Celebrating Asian and Pacific American Heritage Month

May 15th, 2022

Packed into the Dairy Market, residents gathered to honor their culture through art, dance and music.

It’s the first celebration of its kind in Charlottesville, and it’s one organizer Jay Pun says is long overdue.

“Ever since the pandemic started, it’s been more important to celebrate our beauty, our things that we bring good to the world,” said Pun.

With the pandemic came a flood of Asian-American hate crimes. Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders have reported nearly 11,000 hate incidents since March of 2020.

“Asians kind of have been silenced over the years and we’ve never really brought them up to be amplified,” said Pun.

So that’s why this event took place, to amplify Asian voices and help people claim their identity.

“There’s an importance in publicly claiming who you are and not allowing yourself to be pushed underground by the violence around us,” said Sylvia Chong.

Organizers hope to hold this event again each year in the future.

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