Secretary Salazar Announces New Asian American
Pacific Islander Initiative
Statement by Asian Pacific Islander Americans in Historic Preservation
(February 14, 2013) - Asian Pacific Islander Americans in Historic Preservation (APIAHiP) applauds the recent announcement of a national Asian American Pacific Islander Theme Study to ensure that the rich and diverse histories of API Americans are more fully recognized. With less than three percent of places on the National Register associated with the histories of communities of color, and less than a handful of national parks reflecting APIA heritage, this effort is critical.
Secretary Salazar announced the Theme Study on February 10th at Seattle’s Wing Luke Museum, which was added as an affiliated unit of the National Park system that same day. Salazar described both actions are part of an effort under President Obama “to recognize and celebrate our diversity here in America.” The National Park Service has undertaken similar efforts to help portray the contributions of Latinos and African Americans.
As a grassroots network dedicated to historic and cultural preservation in Asian Pacific Islander American communities, APIAHiP stand ready to support the Department of the Interior and National Park Service in their work. Three members of our Steering Committee — Donna Graves, Michelle Magalong and Bill Watanabe—have been invited to serve on the Theme Study’s National Advisory Panel. Founding APIAHiP Chair, Bill Watanabe, notes that “APIA ethnic communities are engaged in a broad scope of preservation efforts that seek to protect buildings, landscapes and places of historical significance as well as various cultural art forms, traditions, languages, associations, businesses, stories, food, festivals, and all the other activities that help to define these place-based communities.”
Asian & Pacific Islander Americans in Historic Preservation (APIAHiP) is a national network of preservationists, historians, planners, and advocates focused on historic and cultural preservation in APIA communities. APIAHiP organized two national forums focused on APIA preservation efforts in San Francisco (2010) and Los Angeles (2012) supported by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and National Park Service. In addition to organizing a 2014 forum in Washington DC, APIAHiP will launch an online, crowd-sourced national mapping project to identify cultural and historic places that matter to diverse APIA communities.
Learn more about APIAHiP: