Asian Avenue Magazine - May 2023

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May 2023 Volume 18 | Issue 5 2023 Asian American Heroes of Colorado TEA TIME Tea Street Latea Bubble Tea Lounge 49th Annual Cherry Blossom Festival
Asian American/Pacific Islander Night Colorado Rapids vs. Real Salt Lake Saturday, May 20th at 7:30 PM Join the AAPI community at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park as the Rapids take on the Real Salt Lake on Saturday May 20th! TO PURCHASE/PARA COMPRAR: @ Dick's Sporting Goods Park TUES FRI: 9am - 6pm SAT: 9am - 1pm
See 40 years of Southern Colorado history and diversity ON VIEW NOW El Pueblo History Museum THROUGH THE LENS: THE PHOTOGRAPHY OF FRANK MURAMOTO


Happy Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month! May is our time to shine! With more than 20 events celebrating AAPI cultures and contributions, this month will fill us with pride—and keep us busy! Visit the Denver Zoo to see the animals, while supporting Asian vendors and performances, or enjoy a night out at the Colorado Rapids game for AAPI Night! There will also be workshops, speaker presentations, night markets, concerts, and performances all month long! Also, congratulations to Mudra Dance Studio for celebrating 30 years of dance! Join them for their annual recital. See a full list of events at:


Congratulations to this year’s Asian American Hero of Colorado awardees! Join us on Sunday, May 21, 2023 to honor and celebrate six exemplary community leaders and hear their stories!

This month, we share the stories of the 2023 Asian American Heroes of Colorado. The six honorees have all devoted their time, energy, and compassion towards serving their respective communities. Representing a mix of Asian ethnicities including Japanese, Filipino, Chinese, Vietnamese, Indian, and Korean, they remind us of the diversity of Colorado’s AAPI community that should be celebrated and shared! Congratulations to all!

Lastly, thank you to the Lunar New Year Allies Advisory Group for their work on HB 23-1271 that would make Lunar New Year an observed holiday on the first Friday of February every year in Colorado. At the time of print, the bill passed the House and is on its way to the Senate. These wins are worth celebrating as AAPIs continue to pave their way for representation and visibility!

May 2023 | President’s Note 4
Annie Guo VanDan, President Asian Avenue magazine Connect with us!





Web Designer JASON ZHANG



The 2023 Asian American Hero of Colorado awardees include organization leaders, community activists, and a local pastor.

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

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Asian Avenue magazine is in association with the Colorado Asian Culture and Education Network.

7 EVENT CALENDAR: AAPI Heritage Month events

8 COMMUNITY EVENT: Denver’s Cherry Blossom Festival prepares for 49th year

10 COVER STORY: 2023 Asian American Heroes of Colorado to be awarded on May 21, 2023 in Aurora

17 CAFE PEEK: Latea Lounge opens locations in Colorado after starting in the Midwest

MAY 2023

18 CAFE PEEK: Tea Street invites local community to play BINGO during AAPI Heritage Month

20 ON SCENE: Asian Roundtable of Colorado teaches students how to make electric bikes

21 ON SCENE: Frankie Anderson of Aurora Asian Community Partnership retires after 30 years of service

22 TAIWAN UPDATE: Sustainable health development in the postpandemic era



P.O. Box 221748 Denver, CO 80222 Tel: 303.937.6888

E-mail: Find

6 May 2023 | Table of Contents
on the cover
Photo by Brandon Iwamoto
us @AsianAveMag #AsianAveMag

upcoming events

AAPI+ Heritage Month Celebration at Denver Zoo

May 6-7 | 10:15am to 5pm Denver Zoo, 2300 Steele St, Denver Event is included with zoo admission

Night Market at Stanley

Saturday, May 13 | 12pm to 8pm

Stanley Market | 2501 Dallas St, Aurora Free and open to the public night-market-at-stanley

See more AAPI Heritage Month events at:

Annual Amache Pilgrimage

Saturday, May 20 | 6am to 2:30pm

Bus pick-up at Simpson United Methodist Church, 6001 Wolff St, Arvada

Cost: $30 for bus ride | Reservations required

In celebration of Heritage Month, Denver Zoo is proud to partner with the Filipino-American Community of Colorado to host its second annual Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI+) Festival at the Zoo! Join for a day of multicultural dance, music, art, and informative workshops. Celebrate the diversity of Colorado’s Asian community and the zoo’s unique connection to Asian cultures and countries through their animals and conservation programs.

Mudra Dance Studio:

UTSAV XV - A True Celebration

Sunday, May 7 | Begins at 3pm PACE Center

20000 Pikes Peak Avenue, Parker

Tickets: $30 General

Don’t miss Mudra Dance Studio’s 15th annual recital and 30th original production. A beautiful blend of Mudra’s students will rejoice and celebrate their learning over the past year and share that happiness through dance, live Taiko drumming, music and audio-visual magic on stage! Celebrate the beauty of life through dance!

Join for a FREE event featuring local food, live dance performances, makers, musicians and DJs from Colorado’s AANHPI community. Performances begin at 12pm on the Southeast Plaza, followed by a night market from 2-8pm in the Hangar. Come taste the flavors of Asia, dance to K-pop and J-pop, and shop til you drop at this first ever celebration of its kind at Stanley Marketplace!

Fireside Chat with Hon. Chelsea Malone and Hon. Nina Wang

Nikkeijin Kai of Colorado and Amache Preservation Society invite you to join for Pilgrimage memorial services and potluck lunch as they have been held for over 40 years for pilgrims coming from Denver for a one-day Pilgrimage. Pilgrimages to former WWII concentration camps for those of Japanese descent were started in the late 1960s. Due to increased interest in Amache becoming a National Historic Site, Amache Alliance, University of Denver Amache Project, National Parks Conservation Association, and Colorado Preservation will be providing additional weekend events.

Self-Defense Community Workshop

Saturday, May 27 | 1pm to 4pm

Asian Pacific Development Center 1537 Alton Street, Aurora Workshop is free, but please RSVP in advance

Tuesday, May 16 | 5:30pm to 7pm Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP 1550 17th St. Suite 500, Denver Cost: Free and open to the public Reserve a spot at:

Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Colorado Women’s Legal Alliance invites you to a Fireside Chat in honor of APA Heritage Month. The discussion will feature Hon. Chelsea Malone and Hon. Nina Wang.

Nina Nin-Yuen Wang is an a US district judge for the District of Colorado. Hon. Chelsea Malone is a judge of the Denver County Court. The event is sponsored by DGS Women’s Network.

From instructors at IMPACT Personal Safety of Colorado, learn boundary setting and de-escalation skills by establishing physical boundaries and handling difficult situations. Increase awareness and decision-making skills to think quickly when threatened. Practice showing confident body language, communication tools and strikes to disable an attacker in worst-case scenario. Workshop organized by APDC, APABA, and CACEN.

Event Calendar | Asian Avenue Magazine 7

It’s Sakura Matsuri Time!

Sat. June 17, 11am to 6pm | Sun. June 18, 11am to 4pm

Sakura Square - 1255 19th Street |

FREE Admission and open to the public

The cold weather will soon be gone, making way for sunshine, summer, and celebration of the 49th Annual Cherry Blossom Festival (“Sakura Matsuri” in Japanese)! On June 17 and 18, Sakura Square in downtown Denver will be bustling with activity that highlights Japanese and Japanese American culture and heritage!

Stroll along Larimer Street between 19th and 20th Streets and see the many and varied marketplace vendors selling all kinds of Japanese and Japanese-inspired items: artwork, jewelry, anime, stickers, clothing, greeting cards, incense, and much more!

Ready your appetites for the famous food: teriyaki chicken, beef bowl, Asian salad, manju dessert, and SPAM musubi to name a few delectable items! Purchase them in the Temple’s marketplace booth on Larimer Street OR inside the Temple (the entrance faces Lawrence Street). Dine outside in the stage area or use the 20th Street festival entrance to enter the covered dining area.

Cool down with the tasty, specially brewed Sakura craft beer from Jagged Mountain Craft Brewery!

Watch the dazzling display of gifted

entertainers on the Live Stage next to Lawrence Street: singers, dancers, taiko drummers, and demonstrations of aikido, judo, and karate! We have some new special, surprise performances this year!

Enjoy family fun in the Kids’ Plaza facing 19th Street with games and crafts! Kids can make a special Father’s Day card or gift!

Special Cherry Blossom Festival SWAG will be for sale in the Sakura Foundation booth, featuring the 2023

festival artwork by talented illustrator Michelle Jing Chan! Look for the booth on Larimer Street.

Co-presented by Sakura Foundation and Tri-State/Denver Buddhist Temple, the festival is the main annual fundraiser for both organizations whose staff and volunteers work hard to bring Japanese and Japanese American culture to life in Denver! Come experience the rich traditions and customs on June 17 and 18 at Sakura Square!

May 2023 | Community Event 8
Written by Stacey Shigaya | Photos by Cami Shigaya


These Lucky Bags contain a special festival bento (lunch) box, coupons to Dochi (crafted mochi donuts) and Sushi-Rama (Denver’s premiere conveyor belt sushi restaurant) plus LUCKY SURPRISE ITEMS!!

Order your bags online ( and pick them up at the Sakura Foundation booth in the marketplace or buy them at the festival. There is a limited quantity, so get your bag while supplies last!


It takes months of planning and many volunteers to present the Cherry Blossom Festival each year – we invite YOU to join us!

There are many fun volunteer opportunities to see the festival up close and personal!

Signup today at

(Volunteers must be at least 18 years of age.)

Cherry Blossom Festival | Asian Avenue Magazine 9

2023 Asian American Heroes of Colorado

Congratulations to the 2023 Asian American Heroes of Colorado!

Indira Duggirala

• Co-Chair, South Asian Democrats of Colorado

• First Vice Chair, Colorado Democratic Party

• Director, State Outreach Commission of CDP

Sara Moore

• Executive Director, Colorado Dragon Boat

• Board Member, Denver Film

Tran Nguyen-Wills

• Activist and Community Leader

• Founder, Base Coat Nail Salon

• Board Member, Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains

Elaine Yang

• Committee Co-Chair, Colorado Dragon Boat Film Festival

• Board Member, Asian Girls Ignite

• Former Board Member, Colorado Dragon Boat

Philip Yun

• President, Korean Association of Scholarship Foundation

• Chairman, Board of Directors, Colorado Association of Korean Schools

• Assistant Pastor, Denver Dream Church

Young Hero Award: Brent Sabati

• Board Member, Sakura Foundation

• Board Member, Asian Chamber of Commerce

• Participant, Emerging Leaders Program 50, U.S.-Japan Council

2023 Asian American Hero of Colorado Awards Ceremony

Sunday, May 21, 2023 | 10am to 12pm Happy Living and Wellness Center 14015 E Evans Avenue, Aurora

Tickets: General $40 | Student $30 Table of 8 for $300 Get tickets at:

Each year, in honor of Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month, the awards ceremony recognizes an extraordinary group of local heroes in May. Hear their inspiring stories as we recognize this year’s awardees over an Asian and sushi brunch.

This year’s awardees were selected by: Asian Chamber of Commerce, Asian Girls Ignite, Asian Pacific American Bar Association, Asian Pacific Development Center, Aurora Asian/Pacific Community Partnership, Colorado Asian Culture and Education Network, CORE DEI, Sakura Foundation, National Association of Asian American Professionals Colorado.

From left: Brent Sabati, Sara Moore, Elaine Yang, Indira Duggirala, Tran Nguyen-Wills, Philip Yun (not pictured)
In its 14th year, Colorado Asian Culture and Education Network presents the...
Written by Annie Guo VanDan
May 2023 | Cover Story 10
Photos by Brandon Iwamoto


Indira Duggirala is most proud of her work with South Asian Democrats. She started and built a political organization for South Asians in Colorado where people felt safe to engage in dialogue, action and community building.

Through grassroots outreach work with South Asian Democrats, they partnered with groups in Aurora to bring COVID-19 vaccinations to the marginalized South Asian communities, conducted various community forums for non-partisan, local and state wide elections across Colorado.

She said: “For the last few years, my focus has been on partnering and building relationships with community groups to empower the Asian community in Colorado to not only stand against racism and xenophobia but to fortify future generations with sustainable and strong political presence.”

The 2016 presidential elections and subsequent rise in hate crimes in her neighborhood and the country compelled her to get politically engaged.

“I was trying to bring awareness to xenophobic targeting of small businesses in my area during the pandemic when a friend introduced me to the They See Blue Colorado Chapter,” she said.

They See Blue is a grassroots organization focused on engaging South Asians in elections for the Democratic Party. Duggirala worked with a group of highly motivated South Asian volunteers to phonebank the 22,000 South Asians

in Colorado.

“It is by far one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life being able to gain immediate trust by connecting with people using language, traditions and customs,” said Duggirala.

“Many of us had profound experiences with this community building when people trusting they won’t be taken advantage of or their struggles gaslighted. The immense gratitude for building a safe space to have dialogue floored us.”

As a student, Duggirala worked at a community food bank and often volunteered at the Women Infant and Children (WIC) clinic, where she learned how hard it is to get out poverty, and how social programs and government aide could give a period of recuperation to recover from their situations.

Alyssa Nilemo, Executive Director of Asian Chamber Foundation of Colorado said: “Indira was just elected as the First Vice Chair to the Colorado Democratic Party (CDP). Historically positions like this go to Caucasian males. She is helping break the bamboo ceiling for Asians, especially AAPI women! She will now be able to help raise the AAPI communities needs up to the state party and beyond.”

As the First Vice Chair of CDP, Duggirala will help the chair continue to build and strengthen the Colorado Democratic Party.

“I am looking forward to bringing my community building experience to create an environment for engagement for all people of Colora-

do,” she said. “I am hoping to build this environment with equitable practices for minoritized and marginalized communities - by listening, connecting and building trust with our voters.”

She notes that her identity is very empowering to her. “My Indian heritage, values, culture and politics are all strengths that I am able to weave into my life as an American citizen” she said.

She and her husband Ravi have lived in Colorado for over 20 years. They reside in Highlands Ranch. Their daughter Eswari graduated from University of Colorado Boulder with degrees in Psychology and Ethnic Science and their son Navya is a sophomore at the School of Arts and Architecture in University of California, Los Angeles.

“Parenting two children has been the most rewarding and significant part of my life,” she said.

11 Asian Hero of Colorado | Asian Avenue Magazine
South Asian Democrats of Colorado Filming an ad for 2022 House Democrat candidates Duggirala’s family


Deeply impacted by her grandpar ents, Sara Moore is proud of her heritage and the legacy of her grandparents.

Her grandfather, Masamichi Suzuki, was first generation Japanese American during WWII. He met her grandmother, Zoe Green, in Kure, Japan on the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission, where she was working as a nurse. They fell in love in Japan and returned to the US to get married.

Being interracial, they were denied a marriage license in the state of Nevada. But that did not stop them and they were able to marry in California.

“Their life story is one for the history books. They overcame many challenges—including denial of purchasing a home due to race—and constantly showed love and compassion for everyone they met,” said Moore.

“Because of them, I do my best to live my life with grace, compassion, curiosity, and love. It is my greatest desire to live a life that they would be proud of.”

Growing up in in Rochester Hills, Michigan, Moore was involved in many sports. From the age of 2 to 18, she was a gymnast along with her siblings: older brother Brandon and older sister Megan. She dove from high school into college at Grand Valley State University, and also played volleyball and softball.

In college, she fell in love with the sport of rock climbing and hasn’t looked back since. She continues to climb today—indoors and outdoors.

Moore said: “I love being active and moving my body. I think that was a big

reason I moved to Colorado.”

When she moved to Colorado in 2012, she started her nonprofit career, first working for Boy Scouts of America (BSA) in Boulder. She was awarded the Rising Star Award twice by National BSA. Then in 2017, she joined Colorado Dragon Boat as Executive Director.

“I was happy to move to a position where the mission and vision resonated more with me,” said Moore. “Moving to a state where I did not see many ethnicities made me look for something to fill that gap. Thats how I found the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival,” she said.

“I cannot explain how important and impactful Colorado Dragon Boat has been to me. It is a dream come true to be able to run an organization whose mission is to celebrate the amazing contributions and accomplishments of the AAPI community.”

“Not only are our three programs— Colorado Dragon Boat Film Festival, Colorado Dragon Boat Festival, and the AAPI Emerging Leaders Program—so meaningful, the people I work with are truly the secret sauce.”

The Colorado Dragon Boat Festival is the largest AAPI celebration in the Rocky Mountain region and the largest dragon boat festival in the US, while the Colorado Dragon Boat Film Festival is the only all Asian and Asian American film festival in the state.

Mimi Luong, owner of Truong An Gifts, said: “Sara is a strong role model and al-

ways thinks of her community first. Her events bring the community together to share culture, traditions, and more.”

Moore has always loved being involved in her community and volunteering. Growing up, she helped with meals on wheels and other volunteer roles with her mom and siblings.

“Giving back has been an important trait my parents and grandparents have taught me,” said Moore.

She is currently a board member of the nonprofit Denver Film. She was also honored to be a part of the 2023 US Young Leaders Delegation to Taiwan (Republic of China) and the 2019 Kakehashi Program in Japan.

“In both of these programs, I was able to travel to Taiwan and Japan to expand my knowledge of the country and make connections with other leaders from all over the US. Both of these experiences have been a highlight of my life,” she said.

Moore loves to travel and has a goal to visit a new country every year.

May 2023 | Cover Story 12
Dragon Boat Racing Moore Family From left: Reagan, Cathy, Brandon, Cole, Dan, Kathy, Megan, John, Sara Climbing in Indian Creek, Utah (Indian Creek is the ancestral home of the Pueblo of Zuni and Ute peoples)


Born and raised in Denver, Tran Nguyen-Wills is the daughter of refugees from Vietnam, mother of four, and an activist and community leader.

Over the past 15 years, she’s worked at, managed, and owned several businesses focused on supporting the creative community across Denver and Colorado. This has included retail concepts, art galleries, home goods/furniture stores, and a non-toxic nail salon.

She said: “Working with community activists, small business owners, artists, designers, and creators has been the one constant and unifying thread across all of my varied endeavors.”

Most recently, she has been transitioning into politics, and worked as the Asian American and Community Outreach and Creative Director for Leslie Herod’s Mayoral Campaign.

Her lived experience as a first generation Vietnamese American has given her a unique perspective and approach to advocacy. Her parents met after the Vietnam War when they were sponsored by two separate American families in Minnesota. After they got married, her dad landed a job in Denver as a mechanic at Bar S Foods and her mom became a seamstress at a sewing factory.

“My parents worked incredibly hard and were able to buy a home in Denver, start their family, and open their own

businesses. I remind myself that this is where I got my entrepreneurial spirit.“

According to Neal Walia, Deputy Director of Asian Pacific Development Center, “Tran is a long time business owner and community leader and has also become a visible figure in Denver progressive politics. Her leadership, heart, and kindness are respected by all who have had the fortune of collaborating with her.”

Nguyen-Wills has championed diversity in the arts, engaged in community building and worked to create safe spaces for all.

During the height of the pandemic, Nguyen-Wills advocated for and established mutual aid initiatives. She worked with the Stanley Marketplace to organize an equitable walk-in vaccine clinic for retail, restaurant, beauty, and construction industries that were left out of the initial vaccine roll out plan. She also helped the Denver Community Fridges program combat food insecurity within her community.

“The pandemic highlighted the inequities in our communities. When the vaccine became available, many BIPOC communities were left out of the roll out due to language barriers, inaccessibility of the online scheduling system, or inability to get the time off work to get vaccinated,” she said.

From organizing community fridges and vaccine clinics to fighting for reproductive rights, safer work conditions and fair wages for nail salon workers, regardless of her job title or position, her focus has always been on making impactful changes for our community, advocating and giving back to the community.

“I am on the board of Planned Parenthood, have fought to combat gun violence alongside students and activists, have advocated for the adoption of the Lunar New Year as a state holiday, and have spoken out against AAPI Hate. In everything I do, I strive to represent my community.”

She said: “My hope is that other Asian Americans feel empowered to stand up in their own ways, and that we will continue to increase representation.”

She resides with her partner of 23 years Josh Wills and their four children in the Harvey Park neighborhood.

13 Asian Hero of Colorado | Asian Avenue Magazine
Nguyen-Wills with her partner Josh and their four children


Since 2016, the Colorado Dragon Film Festival has highlighted and promoted the culture, contributions, and accomplishments of Asian and Asian Pacific American communities through film—largely due to the vision and initiative of Elaine Yang.

“Elaine spearheaded the development and implementation of the very first Colorado Dragon Boat Film Festival in 2016,” said Daranee Teng, film festival committee co-chair.

“Eight years later, the film festival continues to be the only one of its kind celebrating Asian and Asian American filmmaking and stories and Elaine continues to ensure its success as a committee co-chair.”

The film festival has exemplified themes such as: Women in Film, RepresentAsian, Celebrating Our Resilience and most recently in 2023, Celebrating Our Stories. Through the lens of cinema, artists explore with the audience the humanity and integrity of Asians and Asian Americans. The power of storytelling within film encapsulates experiences.

Yang said: “Each year, I have memories of audience members leaving the film and reliving parts of the film through dialogue with other audience members. The space for community engagement that films provide are an important vision of the Colorado Dragon Film Festival.”

Before moving to Colorado in 2012, Yang was a clinical pharmacist in North Carolina. In Colorado, she shifted gears to focusing on being a mother.

“My daughters, Elise and Bea, were young at the time, six months and two years old. I ultimately had the ambition of becoming a parent and learning and sharing the enormous gift of raising a family.”

Changing career paths allowed her to explore Colorado and to find belonging within the community. This led her to serving on the Col-

orado Dragon Boat board and to later join the Asian Girls Ignite (AGI) board as well.

Growing up in a small, rural town in North Carolina meant that her family was the only Asian family in town. When she attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, she was fortunate to be welcomed into the Asian Students Association.

She said: “It was only the beginning of recognizing my Asian-American identity and embracing a larger understanding of empathy. At times, I felt disconnected from my Asian Americanness.”

“Such recognition as a young adult sparked a gradual energy to seek out areas of life related to my Chinese-American identity: friendships, organizations, and community.”

This is why she has been grateful to be a part of the founding Board of Directors of Asian Girls Ignite.

AGI recognizes that AAPI youth deserve lives inclusive of positive self-belief, belonging and representation. The organization believes that every girl and storyteller is empowered and guided by the values of courage, compassion and curiosity.

“I feel extremely grateful to join AGI’s passionate team to help support Colorado AAPI girls in their selfgrowth and identity exploration.”

Yang currently lives in Englewood with her husband Charlie, their two daughters Elise (13) and Bea (11), and Bernedoodle, Tai. In her free time, she enjoys playing tennis, hiking, and crafting.

May 2023 | Cover Story 14
2023 Colorado Dragon Film Festival Committee Asian Girls Ignite students and leaders Yang with her husband Charlie and daughters


Philip Yun reflects on coming to the US as a “poor foreign student” chasing a dream. He overcame many obstacles including working hard to earn money to cover his tuition, while in school.

“Many people offered me their basement to live in, since I could not afford dorm or apartment rent. Fortunately, I graduated from my MBA program in one year while working a graveyard shift,” he said.

Yun, who is now anticipating his retirement, has been a certified public accountant (CPA) for four decades. In addition, he serves as an assistant pastor at Denver Dream Church and as an adjunct professor at Denver Seminary.

He came to the US in 1981 to study at Colorado State University, where he received his Bachelor of Arts (BA). In 1984, he received a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Denver. He recently received his second masters degree in 2021 from the Denver Seminary. While he turns 68 years old in July, he noted that he will still be a student finishing his coursework and preparing his dissertation.

(KASF-MSRC), he was approached by the national KASF to establish a regional chapter that would serve Colorado New Mexico, Kansas, Nebraska, and Wyoming.

“From 2019 to last year in 2022, we distributed $135,000 to Korean American high school and college students to help with their financial needs,” he said.

Sukie Kang, Scholarship Chair of KASF-MSRC said: “Because of Philip’s strong desire to provide cultural, educational and spiritual experiences to the community, he has devoted most of his life without asking for any rewards or financial compensation to improving the lives of underserved minorities.”

As the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Korean Language Schools, Yun believes it is important to continue learning and using the languages of our families in the US.

“It is the basis of maintaining our heritage and culture in this life and for the next generation to follow,” he said. “Some young generations try to deny their Asian heritage, but when we are accepted as who we are, we become most beautiful as one—Americans.”

In 2013, Yun was diagnosed with cancer and went into a coma for one week. His family members began planning for a funeral. However, in April 2014, he received a liver transplant he desperately needed.

church congregation.

Additionally, he is a board member of international religious mission organizations, such as Marked Men for Christ

“When I got married in 1983, none of my family members could attend my wedding because they could not afford to travel from Korea,” he said.

It’s these experiences that have motivated him to want to help young people financially. As the president of Korean American Scholarship Foundation Mountain States Regional Chapter

“I was the ninth person in line that day, but none of the people ahead of me picked up the phone from the hospital,” he said.

“Luck? Maybe, but it was a blessing from God giving me another chance to think about the meaning of life.”

Yun is now an assistant pastor at the Denver Dream Church, where he says it is a “blessing to share the wisdom and revelation of God in Scripture” with the

and C-Connection, serving South America, Africa, and Southeast Asia.

Championing a lifetime of giving back, Yun believes that helping others is a privilege and blessing in two ways.

He said: “First, be thankful for the position of giving (not receiving), and second, generosity is the only way to stay away from the sinful act of greed.”

When Yun was the advisory board chair of the Korean newspaper, Joongang Daily, he and the other directors selected two individuals to help each month by donating $500 to them.

“The money was not enough, but it gave them hope that there are people who care for and love them. That is what charity is all about. Without doubting how much small efforts help others, just do it,” he said.

15 Asian Hero of Colorado | Asian Avenue Magazine
Yun graduates from master’s program at Denver Seminary Yun is an Adjunct Professor at Denver Seminary

BRENT SABATI Young Hero Award

Last October, Brent Sabati visited Tokyo with the U.S. Japan Council’s Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) 50 that selected 50 emerging leaders from the U.S. to meet with Japanese leaders in business and politics to further the relations between the two countries.

“During that trip, I was in awe at the thought of how much courage, hard work, and love it took for me to be back in Japan for an opportunity like this,” he said. “My great, great grandparents immigrated to Hawaii from Japan in hopes of building a better life for future generations. Now I was back in Japan, meeting and learning from some of the most prominent figures in the country.”

Born and raised on the Hawaiian island of O’ahu, Sabati is Japanese and Filipino American. He moved to Colorado Springs in 2016. After graduating from the University of Colorado Colorado Springs with a marketing degree, he worked in the financial services industry to explore his passion for business and personal financial management.

He said: “I’ve found it highly fulfilling to promote financial literacy and help people improve their financial quality of life.”

Sabati sits on the boards for Sakura Foundation, Asian Chamber of Commerce, Home Front Military Network (veteran/military services), Ithaka

Housing (transitional housing), and Colorado Community Esports. He also participates in the Colorado Springs Mayor’s Civic Leaders Fellowship. He believes “community service and civic engagement are vital.”

“While Colorado Springs isn’t as large or diverse as Denver, I love to tell people about the growth of the city and the overwhelming support of diversity and culture that I’ve experienced,” he said.

He recently established the Asian Pacific Islander Business Community (API-BC) of Colorado Springs for Asian American organizations to network and support each other.

He recognizes he would not be where he is today without the sacrifices of his parents, grandparents, and generations before him.

“That’s why I view it as a privilege and responsibility to take advantage of the opportunity that was given to me, and to create those opportunities for my future family and the greater com munity,” he said.

Being involved in the AAPI community is important to him because of the opportunity to create a thriving AAPI community across Colorado that highlights heritage, culture, and a vibrant future. He said: “The Asian Pacific Islander com-

munity is still small in Colorado Springs, but it’s rapidly growing as more API businesses open. I think it’s a great place to be!”

According to Stacey Shigaya, Executive Director of Sakura Foundation, “Brent is a shining example of how young people in our community can make a difference. His ability to listen, collaborate, offer solutions, and work hard is admirable. He understands that many people in Japanese American and Asian communities have toiled for years to make a difference, and he has an innate desire to continue their legacy of dedication and perseverance to make life better for all.”

Sabati enjoys traveling and exploring the outdoors with his partner Claire. He is an avid fisherman and loves ice fishing!

May 2023 | Cover Story 16

Latea Lounge brings its tea drinks to Colorado

Latea Lounge hosted its grand opening in Colorado early April, showcasing its bubble tea and iced tea specialties and promoting the tea-drinking culture.

Located just outside of Park Meadows Mall, at 8433 Park Meadows Center in Lone Tree, the shop took over an existing location of a tea shop that closed its doors during the pandemic.

“We took our time training our staff for our interpretation of boba,” said owner Wei-Chih “Wei” Kao, 35, adding that they are offering full service with delivery and online ordering.

Before the grand opening, Latea dialed up its presence by hosting private events for the Colorado community, including Yelp Elite members and food bloggers, who have shared fantastic reviews of their beverage selection on social media.

Hsiao continued the family’s entrepreneurial path by attending Purdue University for hospitality and tourism management.

“When I came to the States, my dream was to share the love of bubble teas as much as Americans love their coffee,” he said.

Before starting the chain of bubble tea shops, he took a fourmonth road trip in the West to visit all the tea shops in Seattle down to Los Angeles.

Beverage Selection

*Brown Sugar Milk Tea: As the signature drink, the brown sugar is made in-house and from scratch.

*Cream Brulé Matcha Latte: This beverage is a favorite for those who enjoy Japanese flavors. With a touch of caffeine, the blend is imported from Japan and the perfect mix of boba pearls.

*Grapefruit Green Tea: This drink can be customized in the level of sweetness. It is an ideal preference for the beginner’s palate. With grapefruit pulp, it stands as a refreshing summer drink.

*Tiramisu Milk Tea: Sip from the top of this rich espresso drink instead of using a straw. The top layer of the drink shows dark, brown, cocoa powder made from Belgian dark chocolate.

Made from scratch, powders are not used during the process of creating their teas with more than 40 different varieties offered. Real tea leaves are brewed every morning.

Founder Jack Hsiao, 35, shared the creation of Latea was a “tribute” to his grandmother, Shu Teng Lai, who operated as a dessert vendor in Taiwan and continued her business as a catering company. With great emotions and teary eyes, Hsiao indicated part of his passion and vision of serving these beverages originates from his grandmother’s recipes.

“If you can’t serve family, don’t bother serving it to others,” he said. “I wanted to share the love and passion for food and drink.”

Hsiao indicated ube is a big cultural flavor in Asia. He also suggested Oolong tea as a creamy cheese float.

The entrepreneurial spirit was passed down from his grandmother to his parents. His father owned a tutoring business.

During the early stages, Hsiao came up with the name, Latea, or “the tea,” when he was in Spanish language classes. The company’s slogan, ‘Connecting over Tea,” continues its branding to share tea with others.

After his diligent research, he started as a delivery service in 2013. His first location begun operations in Lafayette, Indiana, a year later. He then expanded to two more locations in Indiana. Voted best on campus at his alma mater, Hsiao gained confidence in adding more locations to his repertoire.

“The Midwest doesn’t know much about bubble teas,” Hsiao confessed. He then took a leap and ventured to the West coast in 2019 with a location in Culver City, California.

Meanwhile, Kao started his journey in the US in 2013 when he attended language school. Kao, who obtained an MBA in Marketing from Regis University, was introduced to Hsiao by his best friend’s cousin, Wei-an Chen. After living in Colorado for 10 years, Kao was determined to run his own business. He flew to Los Angeles to meet Hsiao, where both discovered similarities with the company’s vision of introducing bubble teas. Returning to Colorado, they opened their first location in Lone Tree and the soft opening of their second location in Littleton started early April.

Visit and follow them on Instagram @latealounge
Cafe Peek | Asian Avenue Magazine 17

Celebrate AAPI Heritage

Tea Street stands as one of the first tea shops on Colorado Blvd. in Denver, which has now become a street of tea houses and bubble tea cafes.

In fact, the explosion of Taiwanese boba beverages has spread throughout the Front Range with a mix of global franchises and mom-and-pop enterprises. For those who want to patronize small businesses, head over to Tea Street at the corner of Mississippi Avenue and Colorado Boulevard.

“We like to think of Colorado Blvd. as bubble tea row, similar to how Federal Blvd. has pho restaurants up and down the street,” said co-owner Victoria Lam. “Each is thriving and has their own loyal following.”

Specializing in made-from-scratch syrups, Victoria and Patrick Lam, the brother-and-sister duo, create a contemporary twist of hot and cold tea beverages. But the pair didn’t just want to be a counter service for beverages, they also designed a space of community for those who want to get together for conversations, a meeting place for remote workers or just a spot to relax and destress.

History | The Lams claim a Cantonese heritage with strong influences

from Vietnam. During the Cultural Revolution, their grandparents fled China and settled in Vietnam. Then, their parents departed from Vietnam separately during the American conflict in the 1970s to resettle in Colorado. By plane, their mom found herself in the US, while their father arrived by boat. Their father initially moved to Pittsburgh and met their mother in Colorado.

Their grandfather owned a drink cart and noodle shop in Vietnam, the beginnings of their family legacy in hospitality and service. “We wanted to continue the legacy,” said Patrick, adding that their father influenced them to continue their careers in the restaurant industry.

Born and raised in Colorado, the brother and sister duo focused on creating a space for their Asian American friends, colleagues, and customers to feel comfortable.

Traveling throughout Asia, the siblings conceived of a business idea to bring the comfort of Asian beverages to Colorado. In fact, Tea Street uses premium tea originating from Taiwan, a frequent spot of Patrick’s travels.

Popular Drinks | The top selling

drinks at Tea Street are Taro Slush and Jasmine Green Milk Tea.

“You can really taste the passion and care we put into crafting each cup of tea,” said Victoria of the Taro Slush, adding that they cook and stew fresh taro to create the store’s own taro paste and syrup for the drinks. “When drinking the taro slush, the earthy flavor and naturally starchy and smooth texture really comes through.

“The Jasmine Green Milk Tea comes as a close second for popularity. The simplicity of this drink highlights the bold and fragrant tea, accentuating the floral notes and dry green bitters,” said Victoria.

The large selection of beverages could be daunting for a first-time customer. Both Victoria and Patrick ease the customer through learning their taste preferences, narrowing it down between hot versus cold, creamy or fruity, caffeinated or non-caffeinated. Based on their answers, the pair can recommend a few choices.

Secret Menu | Loyal customers are familiar with the “secret” seasonal menu. “Our not-so secret menu is a collection of our seasonal and experimental drinks,” said Victoria. “We don’t

18 May 2023 | Cafe Peek

Heritage Month with Tea Street

intentionally hide this menu from our customers.”

Serving seasonal fruits and ingredients, the beverage could only be offered during certain times of the year. Starting in May, Tea Street will reintroduce its line of fresh rose teas such as Rose Milk Tea and rose Oolong. During the early months of summer, cantaloup and honeydew will be back in season served as melon frescas, milk teas, and slushes.

“We have something for every season and weather!”

Operations | The pandemic has taught the sibling team to scale down. Before the pandemic, the store was open seven days a week. During the pandemic, operations were reduced to four days a week. Currently, the hours increased up to six days a week with adequate staffing and well-supplied inventory. With a Tuesday weekly closure, the team use the time to prep for the week and share administration details.

For the last five years, the brother and sister team has learned how to own and manage a family business. They do admit to occasional sibling bickering but they both are confident

in counting each other for support.

“Big or small, it is our problem,” said Victoria. “It can be all consuming, but it has taught us to continuously improve and learn to be the most efficient and effective version of ourselves as individuals and as a business.”

After hours, Patrick, 31, enjoys dancing and playing video games, specifically Teamfight Tactics. He is rated as diamond level. Victoria, 29, decompresses by practicing yoga, pilates, and cooking. She is scaling up to run half-marathons and planning for upcoming nuptials later this year.

Celebrate Heritage Month | To celebrate AAPI Heritage Month in May, Tea Street is collaborating with other restaurants and organizations. From May 1 to 28, 2023, pick up your BINGO card at any of the participating businesses.

Visit participating AAPI business (listed below) to receive a stamp for that space on your card. Get three stamps in a row to be eligible for entry into a prize drawing happening at the end of the month!

Take a picture of your completed BINGO card and share it on Insta-

gram, tagging Tea Street (@teastreetdenver) OR drop off your BINGO card at Tea Street, 4090 E. Mississippi Avenue in Denver.

All submissions must be made by May 28 and winners will be announced on May 28. Participating vendors include: Jade Mountain Brewery, Meta Asian Kitchen, Mukja Food Truck, Pho King Rapidos, Tea Street, and Yuan Wonton Food Truck.

In addition, support local nonprofits by donating to Asian Girls Ignite and/or Colorado Asian Culture and Education Network to get BINGO!

Tea Street | Asian Avenue Magazine 19

Students give away electric bikes as act of kindness

In a heartwarming and inspiring community initiative, a group of students came together to learn how to build their own ebikes.

Students participating in the Asian Roundtable of Colorado’s “Acts of Kindness” initiative spent 25 hours re-engineering standard bike frames and transforming them into electric bikes capable of covering 25 miles on a single charge.

The course was designed to teach not only hard engineering skills, such as brushless electric engines and basic programming, but also soft skills like communication and leadership. The course was more than just an educational opportunity, it was also a chance for the students to give back to their community by building and donating ebikes to those in need. Gary Lowe of Smart Citiez Group worked with the students.

Each student was paid $200 to take the course, which covered all materials, including the bikes, electric engines, tools, and workbooks. But the real reward was in the experience itself. The students had to go through an interview process, develop and execute a verbal presentation, and work together to engineer, design, and create a custom-built electric bike.

They were also tasked with finding a member of the community or nonprofit organization of the opposite race or culture in need of transportation or special needs, and presenting their creation to them.

The course was a shining example of building bridges between all races, cultures, and communities, using a proactive core value approach to stopping hate crimes. The students were encouraged to fight for what they love, rather than

fighting against what they hate.

And in the end, the Aurora mayor, District Attorney and Police of Aurora acted as a symbol of the bridge between the students and the recipients of their electric creations.

The Aurora Asian/Pacific Community Partnership contributed $30,000 to the Asian Roundtable of Colorado for its Action Against Hate initiative, which includes the Acts of Kindness program.

At the Aurora Municipal Center, the e-bikes were presented to nonprofit organizations on April 20 to give to people inneed of transportation services.

The students’ hard work and dedication to the course will undoubtedly make a difference in the trajectory of their lives. And the fact that they were able to give back to their community in such a meaningful way is a testament to the power of education and community involvement. Congratulations to all involved in this incredible initiative!

May 2023 | On Scene 20

Heart & Soul of Aurora Asian Pacific Community Partnership celebrates retirement

For more than 30 years, Frankie Anderson has served as the secretary/treasurer and city liaison for the Aurora Asian/Pacific Community Partnership. In April, during the Partnership’s annual meeting, members recognized Anderson for her service as she retired that same week.

In addition to this role, she also worked as the business program specialist for the City of Aurora, coordinating programs for the Aurora-South Metro Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and supporting the Aurora economic development loan programs.

“Frankie has been such an advocate for my professional and personal growth over this past decade. I know that many of the awards or recognitions I have received were because she wrote testimonies and nominations for me,” said Chance Horiuchi, executive director of Havana Business Improvement District.

Always the one to volunteer at community events or to take photos, she is known to place others before herself.

When she wasn’t working, she was involved with her church’s choir during the weekends. She enjoyed the music of Indonesia and founded the Gamelan Tunas Mekar 28 years ago. She also coordinated a music series to promote Colorado composers as a member of the Colorado New Music Association.

One of Horiuchi’s favorite memories working with Anderson included a holiday event. They volunteered to sing carols from store to store at the Gardens on Havana in frigid temperatures back in December 2019.

“We had lots of laughs sharing the holiday cheer and gift cards to shoppers,” Horiuchi said. “It was a fun memory, and I will always cherish it. She is extra special because she is one of those people that you can always count on to show up even in the most tepid temperatures.”

Partnership member Alexa Davis enjoyed working closely with Anderson at SBDC and marvels at her memory. “She remembers the details that have kept the Partnership afloat for years,” Davis said.

Remaining behind the scenes, Anderson has worked tirelessly to uplift and elevate others who are trying to make a difference in the Asian community.

“She has helped countless businesses and always went above and beyond,” Horiuchi shared. “She is a person that I admire and am so grateful for her friendship and leadership.”

“I’ve worked alongside Frankie for over a decade. Her dedication to the groups she’s involved with is inspiring.”

“She is a true friend and hero in our community. She is incredible with her words and always shares great words of wisdom.” - Chance Horiuchi

“I have known Frankie since 1998. Frankie is always keeping the Partnership’s mission in focus. I am really honored to work with her and share our community activism with her.”

On Scene | Asian Avenue Magazine 21
Aurora Asian/Pacific Community Partnership recognizes Frankie Anderson for her service. From left: Mary J. Schultz, Gigi de Gala, Andrea Amonick, Frankie Anderson, and Chance Horiuchi

Sustainable health development in the postpandemic era

As the world enters the fourth year of the COVID-19 pandemic, the situation is gradually improving. Most border restrictions have been lifted and global health governance has shifted from pandemic response to postpandemic recovery. Countries worldwide have stepped up efforts to achieve health and well-being for all and further the realization of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) whose progress was impacted by the pandemic.

Taiwan fully supports health-related SDGs and the World Health Organization’s triple billion targets. Indeed, Taiwan is committed to building a more resilient and equitable health service supply chain, maintaining an inclusive and equitable universal health coverage system, and providing disease prevention and management through a robust primary healthcare system.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Taiwan effectively mitigated the spread of the disease, leveraging its comprehensive public healthcare system, well-trained antipandemic personnel, and epidemiological surveillance, investigation, and analysis systems. Taiwan’s antipandemic response model included advance deployment and rapid response mechanisms. Other measures included border control policies, coordinated distribution of medical resources, and a patient transfer system to prevent and contain the pandemic at a time when vaccines and antiviral drugs were unavailable.

The Taiwanese people have played a pivotal role in the success of Taiwan’s antipandemic model by wearing masks, practicing social distancing, avoiding crowded areas, following

quarantine regulations, and getting vaccinated. When compared with the 38 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development member states and Singapore, Taiwan ranks sixth-lowest in COVID-19 mortality and case-fatality rates. Taiwan also ranks fourth-highest for coverage rates of at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose and third-highest in terms of vaccine boosters administered.

Promoting health for all

Last year, WHO’s Director-General outlined five priorities for the subsequent five years, which are promoting health, providing health services, protecting health, powering progress, and performing. Moreover, WHO’s Achieving well-being: A draft global framework for integrating well-being into public health utilizing a health promotion approach further demonstrates its commitment to health for all.

Taiwan established a universal healthcare insurance system in 1995. Since that time, the government has continued to provide disease prevention and healthcare services so that people of all ages can enjoy the right to health. Taiwan provides prenatal checkups, gestational diabetes screening, anemia testing, and three ultrasound examinations to reduce pregnancy risks and promote maternal and infant health. To assist infertile couples and reduce the financial burdens of in-vitro fertilization, the government has continued to expand subsidized infertility treatment programs. Taiwan also aims to create a breastfeeding-friendly environment and provide preventive pediatric healthcare and health education.

Innovative technology and universal health coverage

Taiwan’s National Health Insurance (NHI) is a prime example of universal health coverage, offering financial protection and access to a wide range of essential services. The COVID-19 pandemic helped the international community recognize the importance of regional cooperation and digitization in healthcare. Taiwan is committed to promoting digital health and innovation to enhance the accessibility and quality of healthcare services, including plans for a next-generation NHI program.

Taiwan urges WHO and all relevant stakeholders to support Taiwan’s inclusion in the World Health Assembly as an observer, as well as Taiwan’s full participation in WHO meetings, mechanisms, and activities. Taiwan will continue to work with the world to help ensure the fundamental right to health enshrined in the WHO Constitution. In the spirit of the SDGs, no country should be left behind—especially not Taiwan, which has made significant contributions to global public health.

22 May 2023 | Taiwan Update
Dr. Hsueh Jui-yuan Minister of Health and Welfare Republic of China (Taiwan)
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Aurora Mental Health & Recovery and Asian Pacific Development Center to Join Forces

AURORA, CO - Aurora Mental Health & Recovery (AMHR) and the Asian Pacific Development Center (APDC) announced today that as of the end of June, APDC will become fully integrated with AMHR and will no longer be a subsidiary organization of AMHR, as it has been since 2012 All APDC services will join forces with AMHR’s Refugee Clinic and Health Navigation Teams

The Board of Directors of APDC and AMHR decided unanimously in support of the merger in March The primary driver for their decision is the fact that AMHR recently established a Center of Excellence for Refugees and Immigrants designed to focus and maximize the organization's operations and resources in a manner that will enhance the care experience for people to achieve the most healthful outcomes.

The aspirations behind the Center of Excellence are bolstered by an exceptionally high concentration of expertise among our multilingual and multicultural staff centered on refugee and immigrant behavioral health. Joining forces will allow AMHR and APDC to combine key resources in providing critical services to the international community of Aurora, operating as one solid and sustainable organization

“There is strength in numbers, and I am looking forward to the upcoming changes AMHR and APDC are joining forces to build upon each other’s strengths,” said AMHR board chair Cathy Wildman “These strengths will serve the members of our immigrant community well Together, we will provide culturally appropriate mental health services, language translation services and citizenship classes to our immigrant community ”

Over the next few weeks and months, AMHR will engage in a series of focused conversations with community partners, community members and staff to discuss and explore how best to pursue these aspirations together, building on the many successes that have already been experienced "Merging APDC with AMHR’s immigrant and refugee services will ensure the financial stability to carry out its cultural mission and retain a first-rate professional staff in a competitive marketplace,” said longtime AMHR and APDC board member Harrison Cochran

Operating as one organization, AMHR will continue to serve the growing immigrant and refugee population, providing services to Aurora, as well as the entire state The goal is to improve access to services by continuing to enlarge our network of collaborative organizations that assist refugees and immigrants AMHR will also continue to develop and implement “best practice” models of care for refugee and immigrant communities and individuals as well as formalize and strengthen our role as a referral resource and training resource for other nonprofits state-wide

In addition to the expansion of services that collaboration enables, we anticipate that this Center of Excellence will enable us to secure further resources in the form of grants and contracts that will enhance the care available for these members of our community Together, the combined teams will continue to make Aurora a leader among the most diverse and culturally enriched communities in America

“Both organizations (AMHR and APDC) are important to me and to the community,” said AMHR board member and past APDC board member Gigi DeGala ” There are tremendous opportunities when maximizing the strengths of both parties Working together as one, both organizations can further expand programs and services for the clients, gain better financial strength, effectively manage increasing competition, and meet the challenges of the ever-changing behavioral and recovery care system,” DeGala added

APDC’s Executive Director Harry Budisidharta and Deputy Director Neal Walia will oversee the transition efforts and community outreach Additionally, Budisidharta will transition into a new role as AMHR’s In-House Counsel and Corporate Integrity Officer.

AMHR CEO Kelly Phillips-Henry and Budisidharta shared their optimism and excitement for the full integration of both organizations “This is a great partnership with even greater things to come ” said Phillips-Henry and Budisidharta

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