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What AAPI Heritage Month means to two Bakersfield Asian American leaders

Posted at 9:02 AM, May 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-27 12:02:06-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — May is Asian American Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month and we here at 23ABC are dedicated to highlighting voices within the AAPI community.

23ABC sat down with two leaders within the Asian American community to find out what this month means to them.

The Bakersfield Chinese Club has been around for several years and their mission is to bring their community together while providing scholarships for the youth.

“The Bakersfield Chinese Women's Club has been around since 1946 it started with a couple young women who got together enjoyed a little tea played some games and basically just fellowshipped together,” said Nina Ha, president of the Bakersfield Chinese Club.

Ha says since then the club has been fundraising to create scholarships for young people.

“I think it all comes down to being proud of who you are and I’m really proud of my Taiwanese heritage and so it’s important to celebrate all different people,” said Ha.

She says months like these are important because they bring more inclusivity and shine a light on community members who go the extra mile like Maui Pho restaurant owner Lynn Chan.

“This restaurant was supposed to give us 30% of their proceeds not only did we get that they took all of their profit and gave it right back to our club and I was just blown away because that type of kindness and generosity is so rare and so beautiful,” said Ha.

She says that was during the height of the pandemic when many restaurants were struggling but for Chan that did not deter her generosity.

“I really felt that I needed to give back because you know for me I already have food on the table and if I can just have a little extra I would give it back and when they came in I said you know that was a good thing to do,” said Chan.

Chan says she would do that for anyone who needed help and that it’s important to support her community because without them she would not be where she is today

“I was taught by my mom you work hard and you save hard opportunity comes and you take it and be patient be patient and believe yourself what you can do just keep believing that,” said Chan.