BY Gerrye Wong May  5, 2024


The month of May is always a very important month for all Asian Americans in the United States for since 1976 it has been designated as a time to throw a spotlight on the many diverse cultures of Asian pacific Islander Americans.  Celebrations and events happen in most of the major Chinatown communities and recently, among businesses, campuses and varied communities across the whole nation. Ever wonder how this designated time was started?  It was through the efforts of Jeanie Jew, a former Capitol Hill staffer who had witnessed the U.S. Bicentennial celebrations of 1976 and was concerned about the lack of recognition given to Asian Americans. She started a nationwide advocacy campaign to designate one week in May as Asian Pacific American Heritage Week.  Since then it has grown in longevity and action with festivals highlighting the Asian American cultures happening all over the United States..


 The  Asian American  Stories first annual Awards banquet dinner opened up the Asian American Pacific Islander Celebration month with a sold out  crowd of 450 patrons at the beautiful HL Peninsula Restaurant in Milpitas.



This dinner celebration was an occasion to award prizes to some of the 72 entrants who submitted a one minute video on the theme ALL OF US BELONG HERE.  Submission came from as far as Rosario Morales in Alaska, to all across the nation from young and old  amateur and professional videographers.  Their challenge was to submit their personal story in jus 60 seconds and the patrons at the dinner got to see snippets of all of the submitted videos in a shortened 6 minute summary video during the dinner.  Here is the Youtube link. https://youtu.be/mae-vFTSl5g?si=Z3pAgtc043MabzYK



Presented by co chairs Diana Ding and Joel Wong and their team, this event was the product of Silicon Valley Community Media non profit arm of Dingdingtv.  As Joel Wong explained, “The contest was set up to give  people a chance and a voice to share their stories of coming to America and how they felt a need to belong.  Awards by the 15 judges were given for first submission, Excellence Awards, People’s Choice Awards ( the top winner received over 2000  online votes)  Judges Special Merit Award,  in addition to third, second and first prize winners from the contest and, Youth Ambassador, Most Valuable Player and Team Contributors award.



MC’s for the program were NBC  Bay Area News Reporter Robert Handa, Ms Yin Chang, Minh Thanh Tran and Patrick Ahrens.  It was a daunting task to try to award prizes to over 20 of the contest winners besides other special awards the judges wanted to give to the hard working videographer submitters, but the organizers did a good job of highlighting each and every one of the submissions in a summary video.  Thanks to the many friends and family who came to support not only this wonderful cause of spotlighting Asian American story tellers but also to celebrate with me.


I am proud to  share that  former ABC News Reporter David Louie introduced me to receive the Asian American Stories  Legendary Storyteller title …and when I accepted the award, I confessed to the audience I was probably the oldest person standing up there, so when you become that age —  you’re called a legend —  and thankfully, I’m still a living one ha!    On the giant screen behind the stage was  shown  my own 1 minute video  submission as I accepted the award, so in the photo you can see I had featured the  CHCP Chinese American Historical Museum  in the film. So how appropriate to receive the award in front of the museum segment, wouldn’t you agree?  Here’s a link of my own one minute video submission:  https://youtu.be/x64OYLbQH-E?feature=shared.   Advisory Board Member Dr. Arthur Jue was awarded an Excellence Award at the dinner for his one-minute video submission of retired ABC Reporter David Louie’s speech at CHCP’s January membership meeting.


CHCP Advisory Board Member Ron Chan also submitted 2 videos. The first video, about a virtual conversation with his grandfather, was created by blending artificial intelligence with live recordings! Ron’s second entry titled “I’m Coming Home” is about a WWII veteran returning home from the war.

For a first time effort at a large attendees banquet dinner ceremony, it was a joyous occasion for the contestants, judges, sponsors, award winners and the audience who were impressed with the quality of the story teller submissions told in only 60 seconds.  The Silicon Valley Community Media Board of Directors Dr. Kenneth Fong Diana Ding, Joel Wong, Dr. Hsing Kung and Dr. Michael Chang stated the mission of their non profit organization is to utilize various media platforms to share and highlight the narratives of Asian Americans, showcasing their significant contributions both within the United States and internationally. In addition Joel Wong explained that they want to promote AAPI leaders through contents creation and distribution as well as connecting filmmakers and content creators telling Asian American stories to the US and beyond.


Judges choice winners of the one minute video contest were the following:

First place adult category winner was Tim (Jian) Zheng and youth category winner Sylvie Nguyen

Second Place adult category winner was Min Zhou and youth category winner Samantha Quynh  Huong Tran  .

Third place  adult category winner was Jiayi Li and youth category winner Abby Wu

Additional Special Merits Awards went to contestants Avalyn Wu and  Cathy Chan  while People’s Choice Awards went to WeDance and Samantha Quynh Tran, both receiving over 2000  online votes two weeks prior to the event.  All Asian American Stories videos can be seen by accessing  website:  www.aastories.org.  In chairman Diana Ding’s closing remarks she said she looked forward to more opportunities for old and young story tellers to come forth and share their feelings on ALL OF US BELONG HERE THEME.  Joel Wong gave special thanks to the AAS Team who worked tirelessly to seat everybody in a sold out room, produce a beautiful program booklet, present cute children performers, and to provide a wonderful banquet meal at the beautiful HL Peninsula Restaurant in Milpitas.


At the May 2nd Asian American Stories (AAS) Award Ceremony attended by 450 supporters, awards were given to 20 of the 70 people who composed and submitted videos on the theme ALL OF US BELONG HERE. Snippets of all submissions were shown in a summary video as well as those composed by the first to third prize winners. This event kicked off the Asian Pacific Heritage Month of May, with many of the 70 contestants brought on stage to win specific awards chosen by a team of 15 judges. The 2024 entries came from all over the world, with one entrant from Alaska who was introduced on stage. To support the AAS fundraising effort, CHCP President Dave Yick and Director Edith Gong were high bidders for the auction prize of a private tour and reception for 20 guests at the famed Flintstone House seen off Hwy 280 in Hillsborough as was  CHCP Advisory member Barbara Why. Advisory Board member Susan and Jeff Lee won a Martin Yan hosted banquet dinner for 20 persons.


CHCP Co-Founder Gerrye Wong was honored with the 2024 Legendary Story Teller Award for her 40 years of writing about Chinese community and history in newspapers (Chinese Press and Asian Week), magazines (Vancouver’s Chinatown news and Gentry), and websites (dingdingtv).  She spoke of the pride she felt telling the thousands of school children, who visited CHCP’s Chinese American Historical Museum, of the stories of the early Chinese communities who settled in the San Jose area, as well as her proudest moment when she and CHCP Advisory Member Connie Young Yu, encouraged the City of San Jose to draft and issue a Resolution of Apology to the Chinese residents who were unfairly discriminated against in their past Chinatowns in the 1800s and at the turn of the century.



 Join History San Jose (HSJ) and the Chinese Historical and Cultural Project (CHCP) for a celebration of our diverse AAPI community! Immerse yourself in a day of Asian American and Pacific Islander cultures through performances, cuisine, crafts, and discussions, as we come together to honor our AAPI heritage and strengthen community bonds.

The Chinese Historical and Cultural project began its project in 1987 to rebuild the historic Ng Shing Gung temple building to house museum artifacts uncovered from a downtown digging, with the historic 1888 altar stored under the bleachers of the San Jose Municipal stadium.  Transformed to its gilded golden original condition by thousands of volunteer hours, the museum is a showplace of History San Jose, and visited by thousands of school children annually.  The museum will be open for visitors on Festival day.


Enjoy a panel discussion hosted by the Japanese American Museum of San Jose, crafts and paper tours provided by the Friends of the Japanese Friendship Garden, and performances hosted by CHCP and Mosaic America. There will be VIPs, Dragon Parades, Lion Dancers, Cambodian Dancers, Taiwanese Drummers, Martial Artists, Burmese Dancers, Hip Hop Dancers, Food Trucks and much more!


The Chinese American Historical Museum will also be open to visitors from 11:00 am to 3:30 pm.







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