Explanation of the importance of having the AAPI Heritage festival at CPKC Stadium

On Saturday, business owners from across the Kansas City area will come together to celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

The festival will be celebrating its third year, and this time it will be held in a new location.

For the past two years, Columbus Park has been the hub of the AAPI Heritage Month festival.

Abby Dodge from KSHB 41 recently interviewed Jackie Nguyen, the owner of Cafe Cà Phê, KCMO’s first Vietnamese coffee shop. Jackie has taken the lead in organizing the festival.

When Nguyen initially arrived in KCMO, she observed that there was no Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) celebration in the city.

“It feels incredibly healing to be honest now that there is something for us to come and celebrate,” Nguyen expressed.

Bety Le Shackelford collaborates with Nguyen as the director of community outreach for the shop.

Like many business owners who will be at the festival, she thinks of her mom while planning the inclusive event, as she herself is the child of immigrants.

Le Shackelford expressed her pride in wearing the shirt and being the daughter of the person being honored. She emphasized the importance of the celebration and the events that are organized to provide a sense of community for her mother.

Kansas City’s Asian population totals less than three percent, as per the latest census data.

“When you attend our events, you wouldn’t even realize,” mentioned Le Shackelford.

The event title is growing from AAPI to AANHPI, which stands for Asian American Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander. Additionally, the location has also expanded to a larger venue.

Last year’s festival ended with a simple statement on the mic, and that’s what made all of this possible.

Nguyen expressed her optimism for the future, stating, “Perhaps in the coming year, you might witness us performing at a stadium. We simply visualized it, and I genuinely believe in aiming for the highest possible goal, so I decided to ask.”

Nguyen leveraged her personal social media following, the expansion of her business Cafe Cà Phê, and positive word of mouth to steadily expand the festival year after year.

They have now reached the grandest stage of all at CPKC Stadium.

Nguyen acknowledged that the progress they have made has been a result of both organic growth and dedicated efforts from their staff and team.

Made Mobb, located in the Crossroads District, is also eager to join the trend.

The three co-owners of Made Mobb hail from Vietnam, Samoa, and Laos.

“I grew up on that kind of stuff, so it’s truly incredible to witness kids from different races and nationalities also appreciating it,” shared Vu Nguyen, co-owner of Made Mobb.

Café Cà Phê and Made Mobb joined forces to create an exclusive clothing line that will be unveiled at the upcoming event.

Vu Nguyen expressed that he did not receive much praise or encouragement growing up. Therefore, receiving a message that acknowledges his worth and validates his abilities is significant to him. He believes in passing on this message of self-worth and affirmation to his peers and loved ones in future generations.

The event will take place on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

To attend the event, participants are required to acquire a ticket, which can conveniently be obtained from this website. Furthermore, all necessary details regarding the event can also be accessed on the same website.

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MBS Staff
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