AAPIP’s 20th Anniversary event at the Renwick Gallery was a tremendous success on so many levels. Hosting the event in Washington, DC was the perfect venue— AAPIP has become a model in pioneering change and starting a national movement in organized philanthropy. What better place to share 20 years of leadership than our Nation’s Capital? Seeing the 250+ guests fill the Gallery was both inspiring and moving. It provided affirmation that people care and see the significance of giving together, standing together, building together.
Zahra Billoo, Programs and Outreach Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (San Francisco Bay Area office) shared her thoughts on the experience of Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim and South Asian (AMEMSA) communities post-9/11. And Amardeep Singh, Director of Programs for The Sikh Coalition, shared compelling testimony on the power of advocacy and a unified voice to advance social justice for AMEMSA communities after the events of 9/11. His message, “whether it is a Justice Department or a Justice Department Internment Camp, is up to us”, will stay with me for a very long time.
I was so proud— as a new AAPIP board member— to represent the organization and speak on behalf of its successes as well as its future. My colleagues, family, and friends couldn’t stop talking about what a beautiful and meaningful event it was. My colleague specifically said the Art of Gaman exhibit ‘was eye opening given that much of it was untold in history books growing up’. I’m most excited to see what’s in store for AAPIP the next 10 years. Perhaps we take our model global? If the 20th anniversary event showed me one thing, it’s that everything is possible. Thank you for all your hard work, but most importantly, thank you for allowing me to be part of it all!