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Strengthening the Voices of Young Historians

spiracha
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Southwest Airlines proudly shows its commitment to the Asian Pacific American (APA) community through its celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month in May.  Additionally, we give back to the APA community all throughout the year through our invaluable community partnerships that allow us to not only celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage, but also to help the APA community to grow even stronger.  “The trip was life-changing.  I had a fun time going everywhere in San Francisco and participating in CAAMFest.  I even learned a few geography lessons flying over different states,” said Liza Rehman. “When we got up in front of everyone to speak at the screening, I was really nervous at first.  I had been at other speaking opportunities before, but not like this.” Liza Rehman was one of the talented young people participating in the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center’s Young Historians, Living Histories Project (YHLH).  YHLH is a national outreach and education initiative that engages underserved and under-resourced youth and educators to deepen their understanding of Asian Pacific American history and culture.  Liza is among a dozen youth participants who were selected to represent their respective YHLH Project at the 32nd Annual CAAMFest, the largest Asian Pacific American Film Festival in North America.
Pictured above are the Smithsonian Institution staff Christina DiMeglio Lopez, Elizabeth Bugbee, Caroline Mah, Gina Inocencio at the premier screening for Young Historians, Living Histories during CAAMFest 2014, San Francisco, CA.
Pictured above are the Smithsonian Institution staff Christina DiMeglio Lopez, Elizabeth Bugbee, Caroline Mah, Gina Inocencio at the premier screening for Young Historians, Living Histories during CAAMFest 2014, San Francisco, CA.
After a weeklong workshop on Asian Pacific American history and culture as well as lessons about oral history, research, and filmmaking, participants were asked to make a film about Asian Pacific American heritage.  The result?  A moving array of films depicting themes of migration, identity, and belonging—all captured in one program. This unique occasion brought together two of Southwest Airlines community partners to collaborate and create innovative opportunities for students that might not have been possible when working individually.  I speak for both organizations when I say that we are truly grateful for the support and opportunities provided by Southwest Airlines as well as the opportunity to work together on such an important project.  We believe deeply in the impact of the Young Historians, Living Histories Project and its capacity to deepen the understanding of the American story through the experience of Asian Pacific America.
 Konrad Ng hands out awards to youth filmmakers from across the country at the premier of Young Historians, Living Histories at CAAMFest 2014.

Konrad Ng hands out awards to youth filmmakers from across the country at the premier of Young Historians, Living Histories at CAAMFest 2014.
Because of Southwest Airlines, participating museums and community groups were able to attend the premiere of Young Historians, Living Histories at CAAMFest.   For many participants like Philip Krongkon, a young man of Montagnard heritage living in Greensboro, NC, this was their first trip to California.  Like Liza, Philip described attending the event as a once in a lifetime opportunity that made him want to aspire to greater things.  Southwest Airlines allowed Liza and Philip to strengthen their voices in America. To read the personal stories* of the Young Historians, please visit: http://caamedia.org/blog/2014/04/10/student-reflection-on-young-historians-at-caamfest/ and http://caamedia.org/blog/2014/03/13/qa-with-konrad-ng-director-of-the-smithsonian-asian-pacific-amer...