• Community Strength

  • On June 2, 2023 Colorado Governor signed into law HB 23-1271 which designates Lunar New Year an official Observed State Holiday.  This is an unprecedented event that recognizes the contribution of all Asian American Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander (AANHPI) individuals to the rich history of Colorado.

    This honor is meant for all the AANHPI Communities in Colorado.  Whether our families have been here for generations  or only recently immigrated here.  Whether our families left their home country to escape war or poverty or natural disaster, or whether we came to the United States for a better education and prosperity.

    The Governor’s Office and Colorado State Legislature recognize the historical contribution of our community - and the historical discrimination our families have endured as residents of Colorado.  From the destruction of Downtown Denver’s Chinatown almost 150 years ago, and the illegal internment of Japanese Americans at Camp Amache in southern Colorado during WWII.  Our community has endured assaults and vandalism on South Asians and those from Muslim countries after 9/11 and hate and bigotry against our refugee families from Nepal, Myanmar and Bhutan.  Then, most recently, and just as egregious, is the political false rhetoric during COVID-19 that has led to the anti-Asian hate and violence that we see today  across the country - even here in Colorado.

    Nonetheless, our community has been recognized for what we will contribute to the future of our State.  For example,

    • The organization Colorado Asian Pacific United has “reimagined” the original Chinatown in Downtown Denver with historic markers and murals.
    • In March 2022, Camp Amache was proclaimed a National Historic Landmark in the National Park Services so that the outrage of Japanese American internment will not be forgotten. 
    • For the last two years, Colorado’s AANHPI communities, including the Asian Chamber of Commerce Colorado, have studied and evaluated media outlets to ensure equitable and just news coverage.  The report, presented by The Voices Initiative from the Colorado News Collaborative and Colorado Media Project, was released January 2023. 
    • More individuals in the AAPI Community are taking advantage of mental health and wellness services than ever before thanks to efforts from organizations such as the Aurora Mental Health and Recovery, National Asian American Pacific Islander Mental Health Association, and many others.
    • AAPI small-business communities who struggled during COVID are making a comeback thanks to the opportunities available from state, municipal and nonprofit agencies. Making realistic and successful connections for AAPI Small Businesses is the priority goal of the Asian Chamber of Commerce Colorado.  ACC Colorado will continue to collaborate with the Colorado Minority Business Office, Energize Colorado, Downtown Denver Partnership, Denver Economic Development Opportunities OfficeGood Business Colorado, WTC Denver and more, to make the connections needed.
    • And every year there are multiple events, festivals, and holidays that our AANHPI community shares with the public, including Asian American History Month in May, the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival, and Lunar New year celebrations.

    Consistent and sincere recognition from our elected officials may have been unheard of until recently.  It’s obvious that our history together and our hopes for our future together have made our voices louder than ever.  We are heard and seen.