Cincinnati Compass Newsletter | May 2024

Newsletter | May 8, 2024

There is a lot to celebrate in May as it is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month and National Small Business Month. At the end of April, Asian Food Fest was a great way to kick off both celebrations recognizing the rich cultural contributions and remarkable entrepreneurial spirit of AAPI communities in the Cincinnati region. May offers us an opportunity to delve into the stories of resilience, innovation, and success that define the AAPI experience and we hope you can take part in the many events happening across the region. Conveniently, Asianati has curated all the wonderful events happening around the region here – from films to art installations and community conversations, there is an event for everyone.

Across the region, AAPI communities have woven threads of ingenuity and ambition, shaping the very fabric of our region’s economic vitality. In every corner of the region, AAPI entrepreneurs are making their mark, from downtown Cincinnati and Covington to Fairfield, Ohio. They are the owners of neighborhood and Main Street businesses, the creators of cutting-edge tech startups, and the leaders of multinational corporations. Their endeavors not only fuel economic growth but also foster cultural exchange, enriching the tapestry of our collective experience.

Like other communities, the AAPI community has deep, longstanding roots in the region and continues to welcome newcomers – immigrants and refugees – to the region. As we celebrate AAPI Heritage Month and acknowledge National Small Business Month, let us recognize the invaluable contributions of immigrants as entrepreneurs and job creators. For example:

  • In 2023, immigrants started new businesses at more than double the rate of US-born citizens

  • 64% of US unicorn companies (privately held billion-dollar companies) were founded or cofounded by immigrants or the children of immigrants

  • Ohio immigrants make up nearly 9% of all entrepreneurs with an income of $1.4 billion, though they only represent 5% of the overall state population

Earlier this month, we had a great conversation on Cincinnati Edition to kick off National Small Business Month, discussing the role of immigrants as entrepreneurs and job creators in the region.

Throughout this month, we invite you to join us in commemorating the achievements of AAPI individuals and exploring the intersections of culture, heritage, and entrepreneurship. Together, let us amplify community voices, uplift stories, and celebrate the cultural and economic contributions across the region of community members whether long-term residents or recent newcomers.

Bryan Wright


Executive Director

Cincinnati Compass


Greater Cincinnati Chinese Cultural Exchange Association

Greater Cincinnati Chinese Cultural Exchange Association (GCCCEA) is an independent non-profit organization with the mission to celebrate Asian American cultural heritage, improve cross-cultural understanding, and support regional diversity and inclusion. GCCCEA presents many high-impact cultural events of transformative nature and brings eye-opening cultural experiences to many residents in the Greater Cincinnati area and beyond. It provides a platform for the Asian American community to celebrate its heritage, share its voice, and build a vibrant and inclusive region for everyone to belong and thrive.

GCCCEA presents many high-impact cultural events to this region including the Annual Cincinnati Moon Festival and AAPI Heritage Month Experience. Additionally, GCCCEA brought the Chinese Railroad Workers Photography Exhibit to Cincinnati from Stanford University, which featured the history of the 20,000 Chinese workers who shed blood and tears to complete the massive West Coast segment of the world's first transcontinental railroad from 1865 to 1869. In 2021 after six women of Asian descent in Atlanta were murdered amidst an anti-Asian hate surge across the country, GCCCEA co-organized the Stop Anti-Asian Hate rally in front the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center to help the community heal and have their voices heard.

GCCCEA has a robust youth leadership program designed for Asian American high school students with a focus on fostering multi-ethnic conversations among the youths from diverse backgrounds and developing leadership skills to build confidence, drive passion, and better serve the community. The program includes education and engagement initiatives through sharing food, performing arts and storytelling of the lived experiences of the Asian American youth.


Martial Arts Training Classes at Nepali Language and Arts Center

The Nepali Language and Arts Center (NLAC), a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization, is dedicated to preserving, promoting, protecting, and strengthening Nepali language, arts, and culture within the Nepali-speaking community. Additionally, it aims to generate and empower new opportunities for children and youths through diverse training programs.

In addition to Nepali language classes, the NLAC offers Karate and Dance classes. Collaborating with the International Shito Ryo Karate Association, NLAC provides Karate training facilitated by instructors Shiva Jogi from Columbus and Ran Majhi from Cincinnati, conducting sessions every weekend.

The Karate program boasts an enrollment of 40 children, and recent years has seen remarkable success in regional, national, and international tournaments. Notably, 10 senior students participated in the USA Open and Junior International Karate Championship in Fort Worth, Texas, from March 29th to March 31st, where they clinched an impressive 20 medals, including 3 Gold, 5 Silver, and 12 Bronze.

NLAC's dedication to promoting martial arts goes beyond achievements; it operates with limited resources, utilizing space generously provided by Healthy Home Care for training sessions held every Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. at 7198 Pippin Rd, Cincinnati, Ohio 45239.

Participation in these classes not only equips children with martial arts skills but also instills self-discipline, self-defense capabilities, and respect. Moreover, engaging in physical activity contributes to mental health well-being.


Embracing Courage: Former Teen Refugee Overcomes Obstacles to Shine

Rojina Rai's inspiring journey from a refugee camp in Nepal to a high school student in Ohio is a testament to resilience and determination. Her illustrated story, "I Choose to be Courageous," is a featured selection in USA for UNHCR's annual Refugee Storyteller Celebration. Born into adversity, Rojina's family fled persecution in Bhutan, seeking refuge in Nepal. Now, at seventeen, she navigates the challenges of a new community in the United States with grace and fortitude.

Rojina draws strength from her grandmother's stories, weaving her own experiences into narratives of courage and hope. Despite facing numerous obstacles, she refuses to be defined by adversity, choosing instead to shine brightly. Through her illustrated story, Rojina shares her journey of resilience, inspiring other young people to persevere in the face of adversity.

"I've faced various challenges, but I've always overcome them," Rojina shares. Her words resonate with readers, offering a glimpse into the indomitable spirit of a young refugee determined to thrive in her new home.

To learn more about Rojina's story and show support, visit the MakeTank Inc. website.




We are committed to helping you connect with the people, services, programs, and organizations you need. Here’s the resource hub dedicated to immigrants and refugees in the Cincinnati region. Find everything you need to move forward with your business, career, education, housing, immigration, community building, or social service plans. Please contact us at if you need additional information, assistance connecting to one of the organizations, or want to discuss which type of service is best for you.


Explore social services ranging from meals to emergency shelter and beyond throughout Cincinnati and Hamilton County with the Cincinnati Public Library's community resources guide. Please be aware that schedules and services may be subject to change. It is recommended to contact the organization in advance for the latest information. If access to a phone is unavailable, individuals can seek assistance from a library staff member to utilize a library phone for necessary inquiries.


We've achieved a significatn milestone with our CARE-Cincinnati group to produce an informative series on navigating resources in Cincinnati! In this series, we cover several crucial topics, including workers' rights, colleges and higer education, K-12 education in Cincinnati, public benefits, taxes, immigration, and healthcare accessibility.

Each video provides an overview and essential information related to the topic. Additional resources will be linkedin the description below each video. Videos are available in Arabic, English, French, Nepali, Spanish, and Swahili.

Check the videos out on our YouTube channel and share them!




OMNIAFRICA – Cincinnati's Inaugural Africa Day Celebration

May 25, 2024 | 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. | Fountain Square

OMNIAFRICA – a city-wide celebration of the African continent – will honor the globally recognized day with an opening ceremony, music, and a discussion on doing business on the continent. The day will conclude with honoring the remarkable contributions of Africans within Cincinnati, across Ohio, and the globe. Attendees can expect opportunities to represent their countries, network, and enjoy food, desserts, and music!


AAPI Heritage Night with FC Cincinnati

May 29, 2024 | 7:30 p.m. | TQL Stadium

AAPI Heritage Night with FC Cincinnati is scheduled for Wednesday, May 29th. Those who purchase tickets early will have the opportunity to gain exclusive sideline access at TQL Stadium during pre-match warmups. Additionally, AAPI flair will adorn Washington Park's Pre-Match at the Park, commencing at 4:30 p.m. The event will feature a plethora of family-friendly activities, Asian food trucks, AAPI organizations, and live music by Serin Oh.


Cincinnati Rhythm

September 13, 2024 | 6 - 10 p.m. | Cincinnati Museum Center

Cincinnati Rhythm is our highly anticipated, multicultural annual event. There’s something for everyone who attends including plenty of food, music, performances, and special awards. Every year we hold this special event for the immigrants and refugees who call our region home. The event is a celebration and an opportunity to connect with friends, old and new.

So save the dates – September 13, 2024 from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Cincinnati Museum Center – and join us in celebrating the new Americans who contribute to a strong regional economy and a diverse, vibrant community. 


CPS Seal of Biliteracy Celebration 2024

Clark Montessori High School | May 15


OMNIAFRICA – Cincinnati's Inaugural Africa Day Celebration

Fountain Square | May 25, 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.


AAPI Heritage Night with FC Cincinnati

TQL Stadium | May 29, 7:30 p.m.


World Refugee Day Festival | RefugeeConnect & KRM

Goebel Park | June 15, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.


Culture Day 2024 | Kentucky African Women Association (KAWA)

Hellmann Creative Center | June 22, Noon - 6 p.m.


AfriFest: Taste of Africa | APNET

Sawyer Point Park | July 20, 10 a.m. - 10 p.m.


Global Crisis. Local Hope.

Xavier University's Health United Building | April 22, 7 - 8:30 p.m.


Cincinnati Rhythm | Cincinnati Compass

Cincinnati Museum Center | September 13, 6 - 10 p.m.


The Illustrated Memoir Project

Contemporary Arts Center | September 11 - November 10