2011 Asian Leadership Summit in Central Ohio

October 27, 2011 § Leave a comment

This past Saturday I attended the first annual Asian Leadership Summit at the Franklin Conservatory in Columbus, Ohio. The event was organized by several members of the Asian Festival, a non-profit organization that is also a member of the Ohio Asian American Health Coalition. Among the topics discussed was a report on the Asian populations in Ohio and based on the 2000 Census, there were 238,292 Asians living in Ohio, representing 2.1% of the total population. In Central Ohio the percentage is 4.6% which translate to 62,000 Asians. Community leaders within different Asian ethnic groups spoke during the Summit and pointed out the positive and negative aspects within their respective communities. Among those the Indian community is expressing an urgent need for immigration reform due to the long visa backlogs for India. Same thing could have easily been said for other countries such as China and the Philippines. The community leaders also discussed issues such as cultural and language barriers for immigrants and how to help them to better adapt to living in this country. Immigration presents many legal issues as well as practical ones, and while the various political and legal struggles to fix the current system rage on, it is a sobering reminder that those who have attained permanent residence or citizenship in this country may still face just as many challenges today as they did when they first arrived.

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