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Photos: Brookline’s first Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Day

May 21, 2023  Updated May 24, 2023 at 8:02 a.m.

  • Natalia Linos and her son Leo watch as Yoonkyoung Ahn writes a name in Korean calligraphy. Photo by Zoe Zekos

On Saturday, Brookline held its inaugural Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Day with performances, arts and crafts and food.

The event was presented by the Brookline Asian American Family Network, in partnership with the Public Schools of Brookline, the Brookline Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Relations and the Brookline Public Library.

It featured the winners of the town’s eighth annual Asian American student essay contest reading their essays, which were chosen for their exploration of what it means to be Asian American.

Read this Q&A with Hsiu-Lan Chang, organizer of BAAFN’s student essay contest, whose experiences with the contest have been a wake-up call to the isolation, discrimination, and desperation that too many Asian American students in Brookline feel.

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Winners of the essay contest are:

Kalina Brookfield – 2023 BAAFN Award for “Rediscovered Memories

Soomin Lee – 2023 BAAFN Award for “Rice Cake

John Watson – 2023 Creativity Award for “Walking on Shattered Glass”

Tina Li – 2023 Content Award for “Why Do I Hate Wearing Red Clothes?

Lila Yoon- 2023 – Emerging Writer Award for “Joy is Resistance