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The annual celebration of Asian Heritage Month will be held at the Capitol in Lansing on May 6, 2014. On that day. Asians in Michigan will celebrate their many contributions to nation building and their outstanding accomplishments.

This writer is given again the opportunity to chair the committee tasked with formulating plans and making preparations for the event. This is now the fourth year in a row that I am chairing the committee.  

The celebration will start at 11:30 a.m. with an informal networking session. The invited speakers will provide a brief orientation of what is going on in the Asian community in Michigan.

Invited participants in the sessions are leaders of various Asian organizations. They will have a chance to interact and network with representatives of different state agencies.

The annual program to mark the celebration of Asian Heritage Month will be held again at the Rotunda inside the Capitol Building.

The registration will start at 1:30 p.m., and the program will promptly begin at 2 p.m.

Filipino-American Jennifer Pascua, a television anchor in Grand Rapids, will emcee this year’s celebration.

The expected speakers are Jaime Hsu, chairman of the Michigan Asian Pacific American Affairs Commission (MAPAAC), and State Senator Hoon-Yung Hopgood. Bing Goei, executive director of the newly formed Office of the New Immigrants, is expected to give an inspirational talk during the celebration.

The keynote speaker will be State Congressman Sam Singh who is serving his first term as representative of Michigan’s 69th District. Before he was elected to the Legislature, Representative Singh served in the East City Council at age 24 and was a one-term

city mayor. He is former president and CEO of the Michigan Non-Profit 

Association and the First Indian American to be elected state representative in Michigan.

The Second Annual Senator Hoon Yung Hopgood Award for Leadership and Advocacy will be given to the winner during the afternoon reception for  the event.

MAPAAC’s is hosting the annual celebration. Its mission is to advance the full and equal participation of the Asian Pacific Americans in the building of a greater Michigan. 

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Willie is a teacher at the Detroit Public School. A very popular and influential leader in the Filipino-American community in Michigan, Dechavez is the incumbent Michigan state chairperson of the National Federation of Filipino-American Associations (NaFFAA) and public relations officer of both the Filipino-American Community Council (FILAMCCO) and the Philippine American Community Center (PACCM). A native of Sorsogon, Philippines, he is also vice president of the Bicol Association of Michigan. He is recipient of numerous awards.


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