The Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR), in partnership with Illinois Lieutenant Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti, celebrated Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month May 19, at an event honoring the contributions of Asian & Pacific Islander Americans to Illinois history.
“Today we celebrate the heritage, culture, and incredible accomplishments of our leaders in the Illinois Asian Pacific American community. We in Illinois are so blessed because we have one of the largest and most vibrant Asian Pacific American communities, anywhere in the United States of America” said Lt. Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti. “This celebration gives us the opportunity to highlight all the different generations of community leaders that have helped so many people and have created a better future for the people of Illinois.”
The event, titled “Gateway to Success,” featured Secretary Designate Hardik Bhatt of the Illinois Department of Innovation and Technology as a keynote speaker and included cultural performances from pungmul youth ensemble SoriBeat and Chicago-based musical duo Two Filipinos.
“We are honored to host the Asian American Heritage Month Celebration at the James R. Thompson Center,” said Secretary Designate Bhatt. “Governor Rauner places a high priority on developing a culture of diversity at the State of Illinois, which serves to strengthen how we serve and represent the residents of our state.”
Lt. Governor Sanguinetti presented a proclamation from Governor Rauner formally recognizing May as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in Illinois and IDHR Acting Director Janice Glenn presented four awards to individual and organizations who have contributed to opportunities in their communities.
“We must never lose sight of the positive impact of both the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities on our state and recognize those who have helped open and further the gateways to success,” said Acting Director Glenn. “Today’s awardees exemplify leadership and deserve our heartfelt recognition.”