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Popular Elk Grove Blogger Hosts Weekend Long Event to Bring Cultural Awareness

Popular Elk Grove Blogger Hosts Weekend Long Event to Bring Cultural Awareness

In an effort to remind people how much the Asian American Pacific Islander community matters, Ashley Newell, a popular local blogger, co-hosted a two-day celebration on May 21- May 22 with Emily Autenrieth of A Seat at the Table Books.

“I wanted people to feel seen. The last few years have been extremely difficult so it’s important for our morale to feel inspired and proud.”

– Ashley Newell

Event Features

The event featured mixed music, art and stories that are unique to AAPI culture. Local performers such as Elk Grove High School’s Desi Club; a Filipino stick fighting demonstration given by, and hula from Halau ‘O Keikiali’i were featured. Additionally, vendors sold handmade tote bags, stickers, plants by “Esmiralda Garcia Designs;” baked goods from “Baked by Olga” and clothing beside storytellers Rachael Cabalse, Karen Su Studios and Andri Tambunan. Speakers included Dr. Winnie Tam Hung; nonprofit, “My Sister’s House;” morning radio disc jockey, Kevin Nguyen, and Instagram celebrity, Lisa He.

On the radio, Nguyen spreads positive vibes. In person, he’s excited to encourage people to chase their dreams due to increased opportunities for AAPI success thanks to more representation. The entertainment industry lacked diversity when he started as “Intern Kevin,” but he now sees more representation. As a familiar voice on 106.5 FM’s Wake-Up Call show, listeners embrace him as an AAPI role model.

“I’m happy people relate to me. I want them to be proud to see a person who looks like them do well,”

-Kevin Nguyen, Radio DJ at 106.5 FM

As the owner of, “Borderlands Bakery,” Lisa He didn’t count her background as a plus for the business. So she hid it on social media, although she’s embarrassed to admit it. She now shares her Chinese immigrant story to remind budding AAPI small business owners, especially women, that they aren’t alone in putting in work to reach their goals.

“Entrepreneurship can feel very lonely. But I want them to see a lot of us go through the same things…and to impact people who are also of my same heritage, that’s the next level of fulfillment for me”

-Lisa He, Borderlands Bakery

Elk Grove made a mark this month to celebrate the AAPI community. Newell’s event added to the growing recognition as she acknowledged committee members Sebya Gorre-Clancy, Jordan Ritchie and Jazz Williams-Lewis for the event’s success.

To learn more about upcoming events at A Seat at the Table Books visit them online at: https://aseatatthetablebooks.org/

About The Author

Tony Mercado

Tony Mercado brings a decade of experience as a Bay Area newspaper reporter to the Tribune. He studied journalism and political science at San José State University and has written for such dailies as the Gilroy Dispatch, San José Mercury News and Contra Costa Times. By day, he’s a communications specialist for a San José water district and somehow finds time to dive into a Stephen King novel, get in the stands for San José Sharks and Las Vegas Raiders games and whoop it up with his family and rescue dogs.

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