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Daily interviews with a local focus airing at 8 a.m. Monday through Friday on Northland Morning.

Community Connection: The Twin Ports APIDA Collective with Jennifer Lien

seven people working with food around a long silver table (topped with rolling pins, small pieces of dough, and a large silver bowl)
Jennifer Lien
The Twin Ports APIDA Collective Harvest Moon Welcome Back Dinner for area students

"I do a bunch of things, including teach singing," says Jennifer Lien who has been a vocal instructor at the College of St. Scholastica for the past six years. Lien is also a board member for the Twin Ports APIDA Collective, a group that formed three years ago with a mission to create solidarity within the Asian Pacific Islander Desi American community, and to create awareness with the greater community.

"We want to share our story with the Twin Ports," says Lien. "We are historically... a pretty invisible community." Ideas for an organization began with a group of Asian women that gathered for meals. In 2018, conversation at those gatherings turned into initiatives. "Things all came to a head in 2021 when we saw the women in Atlanta, Georgia being gunned down... the very next day our community was able to gather together at the Clayton-Jackson-McGhie memorial, and a hundred people showed up in solidarity."

One month later, the Twin Ports APIDA Collective was actualized. "Our community has historically not wanted to draw attention to ourselves," says Lien. "We needed to show our faces and tell our story."

May is Asian Pacific Islander Heritage month. For more information and to keep updated on future events, visit the Twin Ports APIDA Collective website.

You can hear Community Connection every Tuesday and Thursday at 8am on Northland Morning. This edition of Community Connection is made possible in part by Lakewalk Surgery Center.

Luke Moravec is the host for Northland Morning on The North 103.3. He’s also a local actor, musician and writer. He loves puzzles, riddles and fun mysteries.
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