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In 1978, a joint congressional resolution established Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week. The first 10 days of May were chosen to coincide with two important milestones in Asian/Pacific American history: the arrival in the United States of the first Japanese immigrants (May 7, 1843) and contributions of Chinese workers to the building of the transcontinental railroad, completed May 10, 1869. In 1992, Congress expanded the observance to a month long celebration.
Who are these citizens whose cultures and traditions represent countries, villages and towns thousands of miles from America? And is there any truth to the “Model Minority” myth to describe Asians from very diverse racial and religious backgrounds?
Today we will interview Rev. Cheng Imm Tan, Director of the Mayor's Office of New Bostonians (MONB) a leading voice in a metropolitan region where global diversity meets the Asian community each and every day.
Mayor Thomas M. Menino established The Mayor’s Office of New Bostonians (MONB) in 1998 to meet the needs of the growing and changing immigrant and newcomer communities in Boston. MONB's mission and objectives were formed through a democratic process that included dialogues across immigrant groups in Boston.
Mission of MONB
To strengthen the ability of diverse cultural and linguistic communities to play an active role in the economic, civic, social and cultural life in the city of Boston; to act as a catalyst for providing opportunity, access and equality for immigrants; to highlight the contributions and the essential role that immigrants have played and continue to play in making Boston the world class city that it is.
Asian Americans are Americans of Asian descent. The U.S. Census Bureau definition of Asians refers to a person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent. It includes people who indicated their race(s) as "Asian" or reported entries such as "Chinese," "Filipino," "Asian Indian," Vietnamese, "Korean," Japanese," and "Other Asian" or provided other detailed Asian responses. They comprise 4.8% of the U.S. population alone, while people who are Asian combined with at least one other race make up 5.6%.
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