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5/16/2024 Senators Gu and Ujifusa to host Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month celebration at State House
STATE HOUSE – Sen. Linda Ujifusa (D-Dist. 11, Portsmouth, Bristol) and Sen. Victoria Gu (D-Dist. 38, Westerly, Charlestown, South Kingstown), the first Asian Americans elected to the Rhode Island state legislature, will gather community and education leaders from across Rhode Island May 23 for a celebration of Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month at the State House.

The celebration will take place Thursday, May 23, from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the State Room on the second floor of the State House. All are welcome, seating is limited.

The event is a celebration of the diversity of cultures, breadth of achievement and remarkable contributions of these communities in Rhode Island. Last year, several AANHPI community groups were honored. This year, Senators Gu and Ujifusa will honor individuals and groups at Rhode Island’s colleges and universities who promote AANHPI history and culture.

The keynote speaker will be Dr. Bing Huang, associate professor of art history at Providence College. Her research interests encompass the confluence of Chinese and European artistic influences. Dr. Huang was the collaborator and Chinese art scholar for a recent exhibition at Rosecliff entitled “The Celestial City: Newport and China.”

The event will be emceed by Vimala Phongsavanh, a Lao American and nonprofit leader. There will be dance performances by the University of Rhode Island South Asian Student Association and the India Association of Rhode Island, and the National Anthem will be performed by Angela Sharkey, president of the Korean-American Association of R.I.

Awards will be presented to:
  • Dr. Bing Huang, Assistant Professor, Providence College
  • Dr. Blair Harrington, Assistant Dean of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, Community College of Rhode Island
  • Hannah Jane Ramos, President of the URI Filipino Student Association, University of Rhode Island
  • Professor Qing (Ken) Yang, Co-Founder of URI Chinese Cultural Club, University of Rhode Island
  • Kaoru Paganelli, AAPI Affinity Group Co-Chair, Bryant University
  • Mailee Kue - AAPI Affinity Group Co-Chair, Bryant University,
  • Rachel Ly – Minority Peer Counselor Co-coordinator at the Center for Students of Color, Brown University
  • Asian Student Association, Rhode Island College
  • Little India Student Group, Johnson & Wales University.

For more information, contact:
Meredyth R. Whitty, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903
(401) 222-1923