Elevating Asian American and Pacific Islander Voices

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On May 4, 2021, in honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, the Council presented a proclamation to recognize the achievements and contributions of Montgomery County residents from the AAPI community. Four sets of interviews introduce fifteen incredible individuals from the AAPI community in Montgomery County.

Four sets of interviews introduce fifteen incredible individuals from the AAPI community in Montgomery County.

Dedication to public service

Tazeen Ahmad was born in India and arrived in the United States at the age of 13. She moved to Montgomery County where she raised her daughter Marium. Together, Tazeen and Marium co-founded the Up 2 Us Foundation, which provides dependable access to nutritious food for families in need.

Born, raised and educated in Montgomery County, Aaron Shin is the Principal at Parkland Middle School in Rockville, Maryland. He is using his experience to help all students be successful and support families and students inside and outside of the classroom. After spending his early childhood in Philadelphia, Lieutenant Andrew Suh moved to Montgomery County in Middle School. Serving as a volunteer fire fighter in high school and college led him to join the Montgomery County Police and he is now the 6 th District Deputy Commander.

Empowering community advocates

Meet civil rights advocate Aryani Ong, Impact Silver Spring Executive Director Jayne Park, Assistant Chief Dinesh Patil and emerging community leaders May Soe Min and Amy Zhai.

Aryani Ong moved to Montgomery County in the 1990s to work with Asian American Civil Rights Organizations. She has dedicated her career to advocating for civil rights and civil liberties and fighting racial discrimination.

Richard Montgomery High School seniors May Soe Min and Amy Zhai wanted to create a way for Asian American students to learn about and advocate for solutions to the issues that affect their lives. Together, they founded the Asian American Progressive Student Union (AAPSU)  to unite student leaders and promote racial equity in the Asian American community.

Assistant Chief Dinesh Patil oversees the Investigative Services Bureau at the Montgomery County Police Department. He was born and raised in Montgomery County and has served the community with the Montgomery County Police Department for 27 years.

Jayne Park has been a part of the Silver Spring community for more than 25 years. Today, she is the executive director of Impact Silver Spring and is working to advance racial and economic equity and justice in Montgomery County. 

Cuisine, Culture and Politics

Meet Chef Anna Goree, Professor Sunil Dasgupta and DiDi MeiMei Dumplings co-owner Rick Liu.

Sunil Dasgupta came to the United States for graduate school more than 25 years ago. Today, he is a professor of political science and director of the political science program at the University of Maryland, Baltimore College (UMBC), Universities at Shady Grove (USG). 

Chef Anna Goree is the owner of Seoul Food DC. Located in Takoma Park, they are serving up incredible vegan variations of Korean dishes including favorites like bibimbap.

Rick Liu is the Co-Owner of DiDi MeiMei Dumplings. Starting out in 2021 as a pop-up kitchen, they prepare and deliver hand-made traditional Chinese dumplings to the region. 

Access to the Arts, Athletics and Culinary Traditions

Meet educator and mentor Fred Kim, grants manager Ana-Alicia Feng and Pike Kitchen owner James Park.

Ana-Alicia Feng was born and raised in Rockville and is a graduate of the University of Maryland. Now, she is the Grants Program Assistant Manager at the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County and is working to expand and enrich cultural activities in the County.

Fred Kim is a Special Education Teacher and defensive coordinator for the football team at Quince Orchard High School in Gaithersburg, Maryland. He found his passion for teaching and coaching after college and is dedicated to serving as a mentor for the diverse student body at the school.

James Park immigrated to the United States in 1973 and began his career in real estate. Today, he is the owner of Pike Kitchen and is working to bring a greater variety of Asian Cuisines to the regional community.