Brooklyn Park is one of the most culturally rich areas in the Midwest with more than one-fifth of its residents having been born in other countries. The unexpected cultural richness is what makes Brooklyn Park a vibrant city.
One of our Brooklyn Park 2025 goals is United Community. Through this goal, we are striving to connect neighbors to understand and celebrate our unique cultures. We will also ensure our community’s activities, events and services are inclusive, multi-cultural and accessible.
Throughout the year, we will share different events with you, whether it’s through our Recreation and Parks department’s “Celebrate Brooklyn Park” series or through other avenues, to embrace our diverse community.
We want to learn more about your cultural community celebrations! If you’d like to share information about your favorite holidays or are hosting a community event, please send an email to email@example.com.
Brooklyn Park City Council declared May as Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month. The declaration was made on April 26, 2021. 18.9 percent of Brooklyn Park residents, and more than 20 million people in the U.S., are of Asian/Pacific Islanders descent. The history of North America is shaped by the stories of immigrants from Asia and the Pacific and the native people of the Pacific Islands. Below, we have collected some resources and events to help you learn, recognize and elevate the diverse identities and voices of our Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities.
Please keep in mind the information/activities shared with you are from our research and personal experiences. This information should not substitute your own research. We encourage you to lean into any discomfort you may experience or questions you may have with the information shared – “there is no growth in the zone of comfort”.
For generations, the AAPI communities have enriched the United States culture and history. AAPI Heritage Month began in 1977 as a weeklong celebration. It was extended to a month in 1992 by President George H.W. Bush. The celebration honors immigrant stories and the invaluable contributions of the AAPI communities.
May was chosen to commemorate two significant events in United States history: the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants on May 7, 1843, and the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad on May 10, 1869, which was mainly built by Chinese immigrants.
Representation matters. One of the fastest growing demographics in the United States is the Asian American and Pacific Islander population. It is more important than ever to increase awareness and understanding with the rise in anti-Asian violence within the last year. Find unique ways to support AAPI communities and rejoice in their diversity.
In the United States, policy making is fundamental to the structure of our democracy. It can be ahead of its time, awkward and slow in some situations and can purposely and/or accidentally cause catastrophic repercussions to individuals who call the United States home. The following policies have had both negative and positive impacts on immigrants and Asian American citizens and would alter how the United States views Asian Americans for centuries to come.
Geary Act of 1882, referred to as the Chinese Exclusion Act
The original act, signed by President Chester A. Arthur, banned Chinese citizens from entering the United States for ten years. It was the first in United States history to place broad restrictions on immigration. The law required Chinese residents to carry a permit. The act was to expire after ten years, but was renewed and expanded. It was not repealed until 1943, with the interests of aiding morale during World War II. There was a period called the “driving out era” which triggered large scale violence in the country, including the Rock Spring Chinese Massacre in 1885 and the Hells Canyon Massacre in 1887. The location of Hells Canyon Massacre would be renamed in 2005 (118 years later) as the Chinese Massacre Cove. (Nokes, 2006)
Immigration Act of 1924
The act, signed by President Coolidge, limited the number of immigrants allowed entry into the United States through a national origins quota. The quota was 2% of the total number of each nationality and excluded immigrants from Asia and Africa. Its primary objective was to “restore the ethnic makeup of the county’s white population to that of the early nineteenth-century. Congress eventually replaced the most restrictive aspects of the act in 1965, however, the United States still firmly asserts its right to regulate immigration unilaterally.” (Broubalow, 2018).
Japanese Internment Camps
Between 1942 to 1945, individuals of Japanese descent, including United States citizens, were incarcerated in isolated camps. This action was taken in reaction to the Pearl Harbor attacks. It was signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and affected close to 120,000 individuals. The last Japanese internment camp closed in March 1946. In 1988, Congress issued a formal apology, passed the Civil Liberties Act which granted reparations of $20,000 to Japanese Americans who were incarcerated. (A Brief History of Japanese American Relocation During World War II, excerpts from J.Burton, M.Farrell, F.Lord and R.Lord)
For more information, watch the Japanese Internment Camps on the History Channel (click here). Please note to click on the 2081 red bus image to activate the video, the video will give flashes of updated information, so be sure to watch it, if possible, and not just listen!
Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965
The act was signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson and abolished the quota system based on national origin, as well as, established a new immigration policy based on reuniting immigrant families and attracting skilled labor to the United States. In the first five years, immigration to the United States from countries in Asia—especially war-torn countries such as Vietnam and Cambodia—would more than quadruple, partially due to the fact that past immigration policies had barred Asian immigrants from entry. The Immigration Act of 1990 modified and expanded the 1965 act, increasing the total level of immigrants and provided admission of immigrants who were from “underrepresented” countries to increase diversity. (U.S. Immigration Since 1965, History.com Editors) …and it worked! The image below shows the dramatic shift of Asian Americans and the Pacific Islander (AAPI) population in the United States. The 1965 and 1990 acts “were important, not only in altering the racial landscape of the United States, it was also critical in changing the face of who represents Asian America”. (Ramakrishnan, 2015)
A well-known concept called the “yellow peril” is centuries old, but the impact of this anti-Asian paranoia is still found in everyday life. It began with the Chinese Exclusion Act and now is seen with COVID-19 being referred to as the “China Virus”. These phrases and images feed into the Asian American xenophobia. “Yellow perilist scapegoating obscures the effective analysis of U.S. political debates, as well as ostracizes, silences, and sometimes sacrifices individuals and communities on the altar of American fantasy. State repression and vigilante violence has suppressed myriad efforts by communities of color to organize for their survival and success.” (Yellow Peril: 19th Century Scapegoating, by John Kuo Wei Tchen and Dylan Yeats)
Discover Brooklyn Park’s AAPI Community
- Read Brooklyn Park’s City Council actions on behalf of the AAPI communities
- Shop at AAPI-owned grocery stores.
- DragonStar Supermarket, 8020 Brooklyn Blvd N
- Global Grocery Market, 3011 85th Ave N
- Golden Lion Supermarket, 8620 Edinburgh Centre Dr
- Koom Siab Grocery & Deli, 1506 Brookdale Dr
- Sisaket Oriental Market, 7324 Lakeland Ave N
- Viengchan Oriental Market, 3050 Brookdale Dr N
- Order bubble tea at an AAPI-owned restaurant.
- Tii Cup, 7958 Brooklyn Blvd N
- Sweet Percent (%) Bakery & Bubble Tea, 8048 Brooklyn Blvd N
- Mi-Sant Banh Mi Co, 8540 Edinburgh Centre Dr
- Mandarin, 4626 85th Ave N
New Eyes Festival 2021
Theater Mu in St. Paul is hosting a FREE event consisting of original ten-minute virtual plays written by local and nationally recognized playwrights.
“New Eyes Festival, has become a much-anticipated annual series of staged readings of new works from Asian American playwrights, like Carla Ching, Isabella Dawis, Prince Gomolvilas, Jessica Huang, Lloyd Suh, Katie Ka Vang, Saymoukda Duangphouxay Vongsay, and Leah Nanako Winkler. The festival acts as an artistic incubator for thoughts and ideas looking to be born onto the stage.”