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Tribute to Norman Mineta

May is AAPI Heritage Month, when we recognize and celebrate all those who are of Asian American and Pacific Islander backgrounds. The Asian American Business Development Center sends a special greeting to all of our members, award recipients, partners, supporters, and allies who join us in being proud of our roots and rich cultural legacy.

We also want to celebrate the life of Norman Y. Mineta, one of the most accomplished and impactful Asian Americans, who passed away at age 90 on May 3, 2022, just at the start of AAPI Heritage Month.

Norman had so many "firsts" in his life, and we were honored to be one of the many organizations to commemorate his contributions to America by awarding him The Lifetime Achievement Award in the Outstanding 50 Award Dinner Gala 2012.

So many accolades have poured in for this extraordinary man. We wanted to share with you an excerpt on Norman from the White House Initiative on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (WHIAANHPI) newsletter:

Remembering the Life and Legacy of Secretary Norman Y. Mineta

Norman Y. Mineta was an extraordinary public servant, veteran, trailblazer, and giant who left an indelible mark on American history. He dedicated his life to championing civil rights at the highest levels of government and shattered racial barriers, using his platform to address the injustices that he and hundreds of thousands of Japanese Americans experienced during World War II.

Secretary Mineta also inspired generations of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders, working with grace to elevate our voices and stories at each step of his distinguished career – from the mayor to a member of Congress to the first Asian American cabinet secretary in history. He also served as the first Chair of President Bill Clinton’s inaugural White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, a precursor to what is now the White House Initiative on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders.

While his passing represents an enormous loss for our communities, his legacy will continue to live on through the immeasurable impact of his kindness, brilliance, and love of country. Our hearts go out to his family during this difficult time.

You made all of us proud, Norman!


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