Museum celebrates Asian Pacific American Heritage Month with May program

The Holland Museum is spotlighting the experience of five Asian and Pacific Islanders in West Michigan as part of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month in May.
Hosted by Jennifer Pascua, panelists will share their culture and what is being done to elevate the presence of their cultural communities. 

The discussion will be held Thursday, May 19 from 7-8:30 p.m. at the Holland Museum, 31 W. 10th St.

“We are pleased to be able to provide a forum for this important conversation about Asian and  Pacific Islanders,” says Executive Director Ricki Levine. “As a cultural institution, the Holland  Museum has a responsibility to offer opportunities to learn from one another, to celebrate our  differences, and to explore our collective humanity.” 

Pascua will moderate the discussion with Bing Goei, Ace Marasigan, Stella Michael, and Pujita  Sieplinga.  

Panelist backgrounds

Pascua works in community relations at Spectrum Health and is the owner of Halo Halo Multimedia, a Filipino-American family-run freelancing group offering a mix of micromedia services serving and elevating BIPOC and women entrepreneurs and disability and non-profit organizations. Pascua is also an adjunct professor in Hope College’s Department of Communication. 

Bing Goei was born in Jakarta, Indonesia, and lived in the Netherlands until arriving in Grand Rapids in 1960. He is the CEO of Eastern Floral and the Goei Center and has served as chair of the Asian Pacific American Chamber of Commerce, the chair of the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce, and the director of the Office for New Americans in Gov. Rick Snyder’s administration.  

Ace Marasigan emigrated from Manila, Philippines, and has made Grand Rapids his home since  1993. In 2017, Marasigan created the Grand Rapids Asian Festival, an annual event that brings together many West Michigan Asian-Pacific groups in a cultural celebration. Marasigan is a real estate professional with The Ace Team at 616 REALTY.

Stella Michael was born and raised in a small town in India. She currently serves as the director of CRM platforms and applications at Spectrum Health. She is the co-founder of Asian American Community Engagement and the Asian Inclusion Resource Group at Spectrum Health. She is also the chairman of the board of West Michigan Asian American Association, a non-profit that supports the needs of Asian communities. 
 
Pujita Sieplinga is an assistant vice president and consultant for PNC Organizational Financial Wellness. She serves as inaugural board vice president for PNC’s Western Michigan multicultural group.  

“We value the diverse communities we serve and are pleased to be a part of the Asian Pacific  American Heritage Month panel discussion, which elevates the history, perspectives, and experiences of our AAPI community members,” says Bill Hoefer, president of Spectrum Health Zeeland Community Hospital. “We applaud the Holland Museum for centering on voices that, historically, have not been heard nearly enough. As a health care organization, we know that health is better when we feel a sense of belonging.”  

Registration is required on Eventbrite via the Holland Museum’s website,  www.hollandmuseum.org.