San Francisco Mayor London Breed on Friday called for fighting discrimination and hate amid the COVID-19 pandemic at the opening of Asia-Pacific American (APA) Heritage Month of the city.

“As I have said, time after time, we have to stand together to fight this virus based on the science, facts and data. There is no place for discrimination and hate in our city or our country,” Breed said in a video speech for the virtual celebration of the APA Heritage Month opening.

“During this global pandemic, the APA communities are facing unfair treatment, prejudice, and threats simply because of who they are,” she added. “We celebrate our cultural heritage because it’s a part of who we are as a city.”

The month of May is celebrated as APA Heritage Month for the past 15 years in San Francisco, which has a tradition of kicking off the celebration with APA heritage awards event followed by a festive reception at the city hall.

Last year, the celebration committee of the event presented the award to a project led by Stanford Professor Gordon Chang for delving into the history of the Chinese railroad workers’ contribution to completing the first transcontinental railroad across the United States in the 19th century.

Because of the pandemic, this year’s celebration and all the other cultural events throughout the month cannot take place as usual.

“We must shelter in and be safe. However, the recognition and celebration of APA Heritage Month must continue,” Said Claudine Cheng, founder of the San Francisco APA Heritage Celebration Committee and the non-profit APA Heritage Foundation.

“Because we are living through an extraordinary time when Asian Pacific Americans are facing the challenges not only of the pandemic but also the rising tide of anti-Asian hate and violence,” Cheng explained.

She noted that APA Heritage Month offers a unique and timely opportunity for the diverse community to “come together, to connect, to share stories, and be proud of who we are.”

“We invite everyone to join us in this virtual celebration to enjoy all the online programs that showcase the rich and diverse cultures of the Asian and Pacific Islanders,” Cheng said. Enditem

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