Asian Pacific American Our Experience: Local Stories On-Demand

Asian Pacific American Our Experience: Local Stories On-Demand

Asian Pacific American: Our Experience

Asian Pacific Americans are the fastest-growing racial/ethnic group in the United States. WXXI in partnership with the Asian Pacific Islander American Association of Greater Rochester is featuring stories from local members of the community that provide examples of culture, heritage, history and contributions to our region and nation.

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Lily and Mimi Lee, discuss the Asian/Pacific Islander American Association of Greater Rochester and the work that went into Asian Pacific Islander American Heritage Month coming about. The Association  has partnered with WXXI to focus on the history, culture and contributions of local Rochesterians of Asian Americna descent, to tell their stories.

DongKi Kims and Miki Kim: DongKi Kims is originally from South Korea. Miki Kim is originates from Japan. They are doing here two ministries; Rochester International Japanese United Methodist Church and Rochester Korean United Methodist Church. Many people ask them how a South Korean becomes a pastor for a Japanese church? Well this is true. Find out how he went from being educated to hate the Japanese but through experiences in the ministry grew to love the Japanese culture and met his future wife, Miki Kim and where it led them. 

Mara Ahmed, artist, activist and filmmaker shares some thoughts on heritage and culture and how it is represented in the work that she creates.

Linda Marshall, an adjunct professor at Roberts Wesleyan, shares a story about a job opportunity and how to listen generously to find a person's real intent. This can broaden their exposure to other cultural groups and experiences as a way to build understanding and personal relationships. 

The Ra Family talks about locating in Rochester and opening the Agape Black Belt Center. The center serves as a community outreach and serving others.

Olivia Kim is an artist specializing in figurative arts in a variety of media. Her art helps her to explore ideas that can't always be expressedin words. See her incredible work. 

Samiha Islam is a Bengali-American student who became involved in discussion of race in high school. She found that it really did not fully define human experience. She could identify with the overlap of identity of cultures and their experience. She has become involved in projects with other young people to understand more and create change.

Parvatha Chidambaram, a teacher, South Asian classical dancer and musician, discusses how she explores artistic platforms from many heritages and cultures. As a teacher she passes down her rich Indian heritage. 

Jeannie Clinton is a jewelry designer of Filipino descent. She enjoys sharing her culture and the freedoms that she has as an American.

Dr. Karina Vattana's father is half-Laotian and half-Vietnamese. He emigrated to the U.S. in 1980 as a refugee and met his wife, a Rochester native of European descent. He was sponsored by a local church who helped him to find school and work. Because of this, Karina and her siblings have all pursued careers in the service industry.

Dr. Theckedath and  Susan Mathew came to the U.S. from India. Once settled, they thought of themselves as Rochesterians. They have raised their children here. They are now grown and have successful careers. Dr. Mathew is a cardiac specialist. He empowers his patients through education. He has authored a book, Treasures of the Heart, to help in this work with his patients. He has also been involved in fundraisers and boards to support community organizations such as the the India Community Center of Rochester. Learn more about the life his family has made here and their contributions to the community. 

More Programming and Local Stories at: WXXI Asian-American Pacific Islander Heritage Site


Special thanks to our community partner: 

Major funding for ASIAN AMERICANS is provided by Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB); Public Broadcasting Service (PBS); Wallace H. Coulter Foundation; Ford Foundation/JustFilms; National Endowment for the Humanities; The Freeman Foundation; The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations; Carnegie Corporation of New York; Kay Family Foundation; Long Family Foundation; Spring Wang; and California Humanities.