As a Filipino American, Vicente J. Reid understood the feeling of invisibility throughout his community in Phoenix especially for immigrants and their families. Reid’s single mother exposed him to the lack of awareness from the American public about the heart-wrenching experiences of these families.
He joined the Arizona Asian Chamber of Commerce hoping to make an impact by eliminating the stigma of the model minority myth about the Asian American community. In an interview with Arizona Daily Sun, Reid stated that “Although certain sects of our community have done very well, there are sects that haven’t and are still in poverty because they have that stigma, and it’s hard for them to get the resources they need,”.
The one dimensional view of Asian Americans sparked him to begin the So Good So Asian Film and Food Festival. Premiering this past November, this festival worked in order to showcase talented filmmakers and food artists within the Arizona Asian community. Not only was a $1,000 award given to the best filmmaker and artist but a panel was also hosted to discuss the Asian and Asian American community in media and the local economy. All proceeds that night were donated to PLAN (Phoenix Legal Action Network) to support free legal services to families in the community at risk of deportation.
Currently only 17 out of 535 seats in Congress are held by Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. He believes more political representation would lead to more funding and research for issues such as hepatitis B which is 2.5 times more commonly found in Asian Americans than African Americans and 23 percent more than Latinx. He is hopeful his film festival which spotlights various stories and contributions of Asian Americans will steer the country toward a more equitable future.
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