As one of the fastest growing demographics in the state, Michigan’s Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community finds itself at the forefront of advocating for change, with potential new state legislation, efforts to include AAPI history in public schools and an outpouring of advocacy and activism shaping the present-day Asian American narrative.  

On the legislative front, Michigan is witnessing the emergence of potential new laws that directly address the concerns and needs of the AAPI community. These proposed measures seek to combat anti-Asian hate crimes and increase the visibility and recognition of AAPI history in Michigan’s public schools. Legislators and grassroots advocates alike are pushing for comprehensive and accurate representations of the AAPI community’s contributions, experience and struggles throughout American history.  

Michigan Congressman Rep. Ranjeev Puri

Michigan State Congressman D-24 Rep. Ranjeev Puri discuss two new bills that would directly impact Michigan’s AAPI community on the Michigan House of Representatives floor. | Photo by One Detroit

Within the Asian American community itself, as the torch is passed from one generation of activists to the next, advocacy and activism have surged to address systemic issues and effect meaningful change. Activists, organizers and community leaders have been working tirelessly to dismantle stereotypes, challenge discriminatory policies and amplify the voices of marginalized AAPI communities. 

For AAPI Heritage Month, One Detroit Senior Producer Bill Kubota delves into the multifaceted issues and vibrant activism within Michigan’s AAPI community. He leads a roundtable with Canton High School Social Studies Teacher Richard Mui, Rising Voices Director of Communications Jasmine Rivera, Michigan State Congressman D-24 Rep. Ranjeev Puri, and Kurtis Fernandez, a field director and community organizer for APIA Vote Michigan.  

The roundtable discussion explores the status of AAPI history in Michigan’s schools, how anti-Chinese sentiment might affect the AAPI community here, the media’s treatment and portrayal of the AAPI community, and the need to continue to push boundaries to create change.  

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