hosted Back to the Roots, a celebration honoring the many contributions made by our Asian Americans. Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (AANHPI) and a tribute to the cultures and rich heritages that have shaped their identities and lived experiences.

“Over the last 10 years, more than 39 percent of Philadelphia’s growth was due to our AANHPI communities,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “Back to the Roots is an opportunity to hear from some of the community members who are part of that growth and who have worked and continue to work hard to advance both their cultural heritage and their dreams of economic opportunity. This is just one of the many reasons why Philadelphia prides itself on being a welcoming city.”

Today’s celebration event is a collaborative program sponsored by various City agencies and advisory groups, including the Mayor’s Commission on Asian and Pacific American Affairs, the Office of Immigrant Affairs, the Mayor’s Office of Public Engagement and the City Department of Commerce. It involved cultural performances, food, and a dedicated panel of up-and-coming entrepreneurs who have started startups in the past five years, including:

Each panelist shared their journey and discussed entrepreneurship as a means to celebrate cultural heritage.

“The Office of Immigrant Affairs is committed to highlighting the stories and experiences of immigrant communities,” he said. Amy Eusebio, Executive Director of the Office of Immigrant Affairs. “This year’s focus on entrepreneurship as a tool to preserve and celebrate culture is an exciting area for the city and community to explore. We hope that all attendees will recognize the significant contributions of the AANHPI community and the ways in which they enrich our economy and cultural fabric.”

AANHPI Philadelphia residents make up 8 percent of the city’s rapidly growing population and 11 percent of small business owners.

“The Mayor’s Office of Public Involvement is dedicated to ensuring that the voice of the community is heard at all levels of local government, and to that end, we are pleased to support this week’s event featuring stories and experiences of our Asian Americans. , native Hawaiian and Pacific. island residents,” said Romana Lee-Akiyama, Executive Director, Mayor’s Office of Public Engagement. “Every time we make room at the table for diverse communities to be included, we strengthen our democracy and our city. Philadelphia’s future is bright when we lean on the gifts, talents and contributions of our residents, including our AANHPI communities.”

“The Department of Commerce is dedicated to helping entrepreneurs plan, start and grow in Philadelphia while honoring the multicultural roots that intertwine and grow our economy. Our business service managers who speak many languages, including Khmer, Vietnamese and Chinese, are here to help you, share resources and support your needs,” he said. Anne Nadol, Director of the Department of Commerce. “The multifaceted histories, talents and skills of immigrant entrepreneurs, including Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, help shape our city as a world-class destination. The Back to the Roots event celebrates such vibrant cultural, social and economic impacts that elevate our city every day.”

“I am so excited and honored to have been a part of the Back to the Roots event celebrating AAPI Heritage Month,” she said. Raquel Villanueva Dang, Owner of Baby’s Filipino Kitchen + Market. “Rediscovering and honoring my heritage through entrepreneurship and as a first-generation Filipino-American has been both empowering and challenging.”

The U.S. Congress established May as Asian Pacific Islander American Heritage Month in 1992 to highlight the stories of people in the United States who are of Asian or Pacific Islander descent and to honor the completion of of the Transcontinental Railroad, which was built due to the majority of Chinese immigrant workers, as well as the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants to US shores. The month-long celebration honors the heritage and stories of the people of the mainland Asia and the islands of the South Pacific including Hawaii, American Samoa, Federated Islands of Micronesia, Guam and more.