What the Chinese New Year Festival Means to Meby Joanna Mai, Bureau of Land Management
On February 8-9, 2020, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) returned for a second time to the Chinese New Year Festival and Parade in San Francisco. For BLM, it was an opportunity to share with the Asian American Pacific Islander community resources and educational materials about public lands in California. BLM is determined to connect with them and hear their stories, thoughts, and perspectives about the lands that surround our communities.
As a first-generation Asian American woman working for a federal government agency like BLM, it was meaningful to me because I was able to connect my community with cultural and recreational resources and converse in Cantonese or Mandarin to non-English speakers. Whether it was discussion about heritage sites, federal job opportunities, or being an Asian American woman pursuing a career in the environmental field, being able to communicate and share my knowledge and journey at the festival has provided pathways and opportunities to my community that is not conventionally sought after. I want my community to know that there is a place for you in the government. I want my community to know that there is a place for you in the environmental field. You have a place and a voice in these discussions. BLM has intentions to return to the Chinese New Year Festival and Parade in the future to reach out to underserved communities like my own.