May is AAPI month
The meeting was held in honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, celebrated every May since the 1970s when the United States government officially recognized the major role that generations of Asian American and Pacific Islanders have played in American history.
John Wong, a graduate of Yale University and a real estate professional, who has worked with clients across the United States and the globe for over four decades, was the guest speaker. He pointed out that Asian Americans are the fastest-growing segment in home ownership, even though only about 60.6% of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are homeowners, according to U.S. Census Bureau data used in a recent report from the Asian Real Estate Association of America.
Wong also showed a PowerPoint slide about a covenant, conditions, and restriction rule for a house built in San Diego between 1950–1951 that still excluded homebuyers who were not of Caucasian descent. Fortunately, progress has been made since President Johnson signed the 1968 Fair Housing Act into law. Yet, the purchasing power of the Asian population differs between Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Pacific Islanders depending on their income.
According to an article on Housing Discrimination against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders by Diane K Levy and Claudia Aranda, “discrimination in housing markets is compounded by the myth that Asian Americans are not discriminated against. Because of this assumption — a cousin to the model minority stereotype — fair housing advocates’ enforcement and education efforts may not always include AAPI communities. It also influences how policymakers shape a range of housing-related policies.”
Celebrating diversity through food and music
Six tables representing the food of Korea, the Philippines, Japan, India, Vietnam, and China were placed at the back of the newly-renovated main meeting room. Dim sum, egg rolls, sushi, pork buns, and mochi to name just a few were served to a room full of realtors, title representatives, lenders, and other professionals.
Soothing and melodic songs were played on the Nanmu wood Guzheng, a traditional Chinese musical instrument.
It was an honor and pleasure to be part of such a diverse community of real estate professionals, who have one common goal for their clients: to help them become homeowners, build equity, and achieve the American dream.
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