The 2016 National Asian and Pacific Islander American (APIA) Historic Preservation Forum (aka 2016 Forum) was held on April 23-25 in Stockton, California. With the theme "Shaping Our Future Through Our Historic Neighborhoods", we highlighted the diversity of APIA history and historic preservation efforts in Stockton with local, state, and federal partners.
“This is an exciting time in the field of historic preservation, particularly for Asian and Pacific Islander Americans,” said Michelle Magalong, chair of APIAHiP. “This year we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Historic Preservation Act. As we reflect on the legacy of this legislation, we also look forward to bringing a greater awareness and recognition of the diversity of our American history and landscape. Stockton's historic Asian American neighborhood and sites provide us with a glimpse not only of our APIA history but also of the future in terms of historic and cultural preservation work.”
Some of our priorities with the 2016 Forum included ensuring a greater awareness of APIA historic preservation through educational programs and advocacy, supporting the protection and improvement of important cultural resources, and building an engaged and diverse constituency for historic preservation in and for the APIA community.
Over 250 attendees from across the nation – diverse in terms of ethnicity, age, religion, occupation – convened in Stockton for our 2016 Forum. The 2016 Forum addressed the need to support historic and cultural preservation efforts that are important for APIAs by bringing together experts in the fields of preservation, community development, history, and the arts with community groups, practitioners, and students. Attendees enjoyed panels, tours of historic sites and neighborhoods, film screenings, and group discussions about the diverse stories of APIAs in US history and in historic preservation efforts.
This forum explored APIA history and historic sites in the context of Stockton’s storied APIA histories of community, culture, and preservation including the first Sikh Gurdwara in the US, Little Manila Historic Site, and Confucius Church. The 2016 Forum will showcase panel discussions in three main areas: leveraging partnerships and resources in federal/national partnerships, supporting statewide initiatives and collaborations, and elevating local efforts in preserving and sustaining historic sites and cultural resources.
Our APIA Preservation Awards honored individuals and organizations elevating historic preservation in the APIA community and feature cultural performances from local APIA community groups and organizations. Honorees include Dr. Dawn B. Mabalon (San Francisco State University; Filipino American National Historical Society; Little Manila Foundation), Eugene Itogawa (retired California State Historic Preservation Office), Camille Wing (China Alley - Hanford, CA), Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation, and Berkeley South Asian Radical History Walking Tour.
A partial list of sponsors and supporters include: National Park Service, National Trust for Historic Preservation, Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, Alliance for California Traditional Arts, Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, California State Historic Preservation Office, Hawaii State Historic Preservation Division, National Coalition of Asian Pacific American Community Development, Little Manila Foundation, Stockton Sikh Gurdwara, and Chinese Benevolent Association of Stockton.