Moving Forward Together

May 2024 · San Francisco

2024 Celebration Guide

Explore our Celebration Guide for Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month in San Francisco. We’ve selected some exciting events for you, from live performances and tasty food experiences to interesting films and books. This is your passport to experience the lively traditions and diverse cultures in our community.

Headline Events

APA Heritage Logo

San Francisco Celebrates 20 years of

Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month

2024 Honorees

APA Heritage Awards

To start the month of May, the Foundation hosts the APA Heritage Awards and Reception to promote the visibility of Asian American & Pacific Islander achievements in the City and County of San Francisco. Congratulations to our honorees below!

Celebration Theme – Moving Forward Together

2024 Honorees

WAH MEI SCHOOL – 50th anniversary Wah Mei is the first and longest-standing bilingual early education organization in San Francisco for young children.  Incorporated 50 years ago, Wah Mei’s mission is to make sure that children, regardless of their first language, can learn in an environment where they can excel.  For over five decades, the school has promoted the value of languages, dual-language learning, inclusivity and diversity to enrich young children’s learning experience.

To date, Wai Mei provides services to over 500 families with programs in early childhood care and education, before and after school/weekend classes, and community engagement.  The school remains committed to be a champion for bilingual education and care on behalf of families that do not have equal access to programs.

Dedicated to being an effective community voice, Wah Mei is proud to be an anchor in the San Francisco’s Sunset neighborhood and surrounding communities for bilingual education.

More information at:

“Wah Mei will continue its commitment to inclusivity, diversity and equity for the next 50 years to ensure our youth, and broader community are supported so both may flourish. We’re excited about our work to further strengthen and improve the quality of life for all who live and work here,”

Ben Wong, Executive Director of Wah Mei

Kinmon Gakuen/ Golden Gate Institute

Incorporated as the Golden Gate Institute in 1924 by Japanese Americans in Japantown, Kinmon Gakuen is a Japanese language school founded in 1911. The enrollment peaked in the 1920s &1930s with approximately 500 students. Before World War II, it served as a central institution not only in San Francisco but also within the wider Japanese American community in North America. It was and remains a gathering place for children to learn about their heritage and parents to engage in the community. The school hosts a wide range of activities and events for the students and the community.

The school’s significance extends beyond the local community; it has been recognized by Japan as well.  Notable visitors include scholars, Japanese diplomats, and luminaries including members of the Imperial Family such as Nitobe Inazo, Deputy Secretary General of the League of Nations, His Imperial Prince Takamatsu and Princess Takamatsu, and the Emperor and Empress Heisei of Japan, who visited when they were the Crown Prince and Princess.

More information at:

“Kinmon Gakuen is a treasure of the Nikkei Community. It not only “landmarks” of our Nikkei heritage but is an anchor that will allow us to pass down our history, legacy, and language to the next generation.”

Shinichi Seino, Board President

Rose ChungRose Chung, a native of San Francisco Chinatown and the youngest among five daughters, became Miss Chinatown USA in 1981.  This experience has sparked a change in her life’s path, propelling her into community service.  Over the years, Rose has dedicated her time to the community, including serving as Board Chair of APA Family Support Services, a board member of Portsmouth Plaza Parking Corporation and a distinguished officer within her family associations.

From 2000 to 2009, Rose served as a legislative aide to Supervisor Aaron Peskin. In this role, she served as a community liaison to forge meaningful relationships with citywide leaders, spearhead constituent engagement and promote cultural programs.  In 2005, Rose joined as a founding member of the APA Heritage Celebration Committee, expanding her passion to promoting appreciation of Asian Pacific American cultures.

Committed to inspiring young Asian American women to lead, Rose is the founder of the Asian America Foundation and the visionary producer of the Miss Asian Global Pageant and Imagine Talks.  Recognizing the need to nurture the next generation of leaders, Rose expanded the pageant program to encompass academic mentorship and professional coaching, with a focus on empowering Asian women to reach their highest potential and becoming a stronger voice for the community.

Through the years, Rose continues to champion the transformative power of compassionate collaboration, bringing about meaningful change in the Asian Pacific American community and beyond.

“I am immensely proud of APA Heritage Month in San Francisco. It has evolved into a catalyst for community collaborations and for sharing the richness of our cultural diversity in our city. It has become my favorite festivity, second only to the Lunar New Year festival.”

Rose Chung Community Inspiration

Honorable Willie L. Brown, Jr.Two-term Mayor of San Francisco, legendary Speaker of the California State Assembly, and widely regarded as the most influential African American politician of the late twentieth century, Willie L. Brown, Jr., has been at the center of California politics, government, and civic life for an astonishing four decades. His career spans the American Presidency from Lyndon Johnson to George W. Bush, and he’s worked with every California Governor from Pat Brown to Gavin Newsom. From civil rights to education reform, tax policy, economic development, health care, international trade, domestic partnerships, and affirmative action, he’s left his imprint on every aspect of politics and public policy in the Golden State.

As Mayor of California’s most cosmopolitan city, he refurbished and rebuilt the nation’s busiest transit system, pioneered the use of bond measures to build affordable housing, created a model juvenile justice system, and paved the way for a second campus of the University of California, San Francisco, to serve as the anchor of a new development that will position the City as a center for the burgeoning field of biotechnology.

Through the years, Mayor Brown’s vision and policies have positively impacted and benefited the Asian American and Pacific Islander community in San Francisco and beyond.

Today, he heads the Willie L. Brown, Jr., Institute on Politics and Public Service, where this acknowledged master of the art of politics shares his knowledge and skills with a new generation of California leaders.

“For years I have participated in a wonderful and inspiring celebration of Asian Americans and Pacific Islander.  APA pays great respect every May to people who have been a part of their efforts to produce equal opportunity for all kinds of people.  It’s an occasion for celebration but also for joy.  The cultural awareness that comes from the most beautiful costumes and the most pleasing and entertaining of cultural performances on the stage makes for “you must not miss the opportunity” to be there to observe and being part of.  One of the best of all the cultural celebrations that takes place in our city.  Congratulations to the sponsors and congratulations to the architect of the event.”

Honorable Willie L. Brown, Jr. Community Legend

Photos by Mark Shigenaga

About Us

  • Muni Bus Ad

    Muni Bus Ad
  • May 1: SF City Hall lights

    May 1: SF City Hall lights
  • SF Examiner Ads

    SF Examiner
  • Street Banners in front of SF City Hall

    San Francisco City Hall
  • SF MUNI Bus stop ads

    MUNI Bus Stop
  • Poster

    2024 AAPI Poster
APA Heritage Foundation logo

The APA Heritage Foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) cultural heritage and fostering community collaboration. Every year, dedicated volunteers on the APA Heritage Celebration Committee  coordinate resources to support AAPI Heritage Month. To start the month of May, the Foundation hosts the APA Heritage Awards and Reception, a signature San Francisco event honoring AAPI organizations and individuals. To engage the community, the Foundation curates the AAPI Heritage Month Celebration Guide, which showcases AAPI events, activities, and educational opportunities from official celebration partners: Asian Art Museum, Center for Asian American Media (CAAM), and San Francisco Public Library. Through a marketing campaign involving over 100 publicity partners and media sponsors, the Foundation amplifies awareness of the month and its significance within the community.

2024 Sponsors and Partners

Your support of the APA Heritage Foundation, a 501c3 nonprofit organization, makes this celebration possible. To learn about 2025 sponsorship opportunities, please contact Claudine Cheng at

Heritage Champions

Heritage Captain

Heritage Patron

Heritage Partners

Heritage Friends

Community Sponsors

  • Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation
  • Asian American Donor Program
  • Asian Peace Officers Association
  • Asian Firefighters Association
  • Center for Asian American Media
  • Chinese American Citizens Alliance San Francisco Lodge
  • Chinese Historical Society of America
  • Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce of Northern California
  • Japan Society of Northern California
  • Japanese American Citizens League
  • Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Northern California
  • Japantown Community Benefit District
  • Japantown Merchants Association
  • Justice for Vicha Ratanapakdee Foundation
  • Nihonmachi Street Fair, Inc.
  • North East Medical Services
  • OCA – San Francisco Bay Chapter
  • On Lok
  • Pacific Asian American Women Bay Area Coalition
  • San Francisco Community Health Center
  • San Francisco Hep B Free – Bay Area
  • Sakura Matsuri, Inc.
  • SF – Ho Chi Minh City Sister City Committee
  • SF – Manila Sister City Committee
  • SF – Osaka Sister City Committee
  • SF – Seoul Sister City Committee
  • SF – Taipei Sister City Committee
  • Telegraph Hill Neighborhood Center
  • USF Leo T. McCarthy Center

Media Sponsors

Special Acknowledgements