Home Official News Releases Drake Law students fundraise for natural disaster victims; celebrate Asian community

Drake Law students fundraise for natural disaster victims; celebrate Asian community

photo of APALSA President Mike Nguyen and law students Ayanna Watson and Krystle White
APALSA President Mike Nguyen and law students Ayanna Watson and Krystle White at the Drake booth during the CelebrAsian Festival last weekend.

CONTACT: Tory Olson, 515-271-1834, tory.olson@drake.edu

Drake Law students’ impact made at the recent CelebrAsian
Asian Heritage Festival
held in Des Moines will be felt on another continent. 

Members of the Asian Pacific American Law Students
Association (APALSA) made their second appearance at the sixth annual festival
and were joined by students in the Drake Chinese Students Association. The two
groups helped fundraise for International Red Cross Disaster Response, which
raised more than $2,500 for victims of the earthquake in China and cyclone in

“Having a fundraising at the festival was a great idea
because it drew more attention from the festival-goers and helped increase
awareness of the natural disasters,” said APALSA President Mike Nguyen.

News Photo
Chinese Students Association members and a Red Cross volunteer help to raise money for victims of natural disasters during the Asian Heritage celebration.

“It was a great experience to have the Drake Chinese
Students Association join us to gather donations to assist in relief for those
suffering as a result of the cyclone in Myanmar and the earthquake in China,”
said Ellen Yee, assistant professor of law and faculty adviser for both student

Yee, Drake students, faculty and staff manned a Drake
information booth, sponsored by the law firm Faegre & Benson LLP in Des

“We were excited to have the continued support of
Faegre & Benson LLP for this wonderful opportunity to outreach to the
greater Iowa community,” Yee added.

The booth offered admission information for prospective law
students, temporary tattoos, balloons and stickers for Drake supporters. View a
photo slideshow of the celebration and festival-goers and the Drake booth online. 

In addition, Yee organized an educational trivia game that
featured questions about both Drake Law School and ways that law has impacted
the Asian population.

Trivia questions covered topics such as the Chinese
Exclusion Act and Korematsu v. the United States, in which the Supreme Court
held that the U.S. Constitution allowed the government to intern
Japanese-Americans on national security grounds.

Annual festival represents 12 Asian American

Approximately 36,000 festival-goers celebrated the 12 Asian
American communities represented by villages with tents offering crafts,
history, art, gifts and food. The communities represented are: Burmese,
Cambodian, Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Japanese, Korean, Laos, Nepalese, Taidam,
Vietnamese and Thai.

The event also showcases traditional and contemporary
Asian dance and music.

“The festival captured most of the essence, if not all,
of the Asian culture in terms of arts, traditions, ethnic values, foods and
much more,” Nguyen said. “It helps the Asian communities embrace and
perpetuate the significant role that culture plays in their lives.”

The festival is presented  by the Iowa Asian
Alliance, a non-profit organization dedicated to growing Iowa through the
united Asian American community in the areas of business, economic and
community development.

More information about the Iowa Asian Alliance is available online.