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      Council of Asian Pacific Americans
              Jan/Feb 2016 Newsletter
Updates from the Council of Asian Pacific Americans 

CAPA News & Updates
Follow us this year! We'll be sending a bi-monthly newsletter with CAPA updates, community events and news about the AAPI community
President's Message

Hello, I hope the year 2016 has had a good start for you.

CAPA is off to an exciting new start as it embarks on its 15-year anniversary. We have new members on our Board of Directors to give us fresh ideas and energy. Welcome aboard Jeff, Eleanor, Harsha, Angela and Farah. You can read about them on our spotlight pages in upcoming newsletters and on our  website. We also have a new elected Executive Board. Our Treasurer for many years, Phil Chan, finally decided to let go of CAPA to retire and play golf in Florida. Thank you, Phil, for all the time and effort you put into maintaining CAPA's finances and keeping us all from straying from our budgets. We are now fortunate to have Jeff Vedua take over the reins of CAPA's finances. Our Executive Director, Pina, is now the President-Elect, and Farah Ahmed was elected the Executive Director. Please join me in congratulating them. We are also happy to welcome Andrew Humphrey and Mark Heusel as new members of our Advisory Board.

We are bringing changes to CAPA events based on the suggestions you made on our surveys. The Splendor of the East signature event now has an educational, artistic and cultural flavor. This year's theme "The Sights and Sounds of Asia," will take you to regions of Asia and introduce you to their dance and musical culture. We are also bringing in more culture-cum-cuisine events. After the success of the Taste of Vietnam last year, we plan to host many similar events this year. We are also planning new education workshops tailored to the Asian Pacific Community. We look forward to seeing you at our  events and helping CAPA achieve its objective of uniting the Asian Pacific Community with the community at large. Wishing you all good luck and prosperity in the year of the Fire Monkey! Thank you JBSD, Ford Chinese Association and Oxford Community Schools for inviting CAPA to your celebrations.

Best Wishes,
Aneesa I. Rashid, Ph.D.
Prominent Leaders Join Advisory Board

CAPA is proud and honored to w elcome two new Advisory Board members, Andrew Humphrey of WDIV-TV Channel 4 and Mark Heusel of Dickinson Wright PLLC. Each has expertise and extensive experience in leadership and community service. They will help to enhance and strengthen CAPA's pursuit of uniting Asian Pacific Americans and the Michigan community at large through cultural, education and community services.
Mark Heusel  
Director, China Practice Group, 
Dickinson Wright PLLC
Andrew Humphrey
Meteorologist and Reporter,
WDIV-TV Channel 4
Annual CAPA Holiday Party

The 2015 holiday party was held December 15 at the Tokyo Buffet Lounge in Southfield
Upcoming Events
Splendor of the East 2016:
Sights and Sounds of Asia 

Saturday, May 14
7 - 9 p.m.

Ford Community & Performing Arts Center
15801 Michigan Avenue
Dearborn, MI 

General Admission:  $20                                     
Youth: $ 10
VIP Package:  $100     
Click here to buy tickets!                     

SOE 2016 Update 

Preparations are in full swing to celebrate Asian Pacific Heritage Month with CAPA's flagship Splendor of the East event. The rehearsals are gaining momentum, and there is a lot of excitement for the cultural presentation among all CAPA board members, choreographers and performers involved. The theme of the program this year is "Sights and Sounds of Asia." 

Through the medium of music and dance, the guests will be transported to various places of cultural and historical significance in Asia. Each performance will showcase the rich cultural heritage, diversity and history of an Asian landmark. This year's presentation is a vibrant celebration of the cultures of China, India, Philippines, Japan, Laos, Korea, Thailand, Taiwan, the Asian Pacific and other regions. 

The CAPA Cultural Committee has been energized under the new Artistic Director, Ning Xue, who is a dancer and a dance instructor with years of experience. SOE Chair 2016 Rachna Kumar is confident that Ning's vision and creative guidance will take this year's SOE to greater heights. 
Challenge Detroit Seeking Fellows

Challenge Detroit is a yearlong fellowship inviting young people to live, work, play, give and lead in Detroit. Fellows work for four days  at a  host company and engage in innovation consulting projects with  nonprofits on Fridays. This year, partners include the City of Detroit  and Detroit Public Schools. It is a great way to learn about Detroit and  all of  the exciting developments happening there, as well as build a  network with key stakeholders. 

If you have any questions, feel free to contact Harsha Nahata at

            Apply Here
CAPA Ambassadors Wanted

We are creating a volunteer list of members who would like to attend events to which  CAPA is invited.  We will meet with you over coffee to give you more information and a presentation on CAPA's  activities and mission.  Please contact or if you are  interested in being added to the list.

CAPA Ambassadors at Oxford Community Schools' Chinese New Year Celebration
Director Spotlight
Harsha Nahata, new director

Born and raised in an Indian American household in metro Detroit, Harsha currently works as a communications assistant with DTE Energy through a yearlong fellowship program called Challenge Detroit. In addition to working at a host company, Challenge Detroit fellows spend one day a week doing innovation consulting projects for different nonprofits. Things Harsha is passionate about include Detroit, corporate social responsibility and her Indian American identity. She is an an avid doodler, history nerd and spontaneous dancer. You'll find a copy of The Alchemist and a boxed set of The West Wing next to her bed.
Gov. Rick Snyder appoints CAPA Members to Michigan Asian Pacific American Affairs Commission
From Governor's Media Center

Congratulations to CAPA Director Lisa Gray on her appointment to the  Michigan Asian Pacific American Affairs Commission.

Gov. Snyder appointed Gray to the 
21-member commission that works to advance the full and equal participation of Asian Pacific Americans in Michigan.

Gray is also a member of the Chinese Association of Greater Detroit and serves as chair for the North American Chinese Coalition. 

CAPA Advisory Board member Jamie Hsu was reappointed to the commission. Hsu is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Asian Pacific American Chamber of Commerce and a senior advisor for the National Association of Asian American Professionals.

Appointees will serve four-year terms expiring Nov. 30, 2019.

A Tale of Two Harshas
By Harsha Nahata
From Error of Opinion

Whenever I go back to my parents' house in Saginaw, I step into a different world. There's a clutter of conversation in Hindi, a pot of chai on the stove, and - more often than not - a 1960s Bollywood song playing from the laptop in the kitchen.

Growing up Indian American, I have learned how to codeswitch pretty well. I hide certain aspects of my identity depending on the space I am in, without even realize I'm doing it. I pride myself on being able to transition between chatting in Hindi with family friends to joking about pop culture references with peers at school. And while I really value this naturally formed cross-cultural view, feeling like you are two different people can get to be draining.

National Asian American and Pacific Islander PAC Endorses
Clinton for President
From NBC News

The Asian American and Pacific Islander political action committee CAPA21 formally endorsed Hillary Clinton for president, citing her track record on AAPI community issues and staff appointments.

These Three Charts Show Why Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Are Important in 2016
From Huffington Post

The Asian American electorate is growing rapidly. It nearly doubled over 12 years and is on pace to grow by more than 600,000 voters in each presidential cycle. The AAPI population is also developing in battleground states like Nevada, Virginia and Florida. 
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