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In celebration of Asian Heritage Month, we present

Asian / Native Hawaiian / Pacific Islander / Desi

Americans To Know in Denver

MAY 2021 | SPECIAL EDITION


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At the Heart of the Matter

The Hate Stops Here: Addressing Anti-Asian Acts [ Thursday, May 20 ] Noon – 1:30 p.m. MT

The Colorado Health Foundation works to bring health in reach for all Coloradans by engaging Colorado communities through investing, policy advocacy, learning and capacity building. Join us for The Hate Stops Here: Addressing Anti-Asian Acts a free virtual event where Colorado leaders will discuss recent and historic acts of violence against Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities, and will address what we can all do to curb the rise of discrimination and support the health and well-being of all our AAPI neighbors.

REGISTER AT

coloradohealth.org/heart-matter-0

At the Heart of the Matter is a series featuring local and national leaders who discuss the impacts of long-present, systemic racism on the health of communities of color and what we all must do to spark change once and for all.

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SPECIAL EDITION Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month is here! Four months into 2021 and our AANHPI/APIDA community has been through a lot. It is time for us to take a moment to celebrate who we are, what we are proud of, and all that we have achieved. This month is our month to shine! In our April issue, we covered the hate incidents and violence targeting Asian Americans, including the shooting in Atlanta on March 16. Since the pandemic began, Asian Americans have been experiencing an increase in discrimination and crimes. In April, we also highlighted how our community was coming together in solidarity to address prevention strategies and hate crime reporting. Between rallies, town halls, healing circles, and support groups, if you need a space to organize, to grieve, to strategize -- Denver’s AAPI community is here for you. In our May edition, we felt it was important to use our platform to recognize all of the strengths, contributions and achievements of Asians in Colorado. The idea of a SPECIAL EDITION came about when we first decided to create a list of 100 Asians To Know in Denver. Then we added a list of Asian organizations as well as a list of businesses owned by Asians in our community. All of these “lists” have come together to showcase what it means to be Asian American, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, and Desi American across all sectors and backgrounds. We hope you find this edition to be a helpful resource and reach out to make connections as you peruse through the pages. I want to say thank you to the allies that have reached out to Asian Avenue magazine and our AAPI community these past months to acknowledge our pain and support us in this uphill climb against systemic racism. We celebrate this special month with all of you! And a special cheers to my beautiful AAPI community friends. It has been an honor to grow and work with you all. Annie Guo VanDan, President, Asian Avenue magazine

Find us @AsianAveMag #AsianAveMag

SUBSCRIBE TODAY! 1 YEAR 12 Issues for $25

Get each issue sent to your home or business! MORE THAN 60% OFF EACH ISSUE! P.O. Box 221748 Denver, CO 80222 Tel: 303.937.6888 Email: info@asianavemag.com Follow Us! @AsianAveMag

6

May 2021 | President’s Note

2 YEAR 24 Issues for $40 Payment Enclosed Bill Me

Publisher & Founder CHRISTINA YUTAI GUO President ANNIE GUO VANDAN Editorial Director MARY JENEVERRE SCHULTZ Graphic Designer/Videographer LIJIN ZHAO Web Designer JASON ZHANG Marketing Manager JOIE HA Marketing Coordinator LINA ZHU Staff Writer PATRICIA KAOWTHUMRONG Staff Writer JESSALYN HERRERIA LANGEVIN

on the cover We are proud to present you our May 2021 SPECIAL EDITION of Asian Avenue magazine highlighting our splendid community. Asian Avenue magazine (ISSN 1932-1449) reserves all copyrights to this issue. No parts of this edition can be reproduced in any manner without written permission. The views expressed in articles are the authors’ and not necessarily those of Asian Avenue magazine.

Looking to promote your business? Asian Avenue magazine offers businesses a costeffective way to reach consumers in the Denver/Boulder metro areas and beyond. For more information, call 303.937.6888 or e-mail us at hello@asianavemag.com for our media kit and ad rates. Send story ideas to hello@ asianavemag.com. Asian Avenue magazine is in association with the Colorado Asian Culture and Education Network.

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Please send a check payable to Asian Avenue magazine. Mail to P.O. Box 221748, Denver, CO 80222. Visit www.asianavemag.com/subscribe to pay with Paypal or credit card.


Donna connects buyers and sellers with homes they turn into equity building, peace-filled sanctuaries.

In celebration of Asian Pacific American History Month in May, APABA invites the community to participate in the following programs we have planned:

Call TODAY to materialize your REAL estate goals!

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Understanding and Selling Denver’s Historic Homes and Neighborhoods Certification, Home Partners of America Agent Certification, and Recognized 2014 through 2020 as a 5-STAR Residential Real Estate Broker.

• Compassion in Colorado: A program protecting and assisting our APA seniors through a volunteer-staffed companion walking service • Support Asian-Owned Small Business Weekends in May: Support a business, take a photo and post using #SupportCOAsianBiz • Bystander Training to stop anti-Asian and xenophobic harassment - FREE! • Virtual Legal Hotline staffed by volunteer APA attorneys - FREE! • Estate Planning Services for qualifying low income APA senior citizens - FREE!

If you are interested in volunteering or participating in any of our programs or upcoming events, please visit

APABA-COLORADO.ORG


Asian Avenue magazine and Colorado Asian Culture and Education Network are proud to present...

100 Asians To Know in Denver (and Beyond)

This list is comprised of changemakers in Denver’s Asian community and influencers in their industries. It was developed from recommendations from Asian community members.

K-12 EDUCATORS | 18 LAW | 26 37) Kevin Leung (Chinese) 38) Priscilla Rahn (Korean/Black) 39) Indira Walia (Indian) 40) Ying Ong (Chinese)

70) Deborah Yim (Chinese) 71) Christine Han (Korean) 72) Margaret Choi (Chinese) 73) Kenzo Kawanabe (Japanese)

UNDER 30 | 9-11

HIGHER EDUCATION | 19

POLITICS | 27

1) Joie Ha (Chinese, Taiwanese) 2) Elizabeth Franz (Mixed Race) 3) Stephen Zhang (Chinese) 4) Allyson Masunaga Goto (Japanese) 5) Susanna Y Park (Korean) 6) Katerina Jeng (Filipino, Taiwanese) 7) Kai Vong (Chinese) 8) Johnnie Nguyen (Vietnamese) 9) Sebastian Anderson (Korean) 10) Naureen Singh (Indian) 11) Akemi Tsutsui-Kunitake (Japanese) 12) Kiana Marsan (Filipino)

PUBLIC SERVICE 12-13

13) JD Mangat (Indian) 14) Lynn Baca (Latina, Pacific Islander) 15) Father Joseph Dang (Vietnamese) 16) Will Chan (Chinese) 17) Eric Hiraga (Japanese) 18) Trace Yang (Hmong) 19) Joe Jefferson (Chinese) 20) Derek Okubo (Japanese)

ETHNIC COMMUNITY 14-15 21) Lynda Sipanya (Laotian) 22) Eed Cefkin (Thai) 23) Drucie Bathin (Karen) 24) Peter Lee (Korean) 25) Adam You (Chinese) 26) Su Baw (Karen) 27) Giselle Rushford (Filipino) 28) Gary Yamashita (Japanese)

COMMUNITY ATLARGE | 16-17

29) Stacey Shigaya (Japanese) 30) Harry Budisidharta (Indonesian) 31) Shauna Medeiros-Tuilaepa (Pacific Islander) 32) Annie VanDan (Chinese, Taiwanese) 33) Nga Vương-Sandoval (Vietnamese) 34) Marge Taniwaki (Japanese) 35) Tarika Cefkin (Thai) 36) SomXai Vue (Hmong)

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May 2021 | Special Edition

41) Ken Lee (Hmong) 42) Dr. William Wei (Chinese) 43) Dr. Faye Caronan (Filipino) 44) Dr. Jennifer Ho (Chinese)

DIVERSITY EQUITY INCLUSION | 20

45) Erin Yoshimura (Japanese) 46) Soyon Bueno (Korean) 47) Kimberly Ming Ford (Chinese, Puerto Rican) 48) Dr. Rachele Espiritu (Filipino)

CULTURE | 21

49) Yangmee Lor (Hmong) 50) Sara Moore (Japanese) 51) Phong Vo (Vietnamese) 52) Namita Nariani (Indian)

LGBTQIA | 22

53) Pasha Ripley (Korean) 54) Yeong Cheng (Chinese) 55) Kat Ling (Chinese) 56) Laila Ireland (Hawaiian, Filipino, Puerto Rican)

MOTHERS | 23

57) Lynn Tran (Chinese) 58) Joanne Liu (Chinese) 59) Aurelia Grinstead (Filipino) 60) Mimi Luong (Chinese)

HEALTH | 24

61) Dr. Robin Yasui (Japanese) 62) Dr. DJ Ida (Japanese) 63) Teresa Nguyen (Vietnamese) 64) Dr. PJ Parmar (Indian)

74) Howard Chou (Chinese) 75) Neal Walia (Indian) 76) Tejwant Mangat (Indian) 77) Indira Duggirala (Indian)

ARTISTS | 28

78) Viki Eagle (Japanese/Indian) 79) Abbie Kozik (Filipino) 80) Ratha Sok (Cambodian) 81) Sammy Lee (Korean) 82) Courtney Ozaki (Japanese) 83) Andrea Wang (Chinese) 84) Peter Trinh (Vietnamese) 85) Eriko Tsogo (Mongolian)

BUSINESS | 29

86) Fran Campbell (Filipino) 87) Riyaz Gayasaddin (Indian) 88) Chance Horiuchi (Japanese) 89) Khanh Vu (Vietnamese) 90) Lisa Nguyen (Vietnamese) 91) Joanne Tabellija-Murphy 92) Monique Sar (Cambodian) 93) Clarence Low (Chinese)

ENTREPRENEURS 30-31

94) Chris Tran (Vietnamese) 95) Liane Pensack-Rinehart (Chinese, Japanese) 96) Tran Wills (Vietnamese) 97) Kim Le (Vietnamese) 98) Samm Diep-Vidal (Chinese) 99) Priya G Hariharan (Indian) 100) Christina Yutai Guo (Chinese)

MEDIA |25

65) Patricia Kaowthumrong (Thai) 66) Shawn Chitnis (Indian) 67) Gil Asakawa (Japanese) 68) Kim Ngan Nguyen (Vietnamese) 69) Joe Nguyen (Vietnamese)

=

Asian American Hero of Colorado Award recipient from Colorado Asian Culture and Education Network


1

Chinese, Taiwanese Denver

Joie Ha, 28

As the daughter of refugees, Joie (she/her) has always been acutely aware of existing injustices and began her journey as an activist for minority communities in Colorado over 10 years ago. Joie is the Founder of CORE: Community Organizing for Radical Empathy, a diversity, equity, and inclusion consulting firm and community organizing group that focuses on grassroots solutions. Awarded the Asian American Young Hero of Colorado award in 2012, her background includes a B.A. in Anthropology and a M.A. in Development Practice with work spanning locally and abroad; including community development in Malaysia and research on hip hop and fictive kin in Cambodia. Connect with Joie at: coredei. com or infocoredei@gmail.com.

Stephen Zhang, 16

2 “Halo-Halo” Mixed Race, Broomfield

Elizabeth Mary Tavara Franz, 28

Under 30 Let’s kick off the 100 Asians To Know with the young people in our community. These are the young leaders and hard workers, who have shown their diligence and commitment to themselves and to the world around them. They are destined to leave a mark. Remember these names as this is only the beginning for them!

Allyson Masunaga Goto, 25

Elizabeth (she/her) is the Principal Certified Mediator at Humanz Mediate. As a mediator, she has been supporting people in their most impactful conversations for the past 10 years. She is the Director of the Professionals of Color Network, and she serves on the Cemetery Committee of Broomfield County and Society for Menstrual Cycle Research Board. Elizabeth facilitates restorative justice cases through The Conflict Center and holds space for healing circles in the AAPI community. She is grateful to the Filipino American Community of Colorado for the privilege to learn traditional Filipino dances. She is also an alumnae of the Colorado Dragon Boat’s Emerging Leadership Program. Connect with Elizabeth at: humanzmediate.com or @Professionals ofColorNetwork (Facebook).

Stephen (he/him) is a junior at Cherry Creek High School, who loves technology and business adventures. Moreover, he loves his community, which is why he founded Youth Creates, as a way for students to get involved in their community. The organization has led projects to promote cancer research, fight PPE (personal protective equipment) deficiency during the peak of the pandemic, and support Colorado senior residents. This summer, Stephen will lead his team to host another Gala for a Cure event to fundraise for cancer research. Connect with Stephen at: Stephen.Zhang@ youthcreates.com or youth Chinese, creates.com. Englewood

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Allyson (she/her) is a proud fourth-generation Japanese American, food and racial justice activist, and a mental health advocate. A graduate of Brown University with a degree in Environmental Studies and Policy, Allyson currently works Japanese, for Jefferson County Public Health Westminster on food justice projects. As a mental health advocate, she is a founding member of Asians*inFocus, an artistic mental health initiative developed in response to the growing Asian hate amidst the pandemic. Allyson is also an alumnae of the Mirai Generations Leadership Program, in which she applied her passion for environmental sustainability to bringing sustainable options to the Cherry Blossom Festival. Connect with Allyson at: asiansinfocus.com, @allysongo2, or @asiansinfocus.

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100 Asians To Know | Asian Avenue Magazine

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Susanna Y Park, 28

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Katerina Jeng, 29

FilipinaTaiwanese, Denver

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May 2021 | Special Edition

Korean, Denver

Kai (he/him) is honored to be a member of the Denver Asian American Pacific Islander Commission. Kai is the founder and president of the Asian Pacific Islander Student Alliance at East High School, an organization providing a space for all students to learn and appreciate culture. He is also a board member of the Re-Envisioning Denver’s Historic Chinatown Project, whose mission is to create an inclusive Denver that recognizes its history, and celebrates the past, current, and future diversity of the city. He looks forward to the future and strives to make a positive impact on the community surrounding him. Connect with Kai at: instagram. com/kaivongco.

Katerina (she/her) is a poet, artist, healer, community organizer, and creative entrepreneur. She is the co-founder and co-leader of Slant’d, a storytelling collective building the community Asian Americans want and deserve. She is also the co-founder and strategic director of Spectacle, a marketing agency paving the way for representation and inclusion. Katerina is working on her first poetry collection, exploring the concepts of faith and spirituality, and creating spaces for collective healing. Her work has been featured in People, CBS News, Vietnamese, HuffPost, Talks at Google, Denver TEDx, and more. Connect with Katerina at: katerinajeng.com.

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5

A Korean American, Susanna (she/her) was born and raised in Colorado. She is completing her PhD in global health and is interested in health equity and communitybased research. She finds joy in connecting with her plants, fur-baby, and community. She is co-founder of Global Caveat, a global health educational nonprofit organization that provides equitable access to public health education and educational services by amplifying institutionally underserved voices and grassroots communities through cultural preservation and international collaborative efforts. Connect with Susanna at: susanna@globalcaveat. com, susannaypark.com, or globalcaveat.com.

Kai Vong, 17

7 Chinese, Denver

Johnnie Nguyen, 24 Born and raised in Denver, Johnnie (he/him) grew up passionate about issues regarding access to education, mental health, and racial equity. Empowered by his family’s resilience, he became the first in his family to graduate law school. At 24, he was elected the youngest member of the American Bar Association’s Board of Governors, which is the world’s largest legal association. His background is in law and politics, previously working for US Senator John Hickenlooper, Lewis Brisbois LLP (7th largest law firm in the country), the Colorado House of Representatives, the Colorado Attorney General’s Office, the U.S. District Court, and the Colorado Supreme Court. Connect with Johnnie at: linkedin.com/in/nguyenjohnnie.


Sebastian Anderson, 18 Sebastian (he/him) is a professional soccer player with the Colorado Rapids. In 2019, at the time he signed his contract, he was only 16, the youngest with the team (16 years, 238 days). He became the youngest player in club history to make his pro debut as a starter, and the youngest goal scorer for the Rapids on July 20th, 2019. He played with the US U15 and U17 National teams, including being named to the US U17 Korean/ FIFA World Cup roster in Hungarian, Brazil. Sebastian enjoys Highlands spending time with his Ranch friends and trying new foods. Connect with Sebastian at: @seb_anderson6.

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Akemi Tsutsui-Kunitake, 27 Akemi (she/her) is a third and fourth-generation Japanese American multi-disciplinary artist from Denver. As a practitioner of Shotokan karate for over 24 years, Akemi teaches and trains out of her family’s dojo, Colorado Budokan, and is a USA Karate team member representing Women’s Kata (forms). Aside from martial arts, Akemi is a visual artist whose pen and ink works mix themes of Japanese folklore with Western mysticism. As an extension of her artwork, she is the creator behind Live Deliciously, a virtual gift shop dedicated to offerings that focus on self-empowerment and personal ritual. She is passionate about the intersectionality of cultural tradition, ancestral wisdom, and modern identity. Connect with Akemi at: Japanese, tsutsui-kunitake.com Denver or livedeliciously.net.

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10 Indian (Punjabi), Colorado Springs

Naureen Singh, 26

Naureen (she/her) is a community organizer at the Asian Pacific Development Center, where she has organized around issues like Census 2020, Get Out the Vote, and Know Your Rights workshops for immigrant and refugee families. She has also organized interfaith events across Colorado focused on education around the Sikh faith and Sikh community as the policy director of Colorado Sikhs. She is a former White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders intern and E3! Ambassador. She is a graduate student at CU Denver studying Criminal Justice and researching the impact of COVID-19 on Asian American victimization and feelings of safety. Connect with Naureen at: @naureenksingh (Twitter) or @naureensingh (Instagram).

Kiana Marsan, 20

Kiana (she/her) is a senior at the University of Denver, studying English with a minor in Critical Race and Ethnic Studies. She is the Editor-in-Chief of the school’s paper—the DU Clarion—leading her team through an unprecedentFilipina, ed year of loss Highlands and social upRanch rising. She was the lead writer on campus-wide movements for social and racial justice, and she curated a news column called “On the Margins’’ that shared the lived experiences of marginalized students at her predominantly white campus. This summer, she will intern with Asian Avenue Magazine. Connect with Kiana at: duclarion. To watch the full press conference, go to tinyurl.com/aapi-solidarity-pressco. com/author/kianamarsan.

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100 Asians To Know | Asian Avenue Magazine

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Indian (Punjabi), Lafayette

JD (he/him) was elected to the Lafayette City Council at the age of 22 and has been an active member of his community since the age of 13. He is also a full-time teacher at Angevine Middle School, serves on the Board of Directors of two nonprofit organizations, supports his family’s small business, does modeling for company advertisements and is a community volunteer. JD hopes to continue to work with local youth encouraging them to take on leadership roles. Connect with JD at: jd.mangat@ lafayetteco.gov or 303-731-9460.

Father Joseph Tung Dang

Lynn Baca

JD Mangat

14 Latina, Pacific Islander, Brighton

Lynn (she/her) is the first Latina Asian Pacific Islander to be elected to the Adams County Board of Commissioners. Her grandfather is from the Philippine Islands, and she is a second-generation American honored to represent her community on the Asian Chamber of Commerce Board. She is currently working on equity vaccination clinics in Adams County. She served two terms on the Brighton City Council. Connect with Lynn at: lynn@lynnbaca.co, lynnbaca.co, or @BacaforAdamsCounty.

Proud Public Servants

Father Dang (he/him) is an ordained Catholic priest of an independent jurisdiction (Catholic Colorado’s Asian American public Apostolic Church Interservants include elected officials and national), ambassador those working for local government. for the Vietnamese comThese individuals have spent decades munity, a community liVietnamese, working to address community needs for aison for Denver Health Denver a better Colorado. Southwest Pena Clinic, and a chaplain at the Denver Police Department. Father Dang is one of the leaders that formed the Little Saigon Business District on South Federal Blvd corridor. The Vietnamese American community is proud to have him as the to go to person for resources and services. Will (he/him) has been a champion of During the pandemic, Father Dang drop off historically underresourced populations food boxes to many Vietnamese seniors. through various positions with the City He hosts a talk show every night live-streamand County of Denver. He has develing on Facebook and YouTube with over oped immigrant and refugee programs, 40,000 Vietnamese American followers from addressed systemic poverty in low-inacross the US. Each week, he invites special come neighborhoods, and incorporated guests such as medical professionals to join racial equity considerations in the City’s him to talk to the community about being economic development framework. Will’s principles stem from his perhealthy. Recently, he is joining many efforts spective as a first-generation child of immigrant and refugee parents. to get as many Asians vaccinated as possible, He serves on the boards of the Colorado Nonprofit Development especially Vietnamese. Connect with Father Center and PlatteForum, and formerly served on the Denver Dang at: joseph.dang@denvergov.org. Asian American and Pacific Islander Commission and as a regional ambassador for the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Connect with Chinese, Will at: william.chan@denvergov.org or @realwillchan. Denver

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Will Chan

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May 2021 | Special Edition


Eric Hiraga

Trace Yang

17 Eric (he/him) is the Exec- Japanese, utive Director of Denver Denver Economic Development & Opportunity (DEDO), a position he assumed upon his appointment by Mayor Michael B. Hancock in August 2017. Born in California to Japanese immigrant parents, Eric moved to Colorado to study at the University of Colorado at Boulder. His inclusive leadership has elevated representation of AAPIs at all levels of Denver’s economy and has been at the forefront of the city’s pandemic relief and recovery efforts through support of businesses, nonprofits, jobseekers, and expanding opportunities for historically under-resourced populations in Denver’s economy. Eric also serves on multiple boards and advisory committees supporting the Asian community. Connect with Eric at: eric.hiraga@denvergov.org.

Trace (she/her) has worked in the Sheriff’s Office in the Denver metro area for over 12 years in different divisions – Patrol, Administrative, and Training. She is the Training Operations Supervisor for the agency. With the recent surge in hate crimes against the Asian community, she spearheaded a meeting between the Sheriff’s Office and the Asian community to educate, collaborate, and build a positive relationship to overcome these challenging times. She has worked at Hmong American Association of Colorado helping non-English speakers with social, leHmong, gal, financial, and medical needs. She also Westminster established cultural programs for traditional Hmong funeral and wedding practices. Since 2007, she has emceed the annual Hmong New Year celebration in Colorado. Connect with Trace at: traceyang1@gmail.com.

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Joe Jefferson

Joe (he/him) has led through years of public service with many local and national organizations, including International Leadership Foundation. He served on Englewood City Council from 2007 to 2018 and as mayor from 2015 to 2018. Mayor Jefferson was the first know Chinese American mayor in Colorado history. He was then elected Englewood’s Presiding Judge as the only publicly elected judge in Colorado. Judge Jefferson earned his B.S. from Cornell University and his J.D. from University of Denver. He owned Jefferson Legal Group and Twin Dragon Restaurant with his mother, who has proudly served the local Denver, community for over 45 years. Connect with Judge Jefferson Englewood at: joejeff1224@gmail.com or 720.373.5639.

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Derek Okubo Derek (he/him) has been active in the Asian community in Colorado since the 1980’s – serving on Asian community boards and assisting organizations. He is most proud of his participation with the preservation efforts of the Amache Concentration Camp, an effort that his father helped start and Derek helped lead from 2002-2010. Since 2011, he has served as the Executive Director of the Agency for Human Rights and Community Partnerships for the City and County of Denver as an appointee of Mayor Michael B. Hancock. Connect with Derek at: dpokubo13@gmail.com, @dereko413 (Twitter), or dpo_13 (Instagram). Japanese,

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Denver

100 Asians To Know | Asian Avenue Magazine

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Khamkeua Lynda Sipanya Lynda (she/her) works at Asian Pacific Development Center as a Behavioral Health Coder and Lao Navigator. Since she was young, she wanted to connect and help enrich the Lao community. She recalls her parents experienced challenges navigating the American system. Back then, she was too young to understand, but now that she is older, she helps whomever she can, which includes supporting monks with immigration paperwork, helping organize fundraisers, or driving elders to vaccination clinics. She and her husband live north of Denver with their three kids: Bielly (16), Kailei (14), and Tobias (5). Connect with Lynda at: lyndasipanya@apdc.org.

Laotian, Commerce City

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Drucie Bathin

Ethnic Community Organizers These are the respected leaders and connectors in Denver’s specific Asian ethnic communities.

Eed Cefkin Eed (she/her) is Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors for Wat Buddhawararam, Denver Thai Buddhist temple, an ESL teacher at the Community College of Aurora, and an interpreter and translator for Thai and Lao communities. Eed is the former General Manager of the Royal Thai Honorary Consulate in Denver, and previously worked at Colorado Alliance for Health Equity and Practice and Asian Pacific Development Center. She got her start as a social worker and a teacher at a refugee camp in Thailand after graduating from Thammasat University in Bangkok and was an AFS exchange student. She is a past president and a current member of the Denver Thai Lions Club which organizes 9Health Fair Thai, annually at the Thai temple. Connect with Denver Eed at: eed.cefkin.cca@gmail.com.

Drucie (she/her) is the founder of Friends of the Karen People of Burma DBS Burma Community Rangers, a nonprofit organization in Colorado that assists former political refugees from Myanmar (Burma). Drucie immigrated to the US over 20 years ago. She and her family from Karen State survived ethnic cleansing by the Burmese Army due to her ethnicity being Karen. She has a B.A. in History Social Science and minor in English from Eastern Connecticut State University. In February of 2021, the Burmese Army attempted a coup and over 700 people have been murdered in Burmese cities, while over 24,000 people have been internally displaced in the Karen State alone. The US and other countries around the world have imposed sanctions in Burma. Drucie started a Facebook fundraiser to help her people back home. Donate at: tinyurl. com/karen-state-fundraiser. Connect with Drucie at: linkedin.com/in/drucie-b-7b0b9959.

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23 Karen, Aurora

Peter Seung-woo Lee Peter (he/him) serves as Co-chair of the Aurora Asian/Pacific Community Partnership. He is a health insurance broker and branch manager of a financial planning firm with 18 years of experience as a former banker. Peter also worked as a Partnership Specialist for the US Census Bureau in 2010 to develop Census partnerships with Asian organizations. For the 2020 Census, he co-organized the Colorado Asian Complete Count Committee to increase the self-response rate for the AAPI community. Peter is from South Korea and has been working to create an Aurora Korean War Veterans Memorial and Aurora Korea Town. Connect Korean, with Peter at: PeterL63@gmail.com. Aurora

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May 2021 | Special Edition


Adam You Adam (he/him) runs Denver Chinese Source, a community-based Chinese language online platform that shares information about local businesses, relevant news, and helpChinese, ful resources. As an advocate for ColCentennial orado’s Chinese community, he also manages communities on Facebook and WeChat to provide mutual assistance and information sharing. Adam also organizes volunteer events such as fundraising for the Denver Rescue Mission and organizing public policy forums in the Asian community. Connect with Adam at: adamyou@denver chinesesource.com or denverchinesesource.com.

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Giselle Rushford Giselle (she/her) currently serves as a National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) Trustee and the Asian Pacific American Vote Colorado Executive Director. For the former, she advises the national team and works on projects, and currently she is developing the Run for Office Program. This program trains and mentors would be politicians, nonprofit leaders andcivically engaged individuals. For APIA Vote-Colorado, she implements the four pillars of voter engagement: registration, education, protection and get out the vote. Her latest project is coordinating the John Lewis National Day of Action, May 8, 2021 in Denver. This national event hopes to ignite public supFilipino, port for restoring the Voting Rights Act. Connect with Aurora Giselle at: giselle.rushford@naffaa.org.

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Su Baw Su Baw (she/her) is Karen, an ethnic minority from Burma that continues to be persecuted against. Since 2014, she has worked for the Asian Pacific Development Center as a community navigator. She reaches out to Karen community members to provide education and to connect them to resources and services like behavioral health, food delivery, immigration assistance, interpretation, COVID vaccinations and more! In 2013, she co-founded Project KARE to help provide education to Karen people in Burma. Each year, the organization delivers school supplies to thousands of students. With the recent coup in Burma and violence in Karen State, Su Baw helped to organize the “Rally for the People of Burma” at the state Capitol. She shared her story as one of the featured speakers (vimeo.com/535356345). At the same time Karen, she led Project KARE’s fundraising effort Aurora for humanitarian relief for displaced Karen people, raising more than $15,000. Connect with Su Baw at: subaw@projectkare.org or projectkare.org.

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Gary Yamashita

A third generation Japanese American born in Denver, Gary (he/him) feels a strong sense of pride and responsibility in preserving the history of the Japanese American community for future generations to enjoy. As Chief Executive Officer of Sakura Square LLC, Gary is responsible for overseeing the operations, strategic planning and leadership of the organization. He serves on the Project Management Team for the redevelopment of Sakura Square as a Japanese cultural and community center. He is also the Executive Director of Sakura Foundation, a nonprofit foundation committed to promoting Japanese heritage and culture through programs, grants and scholarships. His background includes over 40 years of experience in the real estate and banking industries. Gary also cares about the well-being of the greater metro community and contributes considerable time to the Downtown Denver Partnership, Rose Community Foundation and St. Francis Center. As part of the Downtown Denver Partnership, he currently serves on the panel for Diversity, Inclusivity and Equity. Connect with Gary at: garyy@sakurasquare.com or sakurasquare.com.

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Japanese, Denver

100 Asians To Know | Asian Avenue Magazine

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Stacey Shigaya Stacey (she/her) was born and raised in Denver and is the daughter of Japanese American (JA) internees. As the Program Director for Sakura Foundation and Sakura Square LLC, she is grateful to have a platform to live her professional and personal goal to uplift the rich culture and communities of JAs, Asians, and Denverites. Her volunteer work with the following organizations intersects with these communities on a variety of levels, allowing for robust connections, understanding, and collaboration: Denver Women’s Commission, PFLAG Denver (Board Secretary), Simpson United Methodist Church (Ad Council co-chair), AAPI Colorado Coalition, and Okaeri Connects! Nikkei LGBTQ+ and Allies Team. Connect Japanese, with Stacey: staceys@sakurafoundation.org, sakurafoundation.org, or Denver @SakuraFoundationCO (Facebook).

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Shauna Medeiros-Tuilaepa

Photo credit: Heirloom Films & Photography

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Harry Budisidharta

Shauna (she/her) is owner and operator of No Ke Aloha, a food truck, caterer, and soon to be storefront in Aurora. No Ke Aloha serves traditional Polynesian favorites, including Hawaiian BBQ and unique fusion items, and has also become a trusted advocate and resource for the Pacific Islander communities in Aurora, Denver, and greater metro area. Shauna serves as Chair for Denver’s Asian American Pacific Islander Commission which is housed in the Mayor’s office and Native acts as a catalyst for the Hawaiian, community through advocacy and various Chinese, Irish, Portuguese, pathways of support. Aurora Shauna, who was recently named secretary for the AAPI Initiative of Colorado Democrats, has also played a large role in the Re-envisioning Denver’s Historic Chinatown Project. She is a proud mother of a beautiful blended family of eight and beyond. Connect with Shauna at: ShaunaMTui@gmail.com, noke aloha.com, or @NoKeAloha (Facebook).

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May 2021 | Special Edition

As the Executive Director of Asian PacifCom ic Development Center, Harry (he/him) Th works with government officials and comspeaki of all p munity partners to address health disparities in the refugee and immigrant communities. Due to his extensive experience in nonprofit and government relations, Harry has been quoted by The Wall Street Journal, The Chinese, Denver Post, The Aurora Sentinel, Westword, Law Week Colo- Indonesian, Aurora rado, The Colorado Statesman, Colorado Politics, and Asian Avenue Magazine.In his spare time, he likes to go hiking and to sing karaoke badly. Connect with Harry at: harry.budisidharta@gmail.com or @HarryBudisidhar (Twitter).

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Annie Guo VanDan Annie (she/her) is the co-founder and president of Asian Avenue Magazine, a monthly print publication that features Denver’s Asian community news and events. She is currently developing a directory for Asian-owned businesses and supporting restaurants through a monthly Asian Eats program in her role as Executive Director of the nonprofit Colorado Asian Culture and Education Network. She also works at Change Matrix, where she leads projects that provide diversity, equity, and inclusion training and equitable evaluation. A mother of two young daughters, Annie enjoys connecting people to each other and to resources. Connect with Annie at: annievandan@gmail.com, asian avemag.com, or @annievandan.

32 Chinese, Taiwanese, Aurora


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mmunity Leader At-Large

hese changemakers are out in the community ing up for social justice, advocating for the rights people, and working day in and day out to make this world a better place.

Japanese, Denver

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Photo credit: Anthony Camera

Marge Taniwaki

Tarika (she/her) is the Executive Director of the Nathan Yip Foundation. The Foundation historically built and funded school projects in remote villages throughout China, and continues to operate a rural teacher training program. Under Tarika’s leadership, it has shifted its funding focus to serving K-12 rural schools in Colorado. In her tenure, her team has granted $1 million to education projects worldwide. She previously served as the Operations Manager for the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival, and remains involved as its Public Safety Chair. Tarika is also a founding Board member of Theatre Esprit Asia, the first and only pan-Asian theatre company in the Rocky Mountains. In 2020, she launched a campaign to rebrand the company to Insight Colab Theatre, and expanded its mission to give all underrepresented communities a spotlight in mainstream theatre. Most recently, Tarika was appointed to the Denver Asian American Pacific Islander Commission. Connect with Tarika: at tarika@nathanyipfoundation.org.

Marge (she/her) was incarcerated for the first four years of her life at Manzanar near Death Valley, one of 10 major WWII US Concentration Camps. Haunted by traumatic childhood memories, Marge sought the real reasons for her incarceration along with 120,000 others of Japanese descent. Elders were reluctant to speak about their imprisonment, driving Marge to research, read, organize, travel and engage those who would. From revolutionary Nicaragua to colonized Puerto Rico, from the Navajo Nation to the southern border, Marge continues to organize for justice and a truthful telling of people of colHmong, or’s history by those who lived Thornton it versus those who perpetrated it. Connect with Marge at: marge taniwaki@aol.com.

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Nga Vương-Sandoval

Việtnamese, Denver

Nga (she/her) is a proud Việtnamese refugee and a tireless social justice advocate for underrepresented and marginalized communities. She’s a TEDx Presenter, the Refugee Congress Delegate for Colorado, a founding member and public speaker with Colorado Refugee Speakers Bureau, the first refugee elected to Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains Board of Directors, a Denver Elections Advisory Committee Advisory Member, a Noble Ambassador for Christina Noble Children’s Foundation serving impoverished children in Việt Nam and Mongolia, a Denver’s Little Sài Gòn Redevelopment Group Advisory Member and previously a Denver Asian-American Pacific Islander Commissioner. Nga was honored with a mural by internationally renowned artist Thomas Evans (I Am Detour) in Denver’s Historic Five Points District. Connect with Nga at: refugeecongress.org/delegates-1/nga-vng-sandoval1.

Tarika Cefkin

35 Thai, Denver

SomXai Vue SomXai (he/him) is the Chairman of the United States National Defense Corps, an organization that supports first responders during natural disasters and Homeland Security events. He is a former Thornton City Councilmember, a Board of Director for the E-470 Public Highway Authority, and a former president for the Hmong American Association of Colorado. He was awarded the Asian American Hero of Colorado Award in 2010 for his leadership and service in the Asian community, which includes serving in leadership roles with the National Association of Asian American Professionals Colorado, Colorado Dragon Boat Festival, Hmong Colorado Radio, Vue National Association, Inc., and the National Hmong Grave Desecration Committee. Connect with SomXai at: SomXai.Vue@comcast.net. 100 Asians To Know | Asian Avenue Magazine

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Hongkonger, Castle Pines

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Priscilla Rahn

Educators in Pre-K to 12

Ying Ong

These influential educators make a difference in the lives of Colorado children both in and out of classrooms, as they also work on policy changes to better the experiences and wellbeing of AAPI students.

39 Chinese, Denver

Ying (she/her) is a 4th grade teacher in the Cherry Creek School District, where she helps facilitate the AAPI Affinity Space for the district’s AAPI teachers, administrator, and nurses. Raised by Chinese-Vietnamese immigrant parents, she is currently working on building a stronger community network for Colorado teachers and parents to work alongside each another to make education more representative and inclusive of AAPI voices and histories in all schools. Connect with Ying at: ying@pchung@gmail.com.

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May 2021 | Special Edition

Priscilla Rahn (she/her) is a Denver Public Schools master teacher and small business entrepreneur. She is the Chair of the DPS Asian Education Advisory Council, a Douglas County Planning Commissioner and Vice Chairman of the Colorado Republican Party. Priscilla is involved in the Asian community supporting students and helping lead trainings on Asian culture and xenophobia. She understands that a high quality education, great healthcare, safety and entrepreneurship are valued in the Asian community, and she works to preserve access to these. With traditional values, she believes in access to prosperity, safety, limited government, immigration and education. Connect with Priscilla at: priscilla@priscillarahn. com, priscillarahn.com, or @priscillaaeacshaw (Facebook).

Indira Rani Walia

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Indian, Highlands Ranch

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Kevin Leung

Kevin (he/him) is the School Board Director for the Douglas County School District and serves on the Colorado Department of Education’s Accountability Work Group. He is Colorado’s only Asian immigrant elected official. He and his family have lived in Colorado for 30 years and have owned local businesses. In 2019, his business won the Colorado Governor’s Minority Business Award. Kevin serves as the Chair of the 146-year old Hop Sing Tong’s Denver Chapter and as an Advisor for the Overseas Community Affairs Commission, ROC (Taiwan). He was named an Asian American Hero of Colorado in 2018 and won the Colorado Association of School Boards McGuffey Award in 2020. Kevin has earned two master’s degrees from the University of Colorado. Connect with Kevin at: kevinyleung@hotmail.com.

Korean/ Black, Highlands Ranch

Indira (she/her) is a social studies teacher at Cresthill Middle School in the Douglas County School District with 20 years of experience in middle school education. She holds two master’s degrees in Political Science and in Instruction and Curriculum. Her mission as an educator is to equip students with the tools they need to become critical thinkers, problem solvers, and lifelong learners. She is also a private Hindi language teacher and has taught at the University of Colorado and University of Denver. She is also involved with a summer teacher training program for educators nationwide to be introduced to the Dharmic cultural and religious traditions of India. From Himachal Pradesh, India, she has lived in America for nearly 40 years and has served as the President of the India Association of Colorado. Connect with Indira at: indirawalia@yahoo.com.


Higher Education

These AAPI professors and academic advisors have an increasingly important role in the education and learning of young people of color.

Ken Lee

Dr. William Wei

Hmong,

Ken (he/him) is an aca- Westminster demic advisor at CU Denver. He loves being able to help students navigate their way through college as a career! Outside of work, he serves as the Lee Clan’s Board Member for the Hmong American Association of Colorado. In this role, he has the privilege of collaborating with fellow community members to provide support for the needs and interests of the greater Denver Hmong community. Connect with Ken at: klee7789@gmail.com or 720.209.3573.

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Dr. Faye Caronan Dr. Caronan (she/her) is an Associate Professor of Asian American Studies, the director of CU Denver’s Ethnic Studies Program, and CU Denver’s inaugural Chancellor’s Faculty Fellow on Racial Justice. She is committed to transforming our understanding of American history through the incorporation of the often forgotten histories of people of color. Connect with Dr. Caronan at: Faye.Caronan@ucdenver.edu or Filipino, @fayecaronan.

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Denver

42 Chinese, Dr. Wei (he/him) is a Lafayette Professor of Modern Chinese History at the University of Colorado Boulder, Editor-in-Chief of the Colorado Encyclopedia, a member of the State Historians Council, 2019-2020 Colorado State Historian, and a former academic dean of Semester at Sea. He is the author of Counter-Revolution in China (1985), The Asian American Movement (1993), and Asians in Colorado (2016), which was selected by the Colorado Sun as one of the 50 books you should read about the American West. Currently, he serves on the steering committee for the Re-envisioning Denver’s Historic Chinatown Project. Connect with Dr. Wei at: william. wei@colorado.edu.

Dr. Jennifer Ho Dr. Ho (she/her) directs the Center for Humanities & the Arts at the University of Colorado Boulder and is also a Professor of Ethnic Studies. She is president of the Association for Asian American Studies and has written three books, several academic articles and book chapters, and many public facing pieces addressing the intersections of race, sex, and class in Asian America. In addition to her scholarship in Asian American literature and culture, she is active in community engagement around issues of race and intersectionality, leading workshops on anti-racism and how to talk about race in our current social climate. Connect with Dr. Ho at: colorado. edu/ethnicstudies/people/core-faculty/jennifer-ho or @drjenho (Twitter).

Chinese, Lafayette

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100 Asians To Know | Asian Avenue Magazine

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Soyon Bueno

Korean,

Soyon (she/her) has worked in higher education for Denver over 20 years focused on recruitment, retention, advising and cultural centers. She is passionate about supporting all students to find their full potential through academic, personal and cultural support. As the Director of CU Denver Asian American Student Services (AASS), she tries to amplify DEI issues and the concerns of the AAPI community. AASS offers a wide array of services and programs to support, engage, and educate all students. Its mission includes supporting the success of AAPI students, encouraging them to become actively engaged in their learning experience, promoting students’ exploration of social identities, leadership, and professional development, and providing opportunities for networking. Connect with Soyon at: soyon.bueno@ucdenver.edu.

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Erin Yoshimura Erin (she/her) is the Founder and Chief Empowerment Officer of Empowerful Changes, LLC, a company that empowers clients through equity and leadership training and executive coaching. She launched an extensive equity and inclusion program that combines workshops, diversity coaching and courageous conversations, and has worked with corporations, government agencies and nonprofit organizations across the country. Erin previously served as the Executive Director of Japanese, the Colorado Dragon Arvada Boat Festival, the largest dragon boat festival across the U.S., and created the organization’s Emerging Leaders Program for young APIDAs to cultivate leaders. “There’s no ‘I’ in team, but there’s ‘U’ in culture and there’s ‘we’ in empower.” Connect with Erin at: erin@empowerful.com, empowerful.com, or linkedin.com/ in/erinyoshimura.

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DEI Doers These leaders not only recognize the importance of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, they are actively training and coaching others to elevate DEI in our communities, workpaces and schools.

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May 2021 | Special Edition

Kimberly (she/her) is the founder of The MixdGen Podcast, InVinity Productions, and the co-founder of Sister Circle Retreats. She describes herself as “that Chinese-ish looking mamita” as she identifies as a mixed Chinese and Puerto Rican cisgender woman. Her current focus is to provide healing modalities to historically underserved communities in order to address internalization of racism and other marginalizations. She does this work through DEI workshops, speaking engagements, and event gatherings. Kimberly’s in-depth background in ethnic studies, women’s studies, and liberation and healing framework sets the groundwork for everything she builds. Connect with Kimberly at: kimberlesa@gmail.com or @kimberly.ming (Instagram).

Kimberly Ming

47 Chinese, Puerto Rican, Denver

Dr. Rachele Espiritu Dr. Espiritu (she/her) is a Filipina immigrant, research psychologist, evaluator, and capacity builder who centers DEI in her training and coaching for leaders and community members. She brings skills in facilitation and strategic planning, and values working in partnership with diverse communities to build power in the most impacted communities. Dr. Espiritu is passionate about service leadership and community engagement and serves on numerous boards in Colorado. She is a founding partner with Change Matrix, a minority- and womenowned small business that motivates, manages and measures change to support communities and systems that improve lives. Connect with Rachele at: respiritu@changematrix.org, changematrix.org, or linkedin.com/in/rachele-espiritu-6825143.

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Filipina, Denver


Yangmee Lor Yangmee (she/her) co-founded MAI (pronounced ‘my’), which stands for Making An Impact, to present more opportunities to the Hmong community. The organization recently released its first e-magazine highlighting Colorado’s Hmong community (found at: iam-mai.org). The intercultural guide was published by Adams County. Yangmee is also a board member with the National Lao-Hmong Memorial Foundation, which works to to remember the Lao-Hmong’s sacrifices in the Secret War. She is a founding board member with the Asian Chamber Foundation and a board member for Colorado Dragon Boat. She is a life insurance agent who teaches others how to start their own life insurance business, and she also helps create courses and content for life coaches. Connect with Yangmee at: yangmeelor@ffsmail.com, betterfuturefinances.com, or iam-mai.org.

Hmong, Denver

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Sara Moore Connected Culturists

Phong Vo

These community influencers are preserving and sharing Asian culture like there’s no tomorrow, especially encouraging young people to keep the traditions of Asian cultures alive today and for years to come.

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Sara (she/her) is the Executive Director of Japanese, Colorado Dragon Boat, the umbrella organization that encompasses the Colorado Dragon Mixed Race, Boat Festival, Colorado Dragon Boat Film FestiGolden val, and AAPI Emerging Leaders Program. Sara’s passions include rock climbing, hiking, and learning about her Japanese heritage. She can talk on end about her grandfather, Masamichi (Mac) Suzuki who was interned during WWII as a nisei at Tule Lake, California. He later served on the ABCC (Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission) in Hiroshima, Japan, as a OBGYN studying fertility in the victims of the atomic bombs. Connect with Sara at: sara@cdbf.org, cdbf. org, or @COdragonboat.

As leader of the Colorado Asian Cultural Heritage Center (CACHC) and a Deputy with the Denver Sheriff’s Department, Phong (he/him) has dedicated his life in service to the community. Phong started CACHC as a nonprofit in 2005 and has since been keeping the culture of dragon and lion dancing alive and thriving in the Denver community. Through his enduring efforts and vision, the center functions as a safe space for youth to learn, perform, and compete in dragon and lion dancing. As part of his vision, all training and equipment is provided at no cost to ensure Vietnamese, that there are no barriers to community youth having the opportunity to learn about the art and culture. Connect with Phong at: @CACHCdragonlion Denver (Facebook) or cachc.dragon.lion (Instagram).

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Namita Khanna Nariani Namita (she/her) has a Bachelors in Architecture from Mumbai and a masters degree from the University of Colorado Denver, but a heart and soul of a dancer, teacher, and choreographer. She founded Mudra Dance Studio over 25 years ago through which she passes down Indian dance traditions and uses dance as a teaching tool in schools and festivals to promote diversity and inclusivity. Her influence has spanned decades, generations, and borders. She empowers young people —boys and girls— to be authentic and confident. She rejuvenates older people—professionals—to rediscover creative expression. Connect with Namita at: namita@mudradancestudio. us, mudradancestudio.us, or @mudradance.

Indian, Aurora

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100 Asians To Know | Asian Avenue Magazine

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Pasha Ripley

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Korean, Caucasian Denver

Born in Wonju into a family who escaped from North to South Korea, Pasha (she/her) immigrated to the US as a toddler. Growing up, she hid being queer from family fearing judgement and shame. Now Pasha is the co-founder of Parasol Patrol, which protects youth from hate groups that show up at LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC events. Parasol Patrol uses umbrellas to shield kids from seeing signs, angry faces and ear protection to muffle taunts shouted at them. Pasha is proud to organize communities showing kids that they are loved not in spite of who they are but because of who they are. Connect with Pasha at: pasha@parasolpatrol.org or parasolpatrol.org.

LGBTQIA+ Innovators Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersexed, asexual, and pansexual

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Chinese, Denver

Kat Ling

Kat Ling (she/they) is a queer, Asian American leader and the Interim Chief Executive Officer for Moonshot edVentures, a nonprofit dedicated to surfacing and supporting a diverse pipeline of leaders to launch innovative schools and programs in Metro Denver. In her role, Kat leads a team of three to support a 68-leader network that is >80% people of color and >60% women and non-binary. Prior to Moonshot, Kat worked at Teach For America helping found the Arkansas region, taught fourth grade in rural Mississippi, and served in various leadership capacities for GLSEN, a national LGBTQ+ educational equity organization. Kat attended Cornell University and received a Masters through the University of Arkansas. Connect with Kat at: linkedin.com/in/kat-ling-34981620.

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May 2021 | Special Edition

Yeong Cheng

Taiwanese, Denver

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Yeong (he/they) is a founder of Denver Asian Collective and believes that Asians need to consolidate power, especially here in Denver. A first generation Taiwanese-American, they moved here from Dallas expecting a safer, more progressive environment and instead found that racism in Denver hides under a veil of progressive language and yard signs. They’d like to make Denver feel a little safer. For income, Yeong builds collaborative partnerships with Fortune 500 companies; he seeks to do the same between the various Asian organizations and intersections in Denver, so we can come together as a community and collect our power toward Asian solidarity greater than the sum of its parts. Connect with Yeong at: yeong@denverasiancollective.com.

LGBTQIA+ AAPIs have been on the forefront of movements for survivor advocacy, LGBTQIA+ liberation, bodily autonomy, and sex positivity. They have been instrumental in achieving civil rights progress in the US. We celebrate the intersection of AAPIness and queerness by recognizing the contributions these AAPI innovators bring to our communities, across the diverse intersections within the AAPI experience.

Laila (she/her) is a retired 12 year Army veteran, who serves on the Board of Directors for Minority Veterans of America. Born and raised in Hawaii, Laila dedicated much of her work by making a career in public speaking through advocacy and activism for LGBTQIA youth, transmilitary members and veterans, and AAPI equity. She talks about the intersections of being transgender, female, a person of color, a veteran, AAPI, Hispanic and a spouse to a transgender service member serving in the military. Laila and her husband were recognized as the one of the first transgender service members to publicly transition in the military before the trans military ban was lifted in 2016. ConHawaiian, nect with Laila at: @lailaireland (TwitFilipino, ter), @laila.ireland (Instagram), or Puerto Rican @theofficialirelands (Facebook).

Laila Ireland

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Colorado Springs


Dr. Lynn Tran, co-founder of Denver Asian Mom Extraordinaires (DAMEs), is a momma, wife, health practitioner, and self-care empowerment coach. Inspired by her desire to promote diversity and cultural awareness in her own interracial family unit, DAMEs was born in July 2019. Today, it is a popular Facebook group, connecting women from Colorado Springs to Fort Collins, that gives space for women who identify as moms, to find their voice and connect with other women. Dr. Tran is the owner of Wild & Precious Chinese, Optimal Living, a brain-based practice Wheat that supports women and children who struggle with neurodevelopmental disRidge orders, fertility, and autoimmune disorders. Connect with Lynn at: hello@wpopti malliving.com, 720.667.3650, wpoptimalliving. com, or @wildpreciousoptimalliving.

Dr. Lynn Tran

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Aurelia Grinstead

Joanne Liu

Chinese, Denver

Joanne is a life-long educator and mother of two. She is a former middle and high school SPED teacher, a former Denver Public Schools assistant principal, and has also served on the executive level of a nonprofit programming school doing operations and community engagement. She currently supports underrepresented, low-income, first-generation undergraduates at CU Boulder. She has served as the VP of Operations for National Association of Asian American Professionals Colorado, the operations team of the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival, and was the Denver Ambassador for The Cosmos. Currently, she is a commissioner on the Denver Asian American Pacific Islander Commission and is part of the team working on the Re-envisioning Denver’s Historic Chinatown Project. She is the co-founder of Denver Asian Mom Extraordinaires and the co-founder of Asian Girls Ignite. Connect with Joanne at: joanne@asian girlsignite.org, asiangirlsignite.org, or @asiangirlsignite.

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Denver Asian Mom Extraordinaires

Filipino, Westminster

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On top of being moms, the women of DAMEs are entrepreneurs, educators, and healers. DAMEs is a group that supports and empowers moms from all walks-of-life to navigate through the wins and struggles of motherhood, while promoting diversity and cultural awareness within family units. With over 1000 members, DAMEs hopes to grow a diverse village rich in inspiration, support, empowerment, and resources.

Learn more on Facebook: @denverasianmomextraordinaires

Mimi Luong Ye

Aurelia is the Fil-Am Vote coordinator for Colorado through the National Federation of Filipino American Associations Region V, and currently serves as the Membership Committee Director for the Asian Real Estate Association of America, Greater Denver Chapter. She is also the founder of AureliaGHomes and the CEO of Elevation Global Solutions. Her goal is to help improve the lives of every family and individuals through homeownership especially the Asian-American community. A mother of three, Aurelia has a heart of servant leadership and has volunteered with various local nonprofit organizations in different capacities. Connect with Chinese, Aurelia at: aureliag@kw.com, 720.979.3049, Centennial aureliaghomes.com, or egsolutions.ph.

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Born and raised in Denver, Mimi grew up with a strong sense of family, community, and pride. A mother of two boys, her dedication to family comes from her parents. Immigrants from Vietnam, her family established the Far East Center, the heart of Little Saigon Denver, in the 80’s. While running her gift shop, Truong An Gifts and event planning business, Sweetest Day Co, she also takes on managerial duties at the Far East Center and is a liaison for Little Saigon Denver. She hopes to share her family’s legacy with events like Far East Center’s Lunar New Year celebration and Mid-Autumn Festival. Connect with Mimi at: @truongangifts, @sweetestdayco, or @fareastcenter.

100 Asians To Know | Asian Avenue Magazine

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Japanese, Denver

61 Health & Wellness Champions These health advocates provide direct services to Colorado’s diverse communities as well as work to ensure that health issues are being addressed in our marginalized communities.

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Dr. Ida (she/her) grew up attending the Denver Buddhist Temple where she served as youth director for over 15 years. She serves on the Sakura Foundation and Sakura Square, LLC Boards and helped start the Asian American Educational Opportunity Program on the CU Boulder campus, the Asian Pacific Development Center and the National Asian American Pacific Islander Mental Health Association where she serves as Executive Director. She received her PhD in Clinical Psychology and has spent over 40 years addressing mental health of AAPIs. One of her greatest joys is working with community-based organizations around the country. Connect with Dr. Ida at: djaida@gmail. com or naapimha.org.

Vietnamese, Denver

Teresa (she/her) is from Denver. She identifies as a Vietnamese-American woman with a disability. Living with a disability and being a first-generation child of immigrants, she has a deep understanding of how challenging navigating systems was for multicultural families, like hers. Teresa received her Master of Public Health from the University of Colorado and has dedicated her career to improving health care policies and systems for underserved populations. Her policy experience expands from state to federal level and has a focus on bridging the gaps between the pediatric and adult health care systems for people with disabilities. Connect with Teresa at: teresa.nguyen.official@ gmail.com or @teresa.grams (Instagram).

Teresa Nguyen 24

May 2021 | Special Edition

Dr. Robin Yasui

Dr. Yasui (she/her), a Japanese American from the East Coast, has called Denver home for over 30 years. She is a geriatrician practicing at Denver Health, caring for seniors representing 65 different countries. This allows her to interact with fascinating patients from every corner of the world. It also allows her to teach students about cultural richness of Denver as well as the culture of aging, in and of itself. She has a particular interest in looking for commonalities among Denver’s diverse communities, working with young Japanese Americans as they develop their leadership roles in our city. As a person of mixed heritage, she encourages us all to explore the various identities that make us who we are, finding ways in which we connect with one another rather than divide us. Connect with Dr. Yasui at: robinyasui@gmail.com.

Dr. DJ Ida

62 Japanese, Denver

Dr. PJ Parmar Punjabi, Aurora

Physician Dr. P.J. Parmar (he/him) founded Ardas Family Medicine, a private practice that serves resettled refugees, and Mango House, a home for refugees with activities and services that include dental care, food and clothing banks, churches, scout troops and afterschool programs in Aurora. In addition to being a family doctor, Dr. Parmar runs a dental clinic, youth programs and other endeavors for resettled refugees in the Denver area. A TED speaker, he focuses on process efficiencies in underserved primary care medicine and challenges the notion that private practices can’t thrive while serving low-income patients. He has also been recognized for his work founding a Boy Scout Troop for resettled refugees. Connect with Dr. Parmar at: mangohouse@ardasclinic.com

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Patricia Kaowthumrong

Thai, Westminster

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As the food editor of 5280 Magazine, Patricia (she/her) is the first person of Asian descent to oversee the publication’s dining coverage. She’s dedicated to showcasing the diversity of Colorado’s rich culinary scene by telling stories about all of the talented chefs, artisans, restaurateurs, and other culinary pros who call the state home and hopes to make 5280’s coverage more inclusive by viewing the scene through the lens of an Asian-American woman. Reach out to her with story ideas at dining@5280. com. Connect with Patricia at: @whatis pattyeating.

Kim Ngan Nguyen

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Gil (he/him) is a journalist, editor, author, blogger, public speaker and consultant who covers Japan, Japanese American and AAPI culture and social justice issues in blogs, articles and social media. He’s the chair of the Denver Takayama Sister City Committee, and a member of the board of trustees for Historic Denver. He’s the author of “Being Japanese American,” a history of Japanese Americans, and is currently working on “Tabemasho! Let’s Eat!,” a history of Japanese food in America which will be published in 2022. Connect with Gil at: gil@nikkeiview.com or nikkeiview.com.

Gil Asakawa

67 Japanese, Arvada

Media Mavens

Vietnamese, Centennial

Kim (she/her) has been in the Colorado media business for more than 20 years, working behind the scenes, leading digital strategy for multiple media properties. Originally from California, she moved to Colorado to launch TheDenverChannel.com for KMGH-TV/ Denver7 in 2001. She is currently the Senior Director of Digital Platforms for Colorado Public Radio, where the mission is to deliver meaningful news, music, and cultural experiences to everyone in Colorado using the power of the human voice in all its forms. Connect with Kim at: Vietnamese, Denver CPR.org or @TheKimNguyen (Twitter).

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66 Indian, Denver

Shawn Chitnis Shawn (he/him) is a reporter for KCNC-TV. Born and raised near Seattle, he has spent the past five years covering Colorado for CBS4 News. His reports cover a range of topics and issues including housing, education, restaurants, as well as the arts. He has been a member of the Asian American Journalists Association and the South Asian Journalists Association since he graduated from college. When he is not working on his next story, you can catch him trying new places to eat around the metro area and visiting the latest exhibitions at local museums. Connect with Shawn at: smchitnis@cbs.com, cbsdenver.com, or @shawnchitnis.

Denver’s Asian American journalists work across all sectors, from print to TV to web, oftentimes being the only person of Asian descent in the newsroom.

Joe Nguyen Joe (he/him) is a digital sports strategist for The Denver Post. Born and raised in the Denver metro area, he spent more than a decade covering the AAPI communities for various publications, including Asian Avenue magazine, prior to joining the Post. He was also the president of the Asian American Journalists Association’s Denver chapter. He enjoys cooking and trying out new restaurants and breweries. He briefly dabbled in the world of competitive eating after college. Connect with Joe at: jnguyen@ denverpost.com or @joenguyen (Twitter). 100 Asians To Know | Asian Avenue Magazine

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Deborah Yim

Christine Han

Christine (she/her) is a second generation Korean American attorney and founder of the Han Law Group that specializes in immigration, family law, and criminal defense. She is a Top 40 under 40 attorney and is known for her litigation skills and high success rate in cases. Coming from a family of immigrants and watching her own family struggles has shaped her dedication to immigrants and Korean, the community. She is a prominent family lawyer specializing Aurora in divorce and custody serving the Asian community. She is a role model to young leaders and a mediator that handles disputes in various areas of law. Connect with Christine at: chris tine@han-legal.com, han-legal.com, or @Christine_denverlawyer (Instagram).

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70 Chinese, Denver

Deborah (she/her) is one of the few Asian attorneys in Colorado who represents individuals in employment and civil rights cases. Almost all of her clients are women, people of color, and/ or immigrants who have been discriminated, harassed, or retaliated against in the workplace. As a former Assistant U.S. Attorney and seasoned litigator, Deborah has taken on multi-billion dollar corporations in the fight to obtain justice for her clients and to restore accountability to the workplace. As community outreach co-chair for the Asian Pacific American Bar Association, she established a free virtual legal hotline, free legal clinics, and other programs for Colorado’s Asian community. She is the founder of Kids Reading to Succeed, a literacy program for at-risk youth in LA, and is developing Kids Against Hate, a program empowering Colorado youth to stand up against hate, discrimination, and bullying. Connect with Deborah at: dyim@ primeralaw.com, primeralaw.com, or @primeralaw.

Lawyers for the People

These lawyers use their knowledge and critical thinking skills to defend their cases, while using compassion and empathy to serve their community.

Margaret Choi

Being an immigration attorney in Colorado for over thirty years, Margaret (she/her) is convinced that anything is possible. Born in China and growing up in Hong Kong, she knows hard work breeds success. Her dream to help vulnerable immigrants came true when she became an immigration lawChinese, yer in the 1980s, then her desire to help promote Denver the social, political and economic well-being of AAPI became a reality when she became the president of OCA Colorado in 2016. OCA hosts programs such as senior care, an education fund, vaccine clinic, 5K panda run, community picnic, and Asian cultural events that touch many lives in the AAPI communities. Connect with Margaret at: msc@lauandchoi.com.

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Kenzo Kawanabe Kenzo Kawanabe (he/him) is a fourth-generation Coloradan from the San Luis Valley, and a partner at Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP, one of Colorado’s oldest and largest law firms. Kenzo is a trial lawyer who represents clients in high stakes commercial matters, and he is deeply committed to community service. He served as President of the Colorado Asian Pacific American Bar Association, and was the first-ever General Counsel for the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association. Kenzo has also served on nonprofit and foundation boards including Colorado Legal Services, Denver Foundation, and Boettcher Foundation. He is a board member of Asian Americans Advancing Justice which nationally works on issues including battling hate incidents against Asian Americans. And he is on the board of Sakura Foundation, which supports the Tri-State/ Denver Buddhist Temple and celebrates Japanese American heritage, culture, and Japanese, community. Connect with Kenzo at: kenzo.kawanabe@dgslaw.com or 303.892.7541.

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Denver

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Howard Chou Howard (he/him) is the Vice Chair of the Colorado Democratic Party, the first Asian elected party officer. He is the founder and chair of the Asian American Pacific Islander Initiative of Colorado Democrats. He works to provide a platform to elect Democrats in the fight for racial justice, climate care, healthcare for all and immigration rights among other issues. Howard is also a community activist and organizer working to Chinese, build social and political equity, Highlands especially among the Asian population in Colorado. He volRanch unteers with the Asian Pacific Development Center to help immigrants at citizen workshops and also local groups that aid unhoused needs and underprivileged school communities. Connect with Howard at: hchou@coloradodems.org or coloradodems.org.

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Tejwant Mangat Tejwant (he/him) has been engaging the AAPI Democratic community as the outreach director for the Asian American Pacific Islander Initiative of Colorado Democrats and takes an active leadership role for the Colorado Sikhs. As a dedicated public servant, he also operates a small business and is a member of the Lafayette Human Rights Commission. He has been working particularly hard during the pandemic by supporting healthcare workers and organizing vaccine clinics. Tejwant prides himself on helping others in need regardless of their background. Connect with Tejwant at: Mangatts@yahoo.com or 303.359.6781.

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Indian Sikh, Punjabi, Lafayette

Indian, Denver

74 Neal K. Walia

Neal (he/him) is a proud member of Colorado’s South Asian community, where he actively organizes for rallies, social justice campaigns, as well as for progressive candidates running for office. He works remotely for a political tech startup in Washington D.C. called Quorum, where he co-founded and co-chaired Quorum’s award winning Inclusion & Diversity Council. Neal previously worked as a Legislative Coordinator for the National Governors Association and as a Program Coordinator for former Governor and current U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper. At the Governor’s Office, Neal was a member of Colorado’s Asian Advisory Council and was accepted into the Denver Leadership Foundation’s Impact Denver program and the New American Leaders’ Ready to Lead program. Before starting his career in America, Neal worked as an English teacher in Okayama, Japan for two years. Connect with Neal at: @neal_k_walia.

Indira Duggirala Indira (she/her) is a community organizer. She worked with Democratic National Committee (DNC) member Radhika Nath to rally South Asians to engage in the 2020 elections. She is the current chair of South Asian Democrats of Colorado (COSAD) initiative. The mission of COSAD is to represent the South Asian community in the Colorado Democratic Party and to increase South Asian engagement in Indian, the electoral process. Connect with Indira at: indiraduggirala@gmail.com Highlands

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Ranch

APIDAs* in Politics Our community power and collective voice is growing in Colorado. These are the leaders at the helm organizing and activating our community to get involved with Colorado politics. *Asian Pacific Islander Desi Americans

100 Asians To Know | Asian Avenue Magazine

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Viki Eagle

Japanese, Sicangu Lakota, Denver

Viki (she/her) is a culturally responsive Native American photographer that has spent a decade photographing for her project Real Life Indian. Using an artistic style of photojournalism and portraiture, Viki seeks to understand and share the intersections of identities and the experience in everyday life for Native American communities. Her most recent project titled “AZN NTVS” focuses on the intersectionality of Native American and Asian mixed identities during the COVID-19 era and the current lived experiences. She is a PhD student at University of California, Los Angeles in the Department of Anthropology, studying Sociocultural Anthropology and American Indian Studies. Connect with Viki on Instagram at: @reallifeindian or @thenativesakura.

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Artists

Painters, muralists, authors, photographers, curators, and performers - Denver’s AAPI artists lift up aspects of their Asian heritage through their art.

Filipino, Korean, Hawaiian, Chinese, Denver

Originally from Honolulu, Hawaii, Abbie (she/her) has lived in Colorado since 1983. Last year she worked with the Asian Roundtable of Colorado’s 2020 APIA Census Complete Count initiative. Abbie’s colorful abstract paintings hang in private and corporate collections, and she was named a Top 50 Emerging Artist by Art Business News. Many of her works have strong environmental themes. “I see my paintings taking on lives of their own in viewers’ imaginations,” she explains. “I want them to always discover something new when they look at my paintings,” says Denver artist Abbie Kozik. Connect with Abbie at: abbiekozik.com or @abbie kozik (Instagram).

Ratha Sok Ratha (he/him) is a first generation Cambodian American self taught muralist, entrepreneur and businessman. Born and raised in Denver, Ratha grew up in the Westwood neighborhood. He is passionate about the arts in various forms but specifically painting murals has become his life passion. Along with that, Ratha is also the founder of a Cambodian streetwear brand called “Khmer Ninjas” and a cofounder of “Zuni Studio Denver,” a photography studio. Ratha is thankful for the opportunities the community has helped him Cambodian, experience and is lookDenver ing forward to making positive impacts through his work. Connect with Ratha at: rathasok.com or @_rathasok (Instagram).

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Korean, Denver

Sammy (she/her) is a Denver-based artist that has been promoting Asian American art through curating and operating a contemporary art project space called Collective SML | k in Denver’s Santa Fe Art District area. Born and raised in Seoul, Korea, she moved to Southern California at the age of 16. Her artwork typically questions socio-cultural issues surrounding a sense of belonging, cross-cultural psychology, and immigration. Currently, she is honored and empowered to share an Asian narrative-based art exhibit at Emmanuel Art Gallery in May and a curatorial project on the Anti-Asian sentiment in the US at RedLine Contemporary Art Center in September. Connect with Sammy at: sammy@ studiosmlk.com, studiosmlk.com, @sammy_seungmin_lee (Instagram), or @studiosmlk (Facebook).

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Abbie Kozik

Sammy Seung-min Lee


Courtney Ozaki

82 Japanese, Lakewood

Courtney (she/her) is a third and fourth-generation Japanese American cultural connector and creative producer born and raised in Colorado. She is the founder of the Japanese Arts Network (JA-NE) - a national resource for artistic collaboration and connection that provides access to resources and develops programs and platforms that support, advance, and strengthen visibility for Japanese artists in America. Courtney is deeply committed to lifting up the voices of marginalized artists and cultivating cross-cultural exchange and multi-generational dialogue. She is motivated by the impetus that an inclusive arts culture leads to a more productive and empathetic society. Connect with Courtney at: JapaneseArtsNetwork@gmail.com or ja-ne.org.

Eriko Tsogo

Peter Trinh

Andrea Wang Andrea is the award-winning author of picture books The Nian Monster (Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature Honor), Magic Ramen (Freeman Book Award Honor), and Watercress (JLG Gold Standard Selection, seven starred reviews). The Many Meanings of Meilan, her debut middle grade novel, publishes in August 2021. Andrea’s work explores culture, creative thinking, and identity. She is also the author of seven non-fiction titles for the library and school market. Andrea holds an M.S. in Environmental Science and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing for Young People. Connect with Andrea at: AndreaWangBooks@ gmail.com or andreaywang.com.

Vietnamese, Denver

83 Photo credit: Elaine Freitas Photography

Chinese, Centennial

84 Peter is an actor, writer and comedian from Denver. He was one of the first students to receive an accredited Bachelor of the Arts in Theatre from Metropolitan State University of Denver, in 2007, and has been working in film and theatre ever since. Humbly regarded in the Asian community as a local celebrity, you can also catch Peter as an annual emcee for the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival and Aurora Global Festival. In 2015, Peter wrote and performed the one-person-show about his parents’ escape and immigration from Vietnam in 1981 - Boat Person - which has been performed in five states, and garnered modest awards. Connect with Peter at: actor@petertrinh.net, peter trinh.net, or @petertrinhartist.

Eriko is a cross-disciplinary artist and DACA recipient born on the steppes of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. She grew up in Budapest, Hungary and immigrated to the US in 1999. She is the Creative Director at the Mongolian Culture and Heritage Center of Colorado. Her animated short film “Tears of the Sky” premiered at the 2019 Colorado Dragon Film Festival. In 2021, Eriko and BETART Collective’s interactive art installation “Mongovoo” is due for permanent exhibition at the Meow Wolf Museum in Denver. She advocates for advancing Mongolian, racial and cultural justice through the arts. Connect with Eriko at: erdensyren@yahoo.com or erikotsogo.com. Denver

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100 Asians To Know | Asian Avenue Magazine

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Business Professionals

Fran Campbell

Beyond building their own careers, these professionals lift up entrepreneurs and provide mentorship to young people.

86 Filipino, Lakewood

Born and raised in Denver and a daughter of Filipino immigrants, Fran (she/her) is the President/CEO of the Asian Chamber of Commerce. She was previously the Senior Clinical Support at Jefferson Center for Mental Health for 17 years, and was the Operating Co-Manager of Simsiman Family Enterprises LLC, a family-owned small business for 30 years. She served 14 years as a Denver commissioner for both the Asian American Pacific Islander Commission and the Immigrant & Refugee Commission, while also serving in elected officer roles for the Filipino-American Community of Colorado for many years. She also happily serves as a member of the Cultural Advisory Board at Heritage Camps for Adoptive Families where she is also a presenter at the camps. In this last year, she participated as a Committee Co-Chair on the Denver Economic Relief and Recovery Council, helping to ensure equity outreach in all COVID19 relief programs. Connect with Fran at: president@acccolorado.org or acccolorado.org.

Riyaz (he/him) is the Vice President of Program + Talent with Camelback Ventures, an accelerator for entrepreneurs of color and women. He also has the honor of serving on the Denver Asian American Pacific Islander Commission. His journey has taken him to his parents’ home country of India, classrooms in Baltimore, the chilly winters of Minnesota, and now the snowcapped peaks of Colorado. Riyaz is a foodie and approaches food as he does life - seeking diversity, opportunities to connect with others, and a chance to have a good time over a shared meal. Connect with Riyaz at: linkedin.com/in/rgayasaddin.

Chance Horiuchi

88 Japanese, Aurora

Riyaz Gayasaddin

87 Indian, Denver

Photo credit: Philip Poston, The Sentinel

Chance (she/her) is Japanese from Hawai’i and is the Executive Director of the Havana Business Improvement District - On Havana Street. She serves 4.3-miles of a special district and advocates for over 1000 diverse businesses and 209 commercial properties. She volunteers and serves on boards for the City of Aurora’s Business Advisory Board, Aurora Asian Pacific Community Partnership, Visit Aurora, Aurora Chamber of Commerce, Aurora Sister Cities International, MHBH Comitis Crisis Center and many more. Being from Hawai’i, she enjoys the international hidden gems On Havana Street, thrives around the diversity of entrepreneurs and celebrates the community that has welcomed her. Connect with Chance at: Chance@OnHavana Street.com, 720.788.8986, OnHavanaStreet.com, or @OnHavanaStreet.

Khanh Vu Khanh (he/him) has led the Society of Asian Scientists & Engineers (SASE) since 2011. SASE has over 100 US chapters and a National Convention of over 3,000 attendees and 100 sponsors. SASE connects its collegiate members with internships and jobs to organizations across the US. SASE also develops leadership through its chapters. SASE’s growing professional programming helps API employees reach their fullest potential. Khanh has been part of the Colorado API community since 1976 through various roles: Denver Public Schools (DPS) student board, DPS Asian Educational Advisory Vietnamese, Council, Vietnamese Catholic Church and the Asian business community. Lakewood Connect with Khanh at: saseconnect.org or linkedin.com/in/vuqkhanh.

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Lisa Nguyen Lisa (she/her) is the team leader for The International Group at RE/MAX Professionals and is a fair housing and diversity advocate for the AAPI community both in Colorado and the nation. She is currently serving as the 2021 Co-Chair for the AREAA (Asian Real Estate Association of America) National Diversity and Fair Housing Summit and was the 2020 AREAA Greater Denver Chapter President. Lisa also serves on the board of the Community Alliance Council for the DMAR (Denver Metro Association of Realtors) and also volunteers her time at her children’s school serving as the School Advisory Council Chair 2020-present. Connect with Lisa at: lisanguyen@remax.net, 303.669.5255, lisanguyenremax. Vietnamese, com, or @lisa_nguyen_remax.

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Joanne Tabellija-Murphy

Denver

Monique (she/her) is a business consultant, President of BNC Speakers, investor, and boss. As president of a speakers bureau, she represents one of the top 50 speakers in the entire world, a roster of pro athletes, hall of famers, champions, executives, CEO’s, leaders, and investors. She is dedicated to helping entrepreneurs build and scale 6 & 7 figure businesses. With an emphasis on personal development, she helps her clients achieve lasting results in performance. Coming Cambodian, Denver from an immigrant family herself, Monique has a mission to help other minority owned businesses achieve massive success. Connect with Monique at: moniquesar.com, @moniquesar.boss (Instagram), or @moniquesar_boss (Twitter).

Monique Sar

Joanne (she/her) is Walmart’s National Director of Corporate Affairs. For years, she has strived to advance racial equality, advocate for gender equity, and promote multiculturalism in all aspects of her work. She is passionate about developing, growing, and advancing historically underserved communities, especially diverse women. Prior to Walmart, she managed community partnerships and multicultural relations at MillerCoors. She is the Visionary and Chair of The LeadHERship Coalition, bringing together corporations and nonprofit organizations to lift diverse women’s voices and their career advancement. She is also the Chair of the Business Advisory Council for National OCA Asian Pacific American Advocates. Connect with Joanne at: @JoannetheLola or linkedin.com/in/ Filipino, joanne-tabellijaIndian, murphy-b8900ba. Denver

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Clarence Low Clarence (he/him) is a current board member and a past President and CEO of the Asian Chamber of Commerce, which connects businesses to the Asian community in the greater Denver Metro area. Its connections within the community has expanded considerably over the recent years – reaching deep into the multi-ethnic Asian community as well as through partnerships with companies increasing their diversity and inclusion efforts. Clarence received the University of Colorado, Denver Rosa Parks Diversity Award in 2015, and was recognized as an Asian American Hero of Colorado in 2013. Connect with Clarence at: clow@acccolorado.org.

93 Chinese, Denver

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Chris Tran Young entrepreneur and tattoo artist, Chris (he/him), opened Harbour Lights Social Club in 2013 at the age of 23. Chris specializes in black and gray photo realism and has received multiple awards at tattoo conventions. He has been recognized for the top tattoo shop in Aurora, according to the CBS Denver. As a first-generation Vietnamese American and a member of the Asian community, he would like to let the younger Asian generations know that no dream is unattainable, if you put in the work and dedication. Connect with Chris at: @ChrisTran.Tattoos.

Vietnamese, Aurora

Entrepreneurs

Liane Pensack-Rinehart

These entrepreneurs do more than run a business, they reinvent the industries they work in. They are always asking how it can be done better and then they do it. We hope you will follow and support their businesses.

Vietnamese, Denver Tran (she/her) is more than just a Colorado businesswoman - she is a creative community leader who has dedicated her career to creating safe, non-toxic businesses. From her early days with the Fabric Lab and Svper Ordinary to her current ventures with Base Coat Nail Salon and Matriarch Mercantile, Tran remains dedicated to using her platform to promote the causes and people she is passionate about. From organizing COVID-19 vaccination clinics to serving on the Denver City Council District 9 diversity and inclusion committee, Tran is an important player in the Colorado community. Connect with Tran at: basecoatnailsalon.com, matriarchmercantile.com, @tranwills, @basecoatnailsalon, or @matriarchmercantile.

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Tran Wills

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Liane (she/her) is the owner and chocolatier of Colorado Cocoa Pod, making handcrafted chocolate bonbons with an Asian-inspired twist. She currently sells these delicious, beautiful—but never too pretty to eat—bonbons online and at popups across Colorado. She is an ex-software engineer turned chocolatier and graduate of Johnson & Wales University Denver’s Baking & Pastry Arts program. Her bonbons bring a unique twist as many of her flavors are Asian-inspired (matcha, yuzu, pandan, hojicha, etc.) from her childhood. They pack a lot of flavor without the sugary sweetness. Earlier this year, she showcased her original creation: a 12-piece Zodiac Animal Bonbon collection.

Chinese, Japanese, Denver

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Connect with Liane at: ColoradoCocoaPod.com or @ColoradoCocoaPod.

Kim Le

97 Vietnamese, Denver

Kim (she/her), a daughter of Vietnamese immigrants, is the founder of Little Big Fridge, a community fridge project in Denver, led by volunteers that connects food sources to those in need by placing fridges in targeted areas stocked full of fresh produce. The project provides an “eliminate waste” solution for restaurants and bakeries for food that would otherwise be unused. She uses her marketing and networking skills from her previous career working for Martell Cognac as the Brand Ambassador for the Asian market in Southern California where she was born and raised. She now calls Denver home, and she is bringing a soup kitchen to her CloudKitchen that serves Asian fusion cuisine. Connect with Kim at: littlebigfridge.com, kindnessbowl. com, @little.big.fridge, or @kindness.bowl.


Samm Diep-Vidal

Samm (she/her) is a four-time national champion in billiards. Though she no longer competes, she’s been teaching the sport for nearly 20 years; most recently as a senior instructor for Billiard University and for Denver Parks & Recreation. Samm, who grew up in Denver, is raising a multi-cultural family. Her daughters speak Cantonese, Spanish, Mandarin and English. When she’s not teaching pool, she’s probably exploring a creative outlet. You can find her trying a new recipe, home-brewing Chinese, kombucha (which her family calls “Sammbucha”), tending Denver to her vegetable garden, packing an artistic bento box for her kids or hand-painting pots for succulent arrangements. Connect with Samm at: samm@sammspocket.com, sammdiep.com, @bentoboochnbilliards (Instagram).

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Priya G Hariharan

99 Indian, Denver

Priya (she/her), a student of the legendary violinist late Padma Bhushan Lalgudi G. Jayaraman, is a professional South Indian Classical (Carnatic) vocalist and violinist. Priya founded Bhairavi School of Music, celebrating its 20th anniversary, which is the only musical institution in Colorado to train students in Indian classical violin and vocal music . She has conducted many lecture demonstrations in universities, performed with many professional musicians in the USA and in India, and also performed at many prestigious music festivals. She has played with the Grammy nominated Devotchkas and musicians of different musical genres. Connect with Priya at: classicalpriya@gmail.com, priyahariharan.com or @PriyaGHMusic.

A Message About the 100 Asians To Know In this critical time, Asian Avenue magazine (AAm) felt it was important to use our platform to lift up the stories of our brilliant and talented Asian, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, Desi Americans (AAPI, AANHPI, and APIDA). In the past, AAm featured the Asian American Hero of Colorado awardees in May in celebration of Asian Heritage Month. As we are unable to gather for an awards ceremony this year, the event was postponed. We turned our focus to creating a SPECIAL EDITION that would elevate the strengths, contributions, and achievements of our Asian community in Denver (and Colorado). We curated this list with the help and input of community members. AAm has been serving Denver since 2006 and has been fortunate to have worked with most (nearly all) of the individuals highlighted here. We know that this is not a comprehensive list and does not include everyone that should be highlighted. Please continue to reach out to us at asianavemag.com or @asian avemag with story ideas and connections to individuals in the community. We hope you will take this list and use it for good. Reach out to those listed to share ideas and collaborate, to donate to their causes, or to learn from them in mentorship. Happy Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month!

Christina Yutai Guo

100 Chinese, Centennial We end our 100 list with our very own Christina (she/her), who is the publisher of Asian Avenue magazine. Alongside her daughter, Annie Guo VanDan, the two founded the monthly magazine in 2006. Christina, who was a journalist in Taiwan before immigrating to the US, went on to establish Rocky Mountain Chinese Weekly, Mile High Asian Media, and the Colorado Chinese Radio Network. She has been an active leader and volunteer in Denver’s Chinese community since the 1990s, and during this time, she saw a need for supports for the Chinese aging population. In 2017, she founded Happy Living Adult Daycare in Aurora to provide social and health services to Chinese elders. Connect with Christina at: mile highasianmedia.com or happy livingadultdaycare.com.

100 Asians To Know | Asian Avenue Magazine

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curated by Boram Jeong, Boyung Lee, Sammy Lee, Chad Shomura

inVISIBLE | hyperVISIBLE: Art Exhibit, Public Lecture & Workshop on Asian America

September 10- October 10, 2021 Opening: September 10 at 6 PM at RedLine Contemporary Art Center

inVISIBLE | hyperVISIBLE is a public humanities project centered on

an art exhibition at RedLine Contemporary Art Center in Denver, Colorado that features works by Asian American artists. The exhibition will be supplemented with artist talks, community-building workshops, and public lectures that will develop an educated and engaged public around Asian and Asian American issues in the face of strong anti-Asian sentiment.

Participating artists: Jennifer Ling Datchuk, Sammy Lee, Renluka Maharaj, Suchitra Mattai, Maryrose Mendoza, Tsogo Mijid, Yong Soon Min, Tuan Andrew Nguyen, Scott Tsuchitani, Joo Yeon Woo Contact: invisible.hypervisible@gmail.com

Sponsors:

2350 Arapahoe St, Denver, CO 80205 Regular hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 11 AM - 5 PM, 303-296-4448

Artworks by Joo Yeon Woo (left) by Renluka Maharaj (right)


G E T I N V O LV E D N O W

in Colorado’s Asian Pacific Islander / Desi American Community

“Activism is a journey not a destination.” DONATE: Donate at apdc.kindful.com to the APDC fund directly working on addressing hate crimes targeting the Asian community. REPORT: Report at apdc.org/report any crimes and complete this victim assistance form if you or someone you know experiences an attack or hate-related incident. ACT: Take steps to help by using our call to action at: tinyurl.com/call2action-aapico. VOLUNTEER: Support our Asian elderly population by volunteering to run errands, such as grocery shopping, or walking seniors around their neighborhood: tinyurl.com/co-elder-support. HEAL & SHARE: Join a healing circle at coredei.com/healing-circles to share and connect with others about how you are feeling with recent events. READ: Participate in an AAPI-led book club to read Minor Feelings by Cathy Park Hong. Sign up at: denverasiancollective.com/book-club. SUPPORT: Support local businesses by browsing our directory for Asian-owned businesses and restaurants and sign up for an Asian Eats event at: cacendenver.org. ATTEND: The Colorado Dragon Boat Festival is on this year! Mark your calendar for September 25 & 26, 2021 to immerse yourself in a weekend of Asian culture, food, performances, and dragon boat racing! Visit cdbf.org.

See more ways to get involved at: coasian.carrd.co Ad sponsored by:


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33 AAPI ORGANIZATIONS

to follow, donate to, or get involved By April Park with in Colorado Asian American Pacific Islander Initiative of Colorado Democrats

The Asian American Pacific Islander Initiative of Colorado Democrats is the AAPI community and voice of Colorado’s Democratic Party. They promote voter and political engagement for progressive issues that are related to and affect the AAPI community. They work to increase awareness and education of the Democratic values and principles that can benefit the AAPI population in Colorado. As the organizers that work within the community, they create strategies to have more inclusion, pass more laws/measures and elect more Democrats from the AAPI community. They are the go-to A-team for progressive AAPIs in Colorado! Follow them on Facebook to join virtual discussions and meetings.

aapicodems@gmail.com

Asian Avenue magazine is a monthly print publication that features news and events about Denver’s Asian American Pacific Islander community. The magazine lifts up the stories and lived experiences of community members and encourages its readers to get involved in civic engagement and with social change. Founded in 2006, the magazine hosts events such as an annual Lunar New Year celebration, networking mixers and community leadership workshops.

asianavemag@gmail.com 303-937-6888 asianavemag.com @asianavemag

@AAPICODems

Asian Chamber of Commerce

Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Colorado

The Asian Chamber of Commerce (ACC) is a membership organization that provides economic development and business opportunities for its 130 members which include companies across the Denver metro area. ACC connects with Asian employee resource groups to help support their diversity and inclusion efforts and also partners with community organizations and nonprofits such as Mile High United Way, Asian Pacific Development Center, and the American Red Cross to help promote and crossresource programs and initiatives.

The Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Colorado represents and advocates for the interests and ideas of the APA attorneys, judges, law professors and legal professionals in Colorado and provides coordinated services to the Colorado community. Professional growth and fellowship are fostered through connecting its members to new opportunities and educational programs and by aiding in cultivating paths for emerging law students.

info@acccolorado.org

acccolorado.org

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@acccolorado

apabacolorado@gmail.com apaba-colorado.org

@apabacolo


5 6 7 8 Asian Girls Ignite

Asian Girls Ignite (AGI) is a community of Asian and Pacific Islander middle school girls (grades 6-8) and women celebrating who they are by elevating their voices, exploring their identities, and caring for their wellbeing through the power of storytelling. They welcome anyone who identifies as a girl, gender nonconforming, queer, or transgender individuals of Asian, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, South Asian, or mixed descent. AGI is committed to supporting Colorado API girls in cultivating positive self-concepts and a collective identity.

hello@asiangirlsignite.org

Asian Pacific Development Center Asian Pacific Development Center (APDC) was founded in 1980 after a large number of refugees resettled in Colorado after the Vietnam War. A group of community leaders formed APDC and opened a mental health clinic—recruiting and training AAPI community members to provide culturally and linguistically responsive assistance. APDC has evolved through the last 40 years to meet the growing needs of their community and exists today to serve and support all immigrant and refugee communities with a whole health, community-based engagement approach through health, education, and advocacy.

asiangirlsignite.org

info@apdc.org

@asiangirlsignite

Asian Real Estate Association of America Denver Chapter

The Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA) - Denver Chapter is a network of dedicated Asian American real estate professionals that promotes and educates the AAPI community in sustainable homeownership opportunities. They actively host classes and brunches (and lunches) in all real estate and housing topics to catch the community up to speed with the current market. This network promotes and educates the AAPI community in sustainable homeownership opportunities. They host classes, networking parties, home buying seminars and are the go-to resource for all things real estate.

areaadenver@gmail.com

info@areaadenver.com 253-332-5986

areaa.org/greaterdenver

@areaadenver

@apdc.colorado

303-923-2920 @APDCF

apdc.org

@AsianPacificDev

linkedin.com/company/asianpacificdevelopmentcenter

Asian Roundtable of Colorado The Asian Roundtable of Colorado (ARC) was founded in 1994 as an umbrella organization to empower Colorado Asian and Pacific Islander communities by providing a forum to discuss and act upon issues of mutual concern. ARC is guided by the leadership of AAPI communities, businesses and individuals and is currently managed by a small group of past presidents. Rather than delivering on-going programs, ARC activates when specific needs emerge. The last initiative was the statewide education and outreach of 251,000 Colorado Asians for the 2020 Census.

CoAsianCCC@gmail.com 303-328-1868 (Stella Yu)

Organizations to Follow | Asian Avenue Magazine

37


9 10 11 12 Aurora Asian/Pacific Community Partnership

Culturally inclusive values power this established Aurora-based, Spirit of Aurora, organization. The Aurora Asian/Paci­fic Community Partnership stands as a collaborative and humble supporter for local API businesses and residents. Find updates on their Facebook page and website for news about cultural events and presentations, educational issues and programs, and business assistance.

admin@auroraasian.org

Colorado Asian Culture and Education Network (CACEN) has been on a noble mission for over 10 years to bridge the general public to the diversity of Colorado’s Asian communities. Championing cultural education, understanding and awareness, CACEN hosts annual programs (Asian American Heroes of Colorado, Colorado Chinese Radio Network) and events in partnership with local AAPI-owned businesses (Asian Eats) and community organizations, as well as youth leadership conferences.

303-326-8695

cacendenver@gmail.com

auroraasian.org

303-937-6888

@AuroraAsian

Colorado Asian Cultural Heritage Center

The Colorado Asian Cultural Heritage Center (CACHC) introduces Denver youth to the art and discipline of the elaborate dragon and lion dance, ultimately stimulating and nurturing health and wellnessfocused mindsets. Thanks to the efforts of founder Phong Vo, Denver has a chance to experience Asian culture in the most mesmerizing way.

cacendenver.org

@cacendenver

Colorado Sikhs The Colorado Sikhs organization focuses on widening the net of harmony and unsullied compassion, helping those in need, and developing mutually respectful relationships with communities across Colorado. They currently focus on annual “Langars” on Capitol Hill, anti-bullying & Sikh education resources, workshops, and engagement on a variety of Interfaith topics.

pvo15@yahoo.com

naureen.singh@coloradosikhs.com info@coloradosikhs.com

303-669-1095

720-432-8390

cachcdragonlion.org

coloradosikhs.com

@cachc.dragon.lion @CACHCdragonlion

38

Colorado Asian Culture and Education Network

May 2021 | Special Edition

@coloradosikhs linkedin.com/company/colorado-sikhs


13 14 15 16 Colorado Dragon Boat

We know. The word “Festival” effortlessly follows. You probably already heard of or have personally experienced these spectacular (annual) 2-day celebrations centering around Asian culture, electrifying dragon boat competitions, entertainment and great food. They’ve also proudly hosted Colorado’s only all Asian and Asian American film festival. It doesn’t stop there. They help pave the way for young professionals with their Emerging Leaders Program. Colorado Dragon Boat brings an engaging and dynamic approach to empowering the Asian Americans of Colorado.

info@cdbf.org 303-953-7277

cdbf.org

@codragonboat

CORE: Community Organizing for Radical Empathy Mapped out and thoughtfully assembled by a team of resilient women of color, CORE is bringing a new wave of “radical empathy” and inclusivity to Colorado. They march alongside social justice through collaborative communityoriented events and by curating accessible tools and resources to educate the public. Join CORE in their healing circles to connect with like-minded, change-seeking individuals in a safe place.

infocoredei@gmail.com coredei.com @core.dei

@coredei

linkedin.com/company/core-community-organizingfor-radical-empathy

linkedin.com/company/colorado-dragon-boat-festival

Denver Asian American Pacific Islander Commission

Having launched back in 2007, Denver Asian American Pacific Islander Commission (DAAPIC) has been operating tirelessly as a support liaison and facilitator between the AAPI community of Denver, the Agency for Human Rights and Community Partnerships and the office of the Mayor of Denver. There is always something going on in the efforts to create a clearer voice and a safer environment for the AAPI community. Monthly Commission meetings are held open to the public link is available on their website!

Jessica.Jorgensen@denvergov.org

@DAAPIC

denvergov.org/Government/Departments/ Human-Rights-Community-Partnerships/ Commissions/Asian-American-PacificIslander-Commission

Denver Asian Collective The Denver Asian Collective tackles the unique challenge of gathering the diverse and rather widely dispersed Asian population here. Shifting gears during the pandemic from social gathering events to online support services, the meaning of a “collective” remains true to this organization. Connect with them to join in on support group discussions or their book club highlighting talented Asian authors. A link is also available on their website to report any incidents of racism towards the AAPI community.

info@denverasiancollective.com

denverasiancollective.com @denverasiancollective

linkedin.com/company/denver-asian-collective

Organizations to Follow | Asian Avenue Magazine

39


17 18 19 20 Filipino American Community of Colorado

Established in 1954, the Filipino American Community of Colorado (FACC) creates a sense of family for all its members and those that they help or collaborate with. As one of the oldest AAPI organizations in Colorado, FACC uses their community center to graciously host language classes, art performances and youth and senior programs.

Heritage Camps for Adoptive Families Since 1992, Heritage Camps for Adoptive Families (HCAF) has been supporting the healthy development of families formed by adoption. HCAF promotes the successful transition of adopted children into healthy, confident, well-grounded adults who are proud of themselves, their families, and their heritage. HCAF helps adoptive families become part of a larger community “just like themselves,” with shared experiences, challenges, and opportunities.

coloradofilipinos@hotmail.com

info@heritagecamps.org

coloradofilipinos.org

303-320-4234

@TheFACC

Japanese American Resource Center Of Colorado

heritagecamps.org @HCAFpage @heritagecamps linkedin.com/company/heritage campsforadoptivefamilies

“Keeping Heritage & Culture Alive!”

Japanese American Resource Center Of Colorado (JARCC) preserves, educates, communicates and most importantly, celebrates the evolving Japanese American experience in Colorado. JARCC is currently holding virtual workshops, tours and classes for those that want to explore the culture or simply reconnect with their Japanese ancestry.

info@jarcc-denver.org

info@jascolorado.org

jarcc-denver.org

303-592-5364

@JARCColorado

May 2021 | Special Edition

The Japan America Society of Colorado (JASC) expands people-topeople relationships between Colorado and Japan by serving as a bridge to connect via business, education and cultural opportunities. With nearly 400 members representing business, civic, and individual interests, JASC serves as the premier resource for companies and individuals in Colorado who are working with or have connections to Japan.

720-232-0097

@jarcc_denver

40

Japanese American Society of Colorado

jascolorado.org @JapanColorado linkedin.com/company/ jascolorado


21 22 23 24 25 Japanese Arts Network

The Japanese Arts Network (JA-NE) is a Colorado-based national resource for artistic collaboration and connection that supports and strengthens visibility for Japanese artists in America and is brings together artists, communities, and stakeholders in celebrating and advancing Japanese arts experiences in America. Recent projects included ZOTTO a supernatural immersive Japanese production, KINTSUGI: THE ART OF HEALING Finding Beauty in Repair, a Denver Arts & Venues Cultural Partner Program, and the upcoming program YOKOSO! A Japanese Cultural Mix-tape, an educational cultural experience through arts and engagement.

japaneseartsnetwork@gmail.com

ja-ne.org

@JapaneseArtsNetwork

Nathan Yip Foundation

This organization was built upon a humble wish. Founders Linda and Jimmy Yip started the Nathan Yip Foundation (NYF), turning tragedy into their late son’s thriving legacy - fulfilling his wish to fund educational opportunities for children worldwide. With roots in China, their current focus is on Colorado; they collaborate to provide K-12 teachers and students in rural Colorado with equal access to learning opportunities and resources. As a public charity, they raise every cent of the grant funds they distribute. Since 2002, NYF has funded 76 projects serving 63,000 students worldwide.

info@nathanyipfoundation.org 303-817-8400

nathanyipfoundation.org

@nathanyipfoundation

@yipfoundation

linkedin.com/company/nathan-yip-foundation

Korean American Community Foundation of Colorado The primary goal of the Korean Community Foundation of Colorado (KACFC) is to elevate the next generation of Korean Americans and instill meaningful values by way of cultural education, philanthropy and community service. Check out their Facebook page for news on the latest virtual workshop on topics such as leadership and mental health.

info@kacfc.org

kacfc.org

970-402-3582

@KACFCO

Mile High Japanese American Citizens League Part of the largest and oldest civil rights organization focusing on Asian Pacific Americans, Mile High Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) strives to promote a world that honors diversity, justice, and advocacy while preserving the cultural heritage of Japanese-Americans. They actively work to support students and encourage educational and social values through various scholarships, fellowships and leadership opportunities.

info@milehighjacl.org

milehighjacl.org

@milehighjacl

National Asian American Pacific Islander Mental Health Association National Asian American Pacific Islander Mental Health Association (NAAPIMHA) advocates for public policy on issues that affect mental health including suicide prevention among youth, empowering mental health consumers, and access to high quality affordable mental health services for all. The organization is currently planning a roundtable series to address Asian mental health in May.

djida.naapimha@gmail.com

naapimha.org

@naapimha

Organizations to Follow | Asian Avenue Magazine

41


26 27 28 29 National Association of Asian American Professionals Colorado National Association of Asian American Professionals (NAAAP) is the go-to hub of career advancement and leadership development for the Asian American community. The NAAAP Colorado Chapter hosts keynote/inspirational speakers and a series of virtual workshops revolving around topics of diversity (having difficult or sensitive conversations), leadership and finance.

info@naaapcolorado.org colorado.naaap.org @NAAAPCO

Nikkeijin Kai of Colorado Nikkeijin Kai of Colorado operates from the heart of what it truly means to be Japanese-American. Formerly known as the Japanese-American Association of Colorado, they took to rebranding in honor of reflecting the multiple generations that have called Colorado their home. They host and sponsor many events celebrating and promoting cultural exchange, just one of the ways of engaging the newer generations. As of this year, they are actively and resolutely supporting the Amache National Historic Site Act to preserve and memorialize a compelling part of JapaneseAmerican history.

@naaap_colorado

c.hada@comcast.net

linkedin.com/company/ naaap-colorado

nikkeijinkai.co

@NAAAPcolorado

OCA Colorado

OCA is a national organization dedicated to advancing the social, political, and economic well-being of Asian Pacific Americans in the United States. The local chapter in Colorado is active in organizing events that support Asian seniors in the community, a 5k run to raise awarness about the importance of health, and an annual lunar new year celebration. OCA Colorado is currently working to provide COVID-19 vaccine clinics.

ocacolorado@gmail.com ocacolorado.org @ OCACO

42

May 2021 | Special Edition

Outdoor Asian Colorado This is where diversity and inclusivity greets the great outdoors with open arms. The Colorado chapter of a national movement, Outdoor Asian Colorado is quite literally on the move to spread the message that the outdoors - however it’s defined - is for everyone. Their mission is to create a diverse and inclusive community of Asian and Pacific Islanders in the outdoors. Connect with OAsCO on Facebook to learn about upcoming events and outings.

outdoorasianco@gmail.com outdoorasian.com @outdoorasiancolorado


30 31 32 33 Philippine American Society of Colorado

Rallying for positive change and unity, Philippine American Society of Colorado (PASCO) brings a proactive energy to each gathering that they host. The jam-packed calendar on their website speaks for itself with a variety of family activities, student services, themed events, potlucks, language classes and fundraisers. You may also want to check out their talented dragon boat team, the Fighting Dragons!

Sakura Foundation Sakura Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization that celebrates Japanese and Japanese American (JA) heritage, culture, and community. Its programming includes the Mirai Generations Leadership Program, grants, scholarships, and educational and entertaining cultural events. It co-presents the annual Cherry Blossom Festival each June with Tri-State/Denver Buddhist Temple. We value our lasting partnerships with JA, Asian, and non-Asian organizations.

info@sakurafoundation.org

aljaycorp@comcast.net

303-951-4486

303-886-7607

sakurafoundation.org

phil-amsocietycolorado.org @PhilAmColorado

@SakuraFoundationCO @sakurafoundation

@fightingdragonspasco @pascodragonboat

South Asian Bar Association of Colorado

South Asian Bar Association of Colorado (SABA-CO) is a local chapter of national organization representing the interests of South Asian legal professionals in Colorado. They stand for social justice and sponsor local, collaborative events in support of the AAPI community. This organization serves to support South Asian attorneys and law students through professional networking events and mentorships.

president.sabacolorado@gmail.com sabanorthamerica.com

Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers (SASE) is a national organization with chapters across schools and university campuses across the states. Its mission is to provide opportunities in education and employment for advancement of Asian heritage scientists and engineers. SASE helps them excel to their fullest potentials with programs focused on APItargeted leadership development, STEM competitions, national conferences, career fairs and both women and military initiatives.

ideas@saseconnect.org saseconnect.org @SASE @saseconnect linkedin.com/company/saseconnect

@sabacolorado

Organizations to Follow | Asian Avenue Magazine

43


NOW PLAYING: MAY - AUGUST, 2021 21 DRIVE-IN SHOWS + 3 AMPHITHEATRE SHOWS

MOVIES JUST LOOK BETTER HERE

GET TICKETS AT DENVERFILM.ORG


DRIVE-IN

DRIVE-IN

AMPHITHEATRE

AMPHITHEATRE


Enjoy 35+ Asian restaurants and markets Celebrate Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage

Month in May by enjoying a meal On Havana Street in support of these restaurants and businesses!

ASIAN FUSION Cody’s Cafe & Bar • 10203 E Iliff Ave CHINESE Bird’s Nest Restaurant • 10605 E Mississippi Ave Little Panda Express • 523 Havana St Old Town Hot Pot – Coming Soon! (Former Mr. Panda Super Buffet • 2852 S Havana St Bu Ten Seconds Yunnan Rice Noodle – Shi Miao Dao • 2000 S Havana St DESSERT/BEVERAGE Milk Roll Creamery • 2712 S Havana St Ste A Snowl Café • 1930 S Havana St #5-6 Trap Tea • 2790 S Havana St Ste U Whispers on Havana (Bar) • 1535 S Havana St. #A INDIAN & NEPALESE Chutney Restaurant • 2740 S Havana St JAPANESE Katsu Ramen • 1930 S Havana St #4 Sushi Katsu • 2222 S Havana St

KOREAN Angry Chicken • 1930 S Havana St #13, Dae Gee Korean BBQ • 1910 S Havana St Unit 1 Dah Won Rice Cake 2222 S Havana St DMZ Pub – Korean Pub • 2680 S Havana St #M Five Big Blessings Rice Cake • 2720 S Havana St Honey Bakery • 2000 S Havana St M Mart • 2000 S Havana St #4749 Muse Norebang & Cafe – Karaoke • 2222 S Havana St Unit D Seoul Korean BBQ & Hot Pot • 2080 S Havana St Seoul ManDoo • 2222 S Havana St Unit J Shin Myung Gwan Korean BBQ • 2680 S Havana St B Sintoburi Korean Kimchi and Food • 2720 S Havana St Unit I Thank Sool Pocha • 2222 S Havana St, Unit E Tofu House 1962 • 2353 S Havana St #D1 Yong Gung • 2040 S Havana St VIETNAMESE Pho 75  • 2050 S Havana St Pho 99 Aurora • 1080 S Havana St


Support Businesses Owned by People of Color In the summer of 2020, we saw a outpouring of support for the Black community in the wake of George Floyd’s death. Many people were asking how they could support the Black community and one way was to patronize Black-owned businesses. Put money into the pockets of Black business owners and intentionally choose to try new foods and businesses to experience Black culture. Around this time, platforms such as Google and Yelp, began indicating which businesses were Blackowned and making this a searchable function. Locally, publications including 303 Magazine and Westword, came out with lists of Black-owned businesses to support in Denver. Fast forward to spring of 2021, as the increase of hate crimes and violence towards Asian Americans became widely covered in media, the growing awareness and concern also had people asking, “How can we help? What can we do to support?” Many people in our local community have also been asking for lists of Asian-owned businesses so here is our attempt at getting one started for our Denver community. We appreciate all of the suggestions and crowd-sourced help we’ve received to get this going. We acknowledge that this list is not comprehensive and still needs more work and regular maintenance. We hope by including these businesses in our May issue, it gives our readers a sense of the many businesses that are owned by Asian Americans (that are not only restaurants). And in the spirit of May being Heritage Month, we encourage you to try a new business/visit a new provider! Happy Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month!

48

May 2021 | Special Edition

Thank you to Stephanie Lee, Giselle Cummings, and Mann Kongsomboonvech for their help to populate the businesses and information on these lists. Asian Avenue and Colorado Asian Culture and Education Network are currently working with the Denver Asian Collective to develop a more comprehensive directory, database, map, and smart app that will make this information more user friendly and accessible. If you would like to be involved in this process, e-mail asianavemag@ gmail.com.


Mental Health | Therapists For a list of mental health providers in Denver, go to:

tinyurl.com/therapists-den

This public list was crowd-sourced on a Google document created by Susanna Park, a global health researcher, who felt it was important for Asians and Native Hawaiian Pacific Islanders to be able to find therapists that could relate better to them and provide culturally, responsive care. Therapeasy, co-founded by Christine Thai Way, provides a matching service to connect individuals to therapists in Colorado and to eliminate barriers to mental health services. Learn more at: therapeasy.co.

Dentists Dayton Dental Dr. Dale Kim, Dr. Michelle Kim 2020 S Parker Rd F Denver, CO 80231 (720) 477-1449 daytondentaldenver.com IG / FB: @daytondentaldenver Magnolia Dental Dr. Christina Pham 9328 S. Jordan Rd Unit 109 Parker, CO, 80134 (720) 647-9880 magnoliadentalco.com IG / FB: @magnoliadentalco

Centennial, CO 80112 (303) 759-9535 topdentistdenver.com

envision-eyecare.com (720) 507-7004 IG: @envisionaurora

Nouvelle Dentistry Dr. Hanh Phi 8000 E Belleview Ave, Ste E15 Denver, CO 80111 (303) 770-8870 nouvelledentistry.com FB: @nouvelledentistry

Home Care Assistance of Denver Owner: Andy Ratana 4990 Kipling St. Unit B11 Wheat Ridge, CO 80033 homecareassistancedenver. com (720) 443-3371 FB: @homecareassistancedenver

Physical Health Aim High Chiropractic Dr. Conrad Bui Multiple offices (Aurora, Denver, Greenwood Village, Wheat Ridge) mydenverchiropractor.com (303) 922-2977 IG: @aim_high_ chiropractic FB: @DenverChiropractors

Miyamoto Family Dental Dr. Kimberly Miyamoto 2530 S Parker Rd, Ste 201 Aurora, CO 80014 (303)750-2460 drkimdentist.com hello@drkimdentist.com IG / FB: @miyamotofamily dental

Bodhi Treatment Center Starr Luu, Acupuncturist 1777 S Harrison St Ste 800 Denver, CO 80210 bodhidenver.com (303) 668-7174 IG / FB: BodhiDenver

Young Family & Cosmetic Dentistry Dr. Kathleen M. Young 7400 E Arapahoe Rd #200

Envision Eye Care Dr. Yumi Jeong 5001 S Parker Rd #204, Aurora, CO 80015

Integrated Wellness Center Dr. Susanna Sun Choi 10233 S. Parker Rd Ste. 200 Parker, CO 80134 iwcparker.com (303) 805-1264 Khoi Nguyen Family Practice Dr. Khoi D. Nguyen, DO 1770 S Federal Blvd Denver, CO 80219 (303) 975-0696 Wild & Precious Optimal Living Dr. Lynn Tran-McDonald 6650 W 44th Ave #2B Wheat Ridge, CO 80033 wpoptimalliving.com (720) 667-3650 IG / FB: @wildprecious optimalliving

Business Directory | Asian Avenue Magazine

49


Food Trucks Adobo Filipino Fusion 1309 26th Street, Denver (720) 480-5898 adobodenver.com BG Dough Chinese Egg Pancakes Denver @bg_dough WeChat: @jason1491811481 Chuey FU’s Latin-Asian Grub Denver (720) 557-7973 chueyfus.com @chueyfus Hangry Ohana Hawaiian BBQ 10471 S. Parker Rd, Parker (720) 287-2516 hangryohana.com @HangryOhana Miss Bʻs Vietnamese Food Truck Denver (303) 800-8101 missbsvietnamese.com/truck @missbsvietnamese Mu Vegan/Vegetarian Asian Denver mudenver.com @mudenver Mujka Korean Fusion Denver (720) 854-5222 mukjafoodtruck.square.site @mukjafoodtruck mukjafoodtruck@gmail.com No Ke Aloha Hawaiian/Polynesian Aurora 50

May 2021 | Special Edition

(720) 492-4321 nokealoha.com @nokealoha Orange Crush Filipino 19 S 3rd Ave, Brighton 720) 381-4993 orangecrunchfsd.com @theorangecrunch Pho King Rapidos Vietnamese Denver pkr-denver.com @pho_king_rapidos Samosa Shop Indian (specializes in samosas and chutney) Available at MadebyUs markets (908) 239-7628 samosashop.co Taco Choi Korean Fusion (303) 246-1205 Denver tacochoi.com @tacochoi Yuan Wonton Chinese / Dumplings (720) 961-3406 Denver yuanwonton.square.site @yuanwonton

Pop Ups & Catering & Delivery

Chzy Co Boards Charcuterie Order via DM @chzyco chzycoboards@gmail.com

The Funky Seoul Korean/Kimbap (720) 653-5410 Aurora delivery thefunkyseoul.com LeFancy Boards Charcuterie Order via DM lefancyboards.com @lefancyboards HellaHerbivore Vegan Filipino (408) 210-7696 hellaherbivore.com Social: @hellaherbivore Lyss’s Delish’s Dessert Shop Cakes Order via DM @lysssdelishs Riceboxxx Khmer and Filipino riceboxxden.com @riceboxxden SaranyaCooksThai Online classes via Zoom saranyacooksthai.com @saranyacookesthai Vicky’s Thai Available at Ruby’s Market/ Catering Available Denver @Vickysthaikitchen

Food trucks and pop ups are growing in popularity in Denver and we are proud of these innovative AAPI entrepreneurs for jumping into this industry and exploring new ways to make and deliver food!


Bakeries & Desserts

Beard Papa’s 1699 S Colorado Blvd, Denver (720) 242-8566 beardpapas.com @beardpapasdenver Colorado Cocoa Pod 5223 Malaya St, Denver, coloradococoapod.com @coloradococoapod Jada’s Mochi Donuts Available at Tea Station or Order via DM jadasmochidonuts.com @jadasmochidonuts Lotus Flour Bakery (847) 287-7361

annieslotusflour@gmail.com

@lotusflourbakery

Lover Boy Fine Chocolates Found at MadebyUs Markers Order: tinyurl.com/yy49ur8p

@loverboyfinechocolate Mango Mango 1144 S Colorado Blvd, Denver (720) 390-7671 mangmangdessert.com

New Saigon Bakery & Deli 640 S Federal Blvd, Denver (303) 935-7859 newsaigon.com @newsaigonbakery Not Yo Mama’s Cupcakes Found at MadebyUs Markers notyomamascupcakes.com @_notyomamascupcakes

Bubble Tea

Snowl Cafe 1930 S Havana St #5-6, Aurora (720) 542-9902 snowlcafe.com @snowl.cafe

Kung Fu Tea(s) kungfutea.com

The Enchanted Oven 520 Zang St Suite M, Broomfield (303) 537-4864 theenchantedoven.cafe @the_enchanted_oven_ bakery Third Culture Bakery 9935 E Colfax Ave, Aurora (720) 507-4830 thirdculturebakery.com @thirdculturebakery Third Culture Matcha Cafe 2500 Lawerence St, Denver thirdculturebakery.com @thirdculturebakery Tokyo Premium Bakery 1540 S Pearl St, Denver (720) 531-3784 tokyopremiumbakery.com @tokyopremiumbakery Tous Les Jours 5024 W 92nd Ave Suite B1, Westminster (720) 456-6627 tljus.com @TousLesJoursUSA Vinh Xuong Bakery 2370 W Alameda Ave, Denver (303) 922-0999 375 S Federal Blvd # 112, Denver, CO 80219 (303) 922-4968 @vinhxuongbakery

12201 E. Mississippi Ave Unit 123A Aurora, CO 80012 (720) 592-0969 @kftaurora 6365 E Hampden Ave Ste 102, Denver, CO (720) 370-8888 @kftdenver 8555 W Belleview Ave Ste G21, Littleton (720) 787-9876 @kft.littleton 1121 Broadway #102, Boulder, CO 80302 (720) 638-3470 @kungfuteaboulder Lollicup(s) 1589 S Colorado Blvd, Glendale (303) 504-6022 lollicupdenver.com @lollicupdenver 1046 S Federal Blvd, Denver (303) 937-6392 Master Tea(s) 6600 W 120th Ave Unit I, Broomfield (720) 583-1538 2205 W 136th Ave Suite 100, Broomfield (720) 535-4493 @masterteaboba Tea Street 4090 E Mississippi Ave, Denver (720) 863-8636 @teastreetdenver

Business Directory | Asian Avenue Magazine

51


Markets/Shops Arash International Market 2720 S Parker Rd, Aurora, (303) 752-9272

Lao Market 7302 Federal Blvd, Westminster (303) 428-3290

Asian American Super Market 11201 E Colfax Ave, Aurora (303) 366-3003

Little Saigon Market 375 S Federal Blvd, Denver, (303) 937-8860

Asian Market 2829 28th St, Boulder (303) 541-9377 Ben Thanh Asian Market 1001 S Federal Blvd, Denver, CO 80219 (303) 934-1664

M-Mart Korean supermarket 2000 S Havana St #4749, Aurora (303) 695-4676

Everest Grocery/Ananda Bazzar 3102 S Parker Rd A6, Aurora (303) 862-4753

M & I International Market 909 S Oneida St, Denver, (303) 331-1590

Family Asia Market 8800 E Colfax Ave, Denver (303) 399-3777

Nishimoto Trading Co Ltd 3870 Paris St # 5, Denver (303) 576-9111

H-Mart(s) hmart.com 2751 S Parker Rd, Aurora (303) 745-4592

Mythrie Indian Groceries 9064 Forsstrom Dr B25, Lone Tree (303) 993-7125

5036 West 92nd Ave, Westminster (720) 287-5340 Hmong Grocery Store 7141 Irving St A, Westminster (303) 280-6235 Krung Thai Grocery 11700 E Montview Blvd, Aurora (303) 343-9450

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Lotus Asian Market 844 S Buckley Rd, Aurora, (303) 752-3235

May 2021 | Special Edition

2200 W Alameda Ave #2B, Denver (303) 936-4845 12303 E Mississippi Ave, Aurora (720) 858-8818 6600 W 120th Ave, Broomfield (303) 410-8168 T-Trove Asian Decor 189 S Broadway, Denver (303) 722-0949 t-trove.com @ttroveasiandecor Tejal India Grocery 10351 Grant St #6, Thornton tejalashikaindiagrocery. com The Face Shop @faceshopcolorado 2765 S Parker Rd, Aurora (720) 255-2422 7166 W Alaska Dr, Lakewood (720) 749-2691

Truong An Gifts 333 S Federal Blvd #116, New Saigon Market Denver 1076 S Federal Blvd, Denver (303) 936-5004 (303) 937-7271 truongangifts.com @truongangifts Pacific Mercantile Co 1925 Lawrence St, Denver Viet Hoa Supermarket (303) 295-0293 225 S Sheridan Blvd, pacificeastwest.com Lakewood (303) 975-9900 Pacific Ocean Marketplace(s) pacificoceanmarket.com @pacificoceanmarket


Other Services

Adore By Nora Children’s Clothing adorebynora.com @adorebynora Andy Juy Designs Interior Design andyjuy.com @andyjuydesigns Bear Valley Wine & Spirits Liquor Store 3100 S Sheridan Blvd # F, Denver (303) 934-5827 bearvalleyliquors.com Brandon Iwamoto Photography Wedding, Business, Lifestyle Photography (720) 323-0758 brandoniwamoto.com info@brandoniwamoto.com @iwamotophotography Brass Monkey Wine + Spirits Liquor Store 1387 E South Boulder Rd, Louisville (303) 667-6669 Cherry Creek Liquors Liquor Store 13750 E Quincy Ave, Aurora (303) 699-0544 Colorado Auto Gallery Used Car Dealership 8020 W Colfax Ave, Lakewood (303) 954-9909 coloradoautogallery.com Colorado Budokan Karate/Martial Arts 3547 S Monaco Pkwy, Denver (720) 253-7473 coloradobudokan.com FB: @ColoradoBudokan IG: @COBudokan Denver Detail Club Car Detailing Service 5830 Downing St Unit A, Denver (303) 523-1547 denverdetailclub.com @denverdetailclub

Fashion Denver Fashion Designer 2590 Walnut St, Denver (303) 842-7298 fashiondenver.com @fashiondenverstyle

MK Service Tire/Auto Services 9230 E Colfax Ave, Aurora (303) 340-3991

Great Wall Chinese Academy Language School 9375 Cresthill Lane, Highlands Ranch (720) 583-4922 greatwallchineseacademy.org GTG Marketing Marketing & Design Agency 670 S Federal Blvd, Denver (720) 498-3513 gtgplus.com @gtgmarketing Kumon Learning Center Education 6262 S Parker Rd Ste 100, Centennial (720) 870-0547 kumon.com/foxfield

oceanservicellc.business.site Precision Racquet Works Tennis racquet stringing 10 Ogden Street, Denver (303) 884-8138 prwdenver.com New Western Mortgage Mortgage Loans Jessica Mai (720) 688-6677 nwestern.com Jessicamai615@gmail.com Spectacle Marketing Marketing Agency spectacle.work hello@spectacle.work @spectaclemarketing

Kumon Learning Center Education 3200 S Wadsworth Blvd, Lakewood (720) 399-9100 kumon.com/lakewood

Spring Tailor Clothing Alternation 8625 Washington St, Thornton springtailor.org

Lorenzo Jewelers Retail Jewelry Store 8501 W. Bowles Ave. Suite 2043, Littleton 303-948-4435 LorenzoJewelers.com Magic Rabbit Car Wash/Detail 5380 S Parker Road, Aurora (303) 766-7333 magicrabbitcarwash.com @magicrabbitaurora Mikado International Marketing Agency 1580 Lincoln St, Denver mikadointl.com @MIKADOIntl

Ocean Service Tire/Auto Services 9505 E Montview Blvd, Aurora (303) 364-8185

The Style Method Personal Style Coach bysamanthadawn.com samantha@bysamanthadawn.com @bysamanthadawn

Business Districts See more businesses in Little Saigon Denver along South Federal at: littlesaigondenver.com See more businesses On Havana Street in Aurora at: onhavanastreet.com

Business Directory | Asian Avenue Magazine

53


Hair & Nail Salons

Anthony Vince Nail Spa 7301 Santa Fe Dr. Unit 740, Littleton (720) 746-9525 anthonyvincenailspa.com @avnailspa

Hairdo 1042 S Federal Blvd, Denver (720) 519-1254 @haird0 O’Hair 2771 S Parker Rd, Aurora, (303) 750-8181

HQ Salon 3255 S Wadsworth Blvd, Lakewood Base Coat Nail Salons (720) 400-9655 2501 Dallas St Unit #262, hqsalondenver.com Aurora 3244 Navajo St #101, Denver @hqsalondenver basecoatnailsalon.com Lee Kaja Hair Salon @basecoatnailsalon 2751 S Parker Rd A, Aurora (303) 337-6222 Ha’s Hair Design 1021 S Federal Blvd, Denver leekaja.weebly.com (303) 922-2061 Lilac Salon 830 S Sheridan Blvd, Denver (303) 935-7756

ADVERTISE WITH US IN ASIAN AVENUE MAGAZINE WITH VARIOUS AD SIZES AND FLEXIBLE FREQUENCY, WE CAN WORK WITH YOUR BUDGET.

MARKETING@ASIANAVEMAG.COM | TEL: 303.937.6888 WWW.ASIANAVEMAG.COM ASK ABOUT OUR DISCOUNTS FOR NONPROFITS AND FIRST TIME ADVERTISERS!

54

May 2021 | Special Edition

Mainstream Nails 1705 E. 31st Ave, Denver (303) 386-3037 mainstreamnails.com @mainstream_nails Salon Joa 7155 E Colfax Ave, Denver (303) 284-9535 salonjoa.com @salonjoa Salon Vo 3773 Cherry Creek N Dr Suite 100, Denver (303) 929-1246 salon-vo.com @salonvodenver Thuy Beauty Salon 945 S Federal Blvd, Denver (303) 934-4088


Profile for Asian Avenue magazine

Asian Avenue Magazine: May 2021 Special Edition  

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