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September 29, 2023

Final DEI ‘encuentro’ tonight on AAPI

Asian American & Pacific Islander cultural communities explored

The fifth and final “encuentro” takes place at 6:30 tonight, Thursday, April 27, on the subject of “Is the Dream Alive and Well in Healdsburg?” It will provide a venue for panelists and community members to discuss the contemporary and historical experiences of the Asian-American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community in Healdsburg and Sonoma County.

Encuentro is the word adopted by the city’s diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) consultants, Acosta Educational Partnership, headed by Curtis Acosta. While its simplest meaning is a “meeting,” the term encuentro underscores the multi-cultural context of the encounters. 

Like the previous encuentros, tonight’s gathering will be held at the Healdsburg Community Center Multi-Purpose Room (1557 Healdsburg Ave.). Earlier meetings have discussed Indigenous voices (Jan. 26), the African American community (Feb. 23), housing and planning (March 9), and labor and the migrant community (March 30).

“We have had a community gathering nearly every month since the project started in earnest in August 2022,” said Acosta. “By embedding ourselves into the community through the encuentro process, we have been able to build an authentic assessment from the voices of Healdsburg residents.”

Panelists for the April 27 meeting include the following Healdsburg residents who identify with the AAPI community: Gayle Okumura Sullivan, co-owner of Dry Creek Peaches and current executive director of Healdsburg Jazz; Caroline Bontia, operator of the Shop Local Healdsburg blog and board member of the Healdsburg Museum and Historical Society; Lise Asimont, co-founder, viticulturist and winemaker at Dot Winery; Elaine Chen, community outreach, Zero Foodprint; and Andrew Hori, executive sous chef, SingleThread Farm. 

At the conclusion of the event cycle, according to the scope of services prepared for the city, the Acosta group shall “summarize the information gathered at the encuentros and shall use the information to develop a Community Needs Assessment. The Community Needs Assessment will provide a baseline of data and information that will inform future work by ALLP, including but not limited to the DEI Plan.”

Further information can be found on the city’s website at Healdsburg.gov/dei. 


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