Saturday, May 14, 2016

What Does Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month Mean to Me By Panney Wei, C.Ht.

--> What does API Heritage month mean to me? It means reminding us of our continuing influence, the growing potential of our community, and the power we have collectively as change agents in American society. Throughout American history, the Asian Pacific community has been attacked, disrespected, or even excluded (remember the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, the internment of hundreds of Japanese Americans post World War II, and even what’s happening now, the controversy surrounding the #OscarsSoWhite and the deliberate whitewashing of Asian Americans in the media). But these challenges happen in life both individually and collectively as a community to make us stronger, bolder, and wiser. Stephen Covey once said, “I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.” What happens to us as a community should not define us; instead it’s how we rise from these challenges in life that define who we are as a people and determines our character. We are incredibly resilient people. Let API Heritage Month be a lovely reminder that even if we are living in times where people are still being discriminated against, and we have survived the roles or rules of the circumstances we were born into or immigrated into and shaped by, that we can always change the course of our destiny, and break the chains of whatever’s holding us back around you, and continue to forge ahead and continue to make a difference in society. This is the time of the year where our community gathers together to embrace our culture, our values and virtues, and celebrate the achievements of all the amazing individuals and leaders in our community that have helped shape the fabric of society, made a difference in the world, and contributed to our community and our culture.  From the Chinese immigrants who laid down their lives to help build the transcontinental railroad to AIDs researcher, Dr. David Ho, who was TIME’s Man of the Year in 1996, to Ang Lee’s Oscar winning Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, to my husband, Christopher Chen’s film, Linsanity, which captured the journey of our friend, Jeremy Lin, on his road to the NBA, James Beard award winning Chef David Chang of Momofuku, Cellist Yo-Yo Ma, Vietnam Veterans Memorial architect Maya Lin, author Amy Tan, or founder of Yahoo, Jerry Yang, we are prevalent and present in American society, included whether you like or not and inclusive, and there’s no stopping us. So let this month be a time of true celebration for our community, honoring our ancestors who paved the way, and the trailblazers who emblazoned them, and recognize the accomplishments of our fellow leaders in every industry. It’s because of all of our contributions and those before us that American culture is richer because of us, and better as well. That is the purpose of Asian Pacific Islander Heritage month to me! And as a parent, I feel it’s even more important now for my daughter to embrace how she looks, feels, and exists in the world as an Asian American and what that means, and for all of our children, descendants, and future generations, to understand their history, legacy, and where they came from. Knowledge is power and knowing one’s history provides purpose, stability, and the foundation necessary to keep you grounded as you spread your wings and embark on new passions, visions, and dreams for your future, for the Asian American community, and for all people, leaving a lasting legacy that will be enjoyed and cherished for years to come. Wishing everyone a Happy Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month from our family to yours!  

BIO: Panney Wei is an award-winning writer, TV-Radio host, hypnotherapist, and motivational speaker on the power of the mind and achieving one’s potential, inspiring people to break negative patterns and achieve their dreams in love and life. She is the recipient of the “Outstanding 50 Asian Americans in Business” award, The National Association of Asian MBA’s (now ASCEND) “Top 40 Global Emerging Leaders” award, an Honoree for the Los Angeles Business Journal’s Women Making a Difference Awards and the San Fernando Valley Business Journal’s Women in Business awards, and featured in the “First 100 People” project for Panney is the CEO of See the Way Consulting, giving people the tools, wisdom, personally, professionally, and spiritually, and the courage to overcome life’s obstacles, achieve their potential, and manifest the life of their dreams. As a mentor, coach, and guide to her clients, she helps to identify the core issues and reasons for existing problems, she is able to give them the solutions, insight, acknowledgement, and feedback they desire, and the energy, inspiration, and the courage to manifest their dreams and to not only endure, but overcome their challenges.  Panney is the host of “See the Way with Panney Wei” featured on her website, and ITunes for your weekly dose of inspiration and interviews with some of the brightest minds and bestselling authors and experts in our world. Granddaughter to Taiwan Senator Albert Liu and Great Grand-niece to one of China’s greatest statesmen, General Tso Tsung-Tang, famous for his dish “General Tso’s chicken”, Panney continues their legacy of service, serving as a Senior Advisor for the National Association of Asian American Professionals (NAAAP), The National Asian Artist Project, and NAAAP Orange County, Toronto, LA, and San Diego, and Women in NAAAP (WIN!), a national women’s leadership she founded in 2008 to empower and develop female leaders featured in Forbes Women.  Panney is working on her first book on attracting the love of your life and shares her advice on life, career, love, and motherhood through her blog A Panney For Your Thoughts. She is married to Endgame Executive Vice President and Producer Christopher Chen (Looper, Linsanity, Year of the Yao, Sneakerheadz, and Every Little Step, which was shortlisted for the Oscars) and has a daughter, Talia.