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Community Symposium on Historic Preservation

Asian and Pacific Islander Americans in Historic Preservation (APIAHiP) will present “APIs and Historic Preservation Community Symposium: Safeguarding Our Stories and Places for Future Generations” on Saturday, May 13, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Japanese American National Museum’s National Center for the Preservation of Democracy, 100 N. Central Ave. in Little Tokyo.

National monuments and landmarks tell America’s stories of history and culture. Historic and cultural preservation is a significant issue for Asians and Pacific Islanders seeking to safeguard important historic places, preserve unique cultural practices, and receive official recognition of civic contributions. However, few sites associated with API history and cultures have been recognized as landmarks.

During this community symposium, attendees will learn about the current efforts to preserve these histories and places by governmental agencies (National Park Service, California State Historic Preservation Office, and City of Los Angeles Office of Historic Resources), local community organizations, preservation organizations, and local universities and educational programs.

With May recognized as both Asian Pacific American History Month and Preservation Month, APIAHiP will bring together scholars, preservationists, students, and the API community to learn about how we can safeguard historic sites and cultural resources and elevate AAPI history into historic preservation efforts, including landmarks and monuments.

This community symposium aims to engage the public to become more involved in the identification, preservation, and interpretation of historically significant sites and figures, the creation of new historic markers, trails, districts, and national landmarks, and in sustaining existing historic and cultural resources important to our communities.

Program schedule:

9:30 to 10 a.m. — Registration

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. — Program with welcome remarks and panel discussions

“Providing ‘Context’ to Our Historic Sites and Cultural Resources” with Barbara Wyatt, National Park Service; Jenan Saunders, California Historic Preservation Office; Ken Bernstein, City of Los Angeles Historic Resources Office. Moderated by Dr. Elaine Jackson-Retondo, National Park Service.

“Preserving our Stories and Places from the Ground Up” with Rosalind Sagara, Save Our Chinatown Committee-Riverside; Kristen Hayashi, Little Tokyo Historical Society; Maya Santos, Form follows Function. Moderated by Navdeep Singh, National Asian Pacific American Bar Association.

“Educating and Engaging Scholars, Practitioners, and the Public in Preservation” with Trudi Sandmeier, USC Heritage Conservation Program; Megan Suster and Steve Moreno-Terrill, UCR and California State Parks “Relevancy & History” Pilot Program. Moderated by Lisa Hasegawa, UCLA activist-in-residence and APIAHiP board secretary.

“Advocacy and Partnerships in Preservation” with Laura Dominguez, Los Angeles Conservancy, Latinos in Heritage Conservation; Dennis Arguelles, National Parks Conservation Association; Christina Morris, National Trust for Historic Preservation. Moderated by Kevin Sanada, California Community Economic Development Association.

1 to 2 p.m. — Light refreshments followed by an optional tour of Little Tokyo’s First Street North National Historic District by Little Tokyo Historical Society and/or visit the Japanese American National Museum (on your own).

The APIAHiP program will be followed by a super-panel discussion hosted by the UCLA Asian American Studies Center and the AAPI Nexus Journal: Policy, Practice, and Community with authors from “Special Issue on AAPIs 2040” (released December 2016):

2 to 4:30 p.m. — “AAPIs 2040: Creating the Future in an Uncertain World: Resisting Bigotry/Ignorance/Hate, Advancing Knowledge, and Forging Unity, Power and Solidarity.”

• “Uniting to Move Forward: Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders in 2040,” Richard Calvin Chang, Empowering Pacific Islander Communities

• The Future of the LGBTQ Asian American and Pacific Islander Community in 2040,” Glenn Magpantay, National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance

• “Suspicious People: Profiling and Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders,” Navdeep Singh, National Asian Pacific American Bar Association

• “Asian Americans and the Media,” Daniel M. Mayeda, East West Players

• “Cultural Preservation Policy and Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders: Reimagining Historic Preservation in Asian American and Pacific Islander Communities,” Michelle G. Magalong, Asian and Pacific Islander Americans in Historic Preservation

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