Asian-American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month Graphic

White Plains, NY — On Monday, the Westchester County Board of Legislators celebrated Asian-American & Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month with a virtual ceremony recognizing the efforts of two inspiring Westchester residents: Sameer Ahuja of Scarsdale and Anjali Chen of Hastings-on-Hudson.

Vice Chair Nancy Barr (D – Harrison, Port Chester, Rye Brook) convened the observance noting, “The Pew Research Center has found that Asian-Americans are the fastest-growing ethnic group in America - it is a wide umbrella, representing so many different ethnic identities and immigrant experiences.”

“Tonight we honor two outstanding individuals who arrived at this moment from vastly different situations: Sameer emigrated from India with his family to grow up and eventually settle in Scarsdale, Anjali fled her war-torn homeland in Sri Lanka alone to find sanctuary in an American university. In spite of their distinct journeys, they share in being extremely well-educated, distinguished and determined in their professions, and deeply dedicated to giving back to their communities.”

Legislator Ben Boykin II (D – White Plains, Scarsdale, West Harrison) presented the first proclamation, saying, “In March, Sameer Ahuja was recognized as ‘Technology Executive of the Year’ by Sports Business Journal, and in April, GameChanger was named the ‘#2 Most Innovative Sports Company in the World’ by Fast Company.”

“In spite of being a highly successful entrepreneur, he is deeply interested in how the private sector can benefit society. To pursue this interest, he became involved in Scarsdale civic activities. Since 2021, he has served as a Trustee on the Scarsdale Village Board. During his tenure, he has advocated for technology and telecom initiatives to improve services in the Village, promoted diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, and encouraged residents to volunteer and engage in discussions on important civic issues facing Scarsdale.”

Mr. Ahuja thanked the Legislator, saying, “As a first-generation immigrant from India, I have been connected to Westchester and Scarsdale for 38 years. I have witnessed firsthand the remarkable spirit of the people who call this place home. Two of those people were my parents, who grew up as refugees during the 1947 partition of India. They instilled in me a deep appreciation for the opportunities that this community provides … Their dedication to service inspires me to give back to this community that has given me so much.”

The Board declared May 16, 2023, “Sameer Ahuja Day” in Westchester County.

You may also go to Vimeo to watch the full video.

Legislator David Imamura (D – Ardsley, Dobbs Ferry, Edgemont, Hartsdale, Hastings-on-Hudson, Irvington) -- the Board’s first Asian-American Legislator -- presented the second AAPI proclamation saying, “As the Board celebrates Asian American and Pacific Islander month, it is hard to think of anyone more deserving of recognition than Anjali Chen.”

“Anjali’s commitment to AAPI issues is unwavering. She is an active member of the Westchester County Asian American Advisory Board since 2020, and the current and founding Treasurer of the Westchester Asian American Democrats. During the recent wave of COVID-related anti-AAPI hate, this work has become even more vital. In her role with the Asian American Advisory Board, she has been instrumental in identifying key issues that face AAPI residents, and in coming up with creative solutions to address those issues.”

Ms. Chen accepted the honor with these words, “I am deeply grateful to be a member of the Asian- American Advisory Board, through which I have met many passionate, thoughtful and brilliant Asian Americans committed to making Westchester more of a home to us all. And I so appreciate the County’s efforts to keep us safe these last few years in this climate of increasing anti-AAPI hate everywhere. I am especially grateful to the County for the Speak Up Campaign and for making it possible for the Advisory Board to undertake Westchester’s very first AAPI community needs assessment survey … I have already started work with some of my colleagues on addressing one of the key findings – the clear need for public education on the history of Asian-Americans in this country which has remained largely invisible. In the early phases of launching our public education campaign, we are seeing a deep interest and hunger for more information from folks and institutions across the County.”

The Board declared May 20, 2023, “Anjali Chen Day” in Westchester County.

You may also go to Vimeo to watch the full video.

Read the program for Monday night’s event at: