Inaugural Southern California Asian & Pacific Islander Festival April 29 in Oceanside: Celebrating tradition,
resilience, and transformation
Oceanside, CA – Kickstarting regional celebrations of Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage month in May, the inaugural Southern California Asian & Pacific Islander (API) Festival, will be held Saturday, April 29, 2023 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Oceanside Civic Center. More than 20 Asian and Pacific Islander cultures will be represented during this community event with two performance stages and a martial arts
demonstration arena featuring Bi “killer bee” Nguyen (aka: Killerbeemma) giving a self defense seminar. There will also be a health and wellness area, storytelling and hands-on cultural activities at the Oceanside Public Library and Oceanside Museum of Art, as well as various food and artisan booths. The festival is free and all ages are welcome to attend. The theme for the Festival is the spirit of the Rabbit which
symbolizes longevity, peace, and prosperity in many Asian cultures. The festival is hosted by local non-profit Umeke, Inc., an organization dedicated to educating local communities through cross-cultural learning, working towards the equity and advancement of all marginalized and underserved populations.
Ilima Martinez, festival co-director and President of Umeke shares: “What makes this festival special is that it’s a truly community-based event. A well-known Hawaiian proverb, A’ohe hana nui ka alu’ia, no task is too big when done together is the essence of the event.” In the same spirit, Kevin Shin, entrepreneur, small business owner, and festival co-director states, “As we enter 2023, this decade has presented so many challenges throughout our communities. We seem to be in a time where there is an incredible need to remember traditions of our cultures, share a sense of humanity to a visceral level, and find commonality even when experiencing differences. Small business like Ikigai Artifacts in Artist Alley and our other partners are great examples.”
About Umeke … UMEKE is a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to the preservation, perpetuation and
education of Hawaiian culture. Our vision is to educate local communities through cross-cultural learning, working towards the equity and advancement of all marginalized and underserved populations. It is with that spirit that we would love to share the vision with our extended Asian & Pacific Islander cultures. For more information, visit www.umeke.org
SoCal API Festival’s Mission: … SoCal API Festival’s mission is to increase education for Asian and Pacific Islander culture. We endeavor to create better global citizens by engaging and educating members of the local community, and foster meaningful conversations about cultural similarities, differences, and a mutual desire for respect and understanding.
About Killerbee MMA … Bi “killer bee” Nguyen is of Vietnamese descent; born in Long Khanh, Vietnam and immigrated to the US in 1995. She began her MMA career in her early 20s out of Houston, Texas as a survivor of domestic violence. She is a cast member of CBS Survivor Season 37, a former fighter with One Championship, a sports agent, and a MMA fighter. Killerbee actively works to empower API women through self defense workshops, seminars, and speaking engagements.
Festival website: www.apifestival.com
● Bi “Killer Bee” MMA: www.instagram.com/killerbeemma/?hl=en