We're about to reunite with a very special group who won our hearts last year. In celebration of Southwest's big 4-0 last summer, we gave away 40 tickets to 40 nonprofits (for a total of 1,600 roundtrip tickets on Southwest Airlines). One of the lucky winners was the nonprofit organization Pacific Asian Consortium in Employment (PACE). It just so happens we're about to be at the same place as them, in celebration of Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month.
This year to celebrate, we’re excited to sponsor and participate in a range of national events. We'll be participating in the first national youth leadership summit put on by South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT), and the National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development's inaugural Native Hawaiian & Pacific Islander National Convening. Finally, we'll represent Southwestat the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies' National Leadership Academy and 18th Annual Gala Awards Dinner.
But having the opportunity to meet our friends at PACE will be truly special. Founded in Los Angeles in 1976, PACE works to create economic solutions to meet the challenges of employment, education, housing, business development, and the environment in the Asian Pacific and other diverse communities. PACE will be using their 40 tickets to help fly clients and staff to the AAPI Month festivities.
“We are very excited for our Diversity and Democracy: America’s Strength project that has been made possible by your Showing LUV to our Communities for 40 Years Contest. We are deeply grateful to Southwest Airlines," said Kerry Doi, PACE President and CEO.
The stars aligned for us when I learned through another community partner that PACE would be in D.C. at the same time we would. My Coworker Rachel Barry and I couldn’t wait for the opportunity to see our tickets in action, and to get to know Kerry and his amazing colleagues, who captivated us with a compelling essay entry last year.
According to the 2010 Census, the Asian population grew faster than any other race group in the United States. 17.3 million people (5.6% percent) in the U.S. indentify as Asian, either alone or in combination with one or more other races. Southwest is proud to support the AAPI community throughout the country and year. To learn more about our community efforts, please visit our Asian Outreach page.
We’ll tell you all about our trip when we return, but until then...
Happy Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month!