AAFAA and S/OCR Celebrate: Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

AAFAA Opening Remarks by Deputy Secretary John Sullivan: Wednesday, May 16, 2018, Department of State. Photo: Courtesy of AAFSW.

On Wednesday, May 16, 2018, many AAFSW members, including AAFSW President Joanna Athanasopoulos Owen, PhD, were invited by the Asian American Foreign Affairs Association (AAFAA) and the Office of Civil Rights (S/OCR) to celebrate the Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month with a stimulating presentation by Yale Law Professor and renowned author Amy Chua (Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, 2011).

After a brief welcome by Director Gregory Smith (S/OCR), Deputy Secretary John Sullivan addressed the audience. During his opening remarks, Deputy Secretary Sullivan expressed how he was positively influenced by many Asian Americans with whom he has interacted in his life.

Yale Law Professor Chua’s expertise is in international business transactions, law and development, ethnic conflict, and globalization. In her inspiring presentation, Amy Chua explained how she came to write books such as: “Political Tribes: Group Instinct and the Fate of Nations,” “World on Fire: How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability,” “Day of Empire: How Hyperpowers Rise to Global Dominance — and Why They Fall,” “The Triple Package: How Three Unlikely Traits Explain the Rise and Fall of Cultural Groups,” and the well known 2011 memoir “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.”

AAFAA Keynote Speaker: Yale Law Professor and Author Amy Chua and AAFSW President Joanna Athanasopoulos Owen, PhD. Photo: Courtesy of AAFSW.

AAFAA President Christina Le concluded the event by mentioning the 2018 Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month Proclamation signed by President Donald Trump on April 13, 2018. President Trump “encourages all Americans to learn more about those Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander heritage, and to observe this month with appropriate programs and activities.” President Trump, in his proclamation, analyzes that “a renewed sense of our common purpose and goals with countries from which many proud Americans hail, has consolidated and strengthened our economic, cultural, and security relationships.”

Joanna Athanasopoulos Owen, PhD
AAFSW President