This month, One Detroit hosted a virtual town hall called How We Got Here: The Asian American Experience in Metro Detroit. 

We addressed issues affecting Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders as incidents of attacks against Asians have been rising across the country.

Town hall panelists Jasmine Rivera of Rising Voices of Asian American Families, State Representative Ranjeev Puri and Macomb County Commissioner Mai Xiong shared their thoughts on how the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities can get better footing socio-economically and politically in Metro Detroit.

Rep. Puri lives in Canton and is the first elected Sikh American in Michigan’s legislative history.

He said, “I am the first person of color, actually, to hold this seat and this is one of the most diverse areas in Michigan.”

Commissioner Xiong, who is Hmong American and from Warren said, “I’ve lived here for eighteen years and I didn’t see anyone in my community that reflected me.”

Jasmine Rivera, also a filmmaker helping tell stories of Detroit area Asian Americans said, “Our generations are beginning to transform into a group that is becoming more and more entrenched into the American identity.”

Hear more in this highlight from the virtual town hall hosted by One Detroit’s Bill Kubota here.

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Watch One Detroit every Thursday at 7:30pm ET on Detroit Public TV.