Charlotte has always striven to be a world class city. Soaring glass and steel skyscrapers, professional sports teams and a burgeoning arts scene, a thriving uptown and trendy neighborhoods — these are the most obvious signs of those aspirations. But the true test of a city and its region lies in its ability to welcome and integrate new faces and fresh voices. The measure of a city lies not in the height of its skyline, but in the breadth and depth of its community. What matters is how we live, work, and play together, and how we provide opportunities for everyone to participate — no matter what a person looks like or where he or she is from.
While prejudice and violence against the Asian American and Pacific islander (AAPI) community has been in the news recently, it is not a new problem. The Charlotte region includes more than 20 different cultures and religions originating from East Asia, Southeast Asia, and South Asia. This diversity of cultures and languages within the AAPI community can make it more difficult to address systemic issues of racial prejudice. As "Model Minority Myth & The Double-Edged Sword,” a report released by Ascend Pan-Asian Leaders, notes:
“Asian Americans are the invisible minority. On the whole, Asian Americans are wedged in an uncomfortable position as white adjacent on the one hand and as people of color on the other, and the complex set of stereotypes has rendered them invisible in discussions of race and prejudice in America.”
We can do better.
We are a diverse place, and increasingly so. North Carolina’s Asian population is the fastest-growing racial/ethnic group in the state, growing from 209,400 residents in 2010 to more than 303,000 in 2017, an increase of 44.7%. (The state’s total population grew by 7.7% over this period.) Roughly 7% of population in Mecklenburg County identifies as Asian American, and there are now over 100,000 Asian Americans in the greater Charlotte metro area.
AsiaCarolinas is designed help build a bridge between East and West by celebrating Asian cultures and lifestyles and highlighting the greater Charlotte region's AAPI community. We aim to provide a positive and illuminating view of the AAPI community in this region, to be a resource for local Asian Americans, and to build community between Asian Americans and the broader community. While our focus is on the greater Charlotte region, coverage will include items of interest to our audience from the Carolinas, the Southeast, our nation, and the world. AsiaCarolinas will feature six distinct issues per year, with additional updates made to the site throughout the year.
We welcome you and hope that you will find this site both informative and entertaining.