SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — May is Asian Pacific Islander American Heritage Month, which celebrates the achievements and contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States.
The month of May was chosen because the first Japanese immigrants arrived in the United States on May 7, 1843. And the Transcontinental Railroad was completed on May 10, 1869. The majority of the workers who built it were Chinese immigrants.
In this Ozarks Tonight, Jenifer Abreu speaks with a Springfield resident, who is a champion of culture and diversity in this community. Saehee Duran is the pastor of Life 360 Intercultural Campus. Originally from South Korea, Saehee has lived in Springfield for 11 years.
“I think it’s important when we celebrate Asian Heritage Month that we educate our community that Asian is not just Chinese, we have a lot of diversity in the Asian ethnic group. We have Korean, Japanese, Indians, and all of that,” said Saehee. “And it’s beautiful to celebrate this. And we can educate people by sharing life, together.”
Saehee also added that you don’t have to go far to find diversity and opportunities to learn about different cultures.
“And get to know your neighbors because really, Springfield is a diverse city if you just look around,” she said.