Tina Shaw - Office of Asian & Pacific Islander Affairs

iowa department of human rights

April 27, 2018

Commission of Asian & Pacific Islander (CAPI) Affairs


Office of Asian & Pacific Islander Affairs

Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month

In 1992, the 102nd Congress approved, and then-President George H.W. Bush signed into law, the annual designation of May as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month. May was selected to acknowledge Asian & Pacific Islander populations for two reasons: commemorates the immigration of the first Japanese to the U.S. on May 7, 1843; and marks the anniversary of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad on May 10, 1869 – many of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants.

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Iowa API Data Profile Just Released

API Iowa 2018 Data Profile

Today, the State Data Center of Iowa released updated figures providing the most current snapshot of Iowa's Asian & Pacific Islander Community. 

View the entire data profile at http://bit.ly/2Ju2vpi

Events Calendar: API Heritage in Iowa

Des Moines – World Tai Chi Day – April 28 Central Iowa Tai Chi & Qigong

Des Moines – CelebrAsian – May 25-26

Sioux City – Asian Festival June 16

Cedar Rapids – Asian Fest – July 28

CelebrAsian 2018 Flyer
SXC 2018 Asian Festival

Virtual API Cultural Experience

Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center

The Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center brings history, art and culture to you through innovative museum experiences and digital initiatives. Since its establishment in 1997 as an initiative critical to the mission of the Smithsonian, the vision for the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center has been to enrich the appreciation of America’s Asian Pacific heritage and empower Asian Pacific American communities in their sense of inclusion within the national culture.  http://bit.ly/2HtR3xA

PBS API Story Collection

Celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month this May and every day with a special PBS collection of stories that explores the history, traditions and culture of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States. https://to.pbs.org/2r2uJ41

Landmark SCOTUS Case: Yick Wo v Hopkins (1886)

The Court's decision in this was seen as trailblazing -- it struck down legislation aimed at closing Chinese-operated laundries in San Francisco and guaranteed non-citizens the Constitution's protections. It was the first case to use the "equal protection" clause of the 14th Amendment, which prohibits states from denying any person within their jurisdiction the equal protection of the law. In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court ruled laws with discriminatory intent were unconstitutional. This decision opened the doors for immigrant integration in American society and established precedent for subsequent cases with similar issues affecting non-citizens.

This landmark case has been cited over 150 times since the Court's decision. Yick Wo was the name of the laundry owned by Chinese immigrant Lee Yick in San Francisco, California. Peter Hopkins was the Sheriff of the San Francisco police department (1885-1886). Learn more about this case on C-SPAN:  http://bit.ly/2HwpW0I

Who was Fred Korematsu?

New Curriculum Available from the Fred Korematsu Institute

Fred T. Korematsu was a national civil rights hero. In 1942, at the age of 23, he refused to go to the government’s incarceration camps for Japanese Americans. After he was arrested and convicted of defying the government’s order, he appealed his case all the way to the Supreme Court. In 1944, the Supreme Court ruled against him, arguing that the incarceration was justified due to military necessity.

The Korematsu Institute has published a revised and expanded Teacher’s Guide and new multimedia resources, including clips from five excellent documentaries on the Japanese American incarceration, with accompanying lesson plans. 


Civic Saturday in Des Moines

Citizen University is a national platform for fostering responsible and empowered citizenship through activation, communication, and education. Via CU, Civic Saturday is an initiative that originated out of Washington State by Eric Liu and is now going nationwide in an effort to promote civic dialogue and coming together as a community around civic ideals. 

This free event is taking place on May 5th from 9:30 AM - 12:00 PM at Grand View University Student Center Speed Lyceum. Get your free ticket.  Doors open at 9:30 AM for the social impact fair prior to the program beginning at 10:30 AM.

Civic Saturday

From Bhutan to Iowa

Chida collage

Chidananda Dahal recounts the long journey from his home in Bhutan to Des Moines, Iowa. Mr. Dahal eloquently writes about the history of his native land and the forces that pushed he and his people from their homeland. Read his story here: http://bit.ly/2KlLj6H


"We are so proud that we are now citizens. We are ready to use our civic rights and vote in all local, state and national elections. It is a privilege for people like me to be a citizen protected by the constitution of this wonderful country. I shall never take it for granted. We no longer feel that our future is dark. Our kids are doing great in school and as community members. The sky is the limit for success now. It is a whole new life, like a rebirth, for all of us."

Eldercare and Aging Webinars

Iowa Department on Aging

The State of Iowa's Department on Aging hosts educational webinars. Click the link to learn about upcoming informational webinars that will prepare yourself and your loved ones for the future. These webinars are scheduled events as part of the 2018 Dialogue on Aging Series. http://bit.ly/2KhZmdA

Elder Law Webinars


Elder Law Webinars 2018