Representation MattersOn Wednesday May 26, the Bay Area Entrepreneur Center of Skyline College honored Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage month with a panel discussion on the power and importance of representation and the value of community resources.  This panel discussion was the first at the BAEC to be led and facilitated entirely by students.  Our student leaders included, Ling Chien (BAEC Events and SBRAP Coordinator), Olivia Vialau (BAEC Student Assistant and Marketing Coach) and Jaseryll Obing (ASSC Commissioner of Publicity).  The event focused on the many resources available for students and the community, and the panelists represented various leadership roles and came from the many diverse backgrounds representing the AAPI community.  Our guest speakers included Vairea Tupana Samn, Director and Co-Founder of the Tanera’i i Ni’a Tahitian Cultural Center, Pamela Wu, Director of Community and Economic Development for the City of San Bruno, Chikako Walker, Interim Program Manager for the International Student Program at Skyline College and Ryan Samn, Traditional Orator & Khmer Cultural Practitioner.

Some of the major themes to come out of the discussion included the importance of embracing ones culture and traditions, using education as an opportunity to learn and experience different cultures, why the work of debunking the harmful “model minority” myth must continue and the need to celebrate and learn about AAPI culture and history all year round.  The panel also shared resources and ways to stay connected.  In case you missed it, the discussion may be viewed on our Youtube channel. The BAEC wants to thank the Student Life and Leadership Office, our guest speakers and our community partners for making this happen.  For more information on the BAEC, connect with us, here!


Article by Ling Chien

Image by Daniela Klemish and Olivia Vialau

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