Maryland’s first lady celebrates heritage in Elkton
May is AsianPacific Heritage Month
— Asian-Pacific American clothing, jewelry, shoes, ceramics and more adorned the entry to the County Administration Building Thursday night as visitors from all over Maryland gathered to hear Maryland’s first lady celebrate Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month.
The event was created not
only to celebrate, but also to educate the community on the contributions from Asian-Pacific Americans in Maryland and the rest of the country. A bus brought several students from West Nottingham Academy, a boarding school in the Colora area, to meet first lady Yumi Hogan and attend the event.
County Executive Tari Moore introduced Hogan, who was born in Korea, where she grew up on a farm.
“She has a love of art and has shared her passion to inspire artistic creativity in Maryland,” Moore said.
The first lady proclaimed pride for her heritage and spoke of her desire to share her culture with others.
“My hope is to build stronger relationships between communities in Maryland and the country as a whole,” Hogan said. “Through diversity, we can change Maryland for the better.”
Mie Mie Joe Strickler, a Cecil County resident and one of 20 commissioners
on the Governor’s Commission on Asian-Pacific American Affairs, chaired the event. The commission strives to improve economic development and community development through events and programs.
“This is really a nice event,” said Clara Campbell, an Elkton attorney, who was among the more than 100 people attending the celebration.
Maryland Secretary of State John Wobensmith, State Sen. Wayne Norman (R-Harford/Cecil) and Christina W. Poy, administrative director for the Governor’s Commission on Asian-Pacific American Affairs, joined the first lady at the head table.
Wobensmith read a proclamation from Gov. Hogan declaring May 2016 as Asian-Pacific American Month in Maryland.
Poy, who heads up the commission office, explained part of their mission is to attract volunteers and do family-based outreach programs and attain equal access for all members of the Asian-Pacific American community.
“There are 318,853 Asian-Pacific Americans in Maryland, or 5.5 percent of the state’s population,” Poy said. “They tend to be highly educated,” she said, noting that about 140,000 have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher.
Sen. Norman gave kudos to the Hogan administration, which he said brought big changes to Annapolis.
“We’ve had no new taxes for two years,” Norman said. “I am so happy to have Hogan as governor.”
Angel, a 1-year-old border collie mix, had several suitors at A Buddy for Life on Saturday, despite her muddy coat.
From left: Maryland Secretary of State John Wobensmith, Mie Mie Joe Strickler, Maryland first lady Yumi Hogan, Cecil County Executive Tari Moore and Cecil County Councilman Dan Schneckenburger celebrate Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month.