Our Roots: Celebrating AANHPI Heritage Month

Welcome back to Our Roots! In this week’s edition, we’re wrapping up AANHPI Heritage Month and looking ahead to LGBTQ+ Pride Month.

These past few weeks, News 6 has been telling stories of events, locations, and community discussions that reflect AANHPI culture.


On May 14, more than 200 people gathered in Ocoee to celebrate the 13th annual Asian American Heritage Council’s Asian Cultural Festival. Eventgoers experienced a broad selection of Asian American meals and snacks and were able to enjoy performances, such as the famous Chinese dragon dance.

Coming up, the Asian American Pacific Islanders Coming Together group will host a town hall at the Orange County Supervisor of Elections office. The goal of the town hall is to raise awareness on local AAPI issues and increase civic participation in the community. The town hall starts at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, May 24.


Soupa Saiyan is a noodle bar that has three locations in Florida, two of which are in Orlando! This small chain is run by husband-and-wife duo Marshall Phanthachit and Joy Nguyen. Soupa Saiyan offers a wide range of Asian cuisine, most famously their “Soupa Bowls.” You can choose between the pho, ramen, udon, zoodles, or kale ramen.

Need something sweet after those noodles? Head over to Sampaguita, the Filipino-inspired ice cream shop in Orlando. Sampaguita hosted its grand opening this month They have special ice cream flavors, such as lychee strawberry and ube. They also have several ice cream options for vegan customers.

Community discussions

Kenway Wong, leader of the Asian American Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Orlando Asian American Bar Association, spoke with News 6 digital journalist Sam Dunne to discuss how Central Florida can support the AANHPI community. Wong said that anyone, even if they don’t fall under the AANHPI umbrella, is invited to participate in these organizations if they’re interested.

Another important AANHPI community discussion recently led to the passing of a new law requiring AAPI history lessons in Florida classrooms. Mimi Chan, director of Make Us Visible Florida, spent two years advocating for this instruction inclusion bill, hoping to see herself and people like her reflected in history.

And that wraps up AANHPI month! Stay with us for LGBTQ+ Pride Month in June. We’ll stay on top of the events, locations, and community discussions that are important to the LGBTQ+ community. If you have any questions, suggestions, or story ideas, please reach out to me at bellis@wkmg.com or my teammate Vic Price at vprice@wkmg.com.

About the Author:

Brianna Ellis joined News 6 in September.