Among the 10 Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders the White House will recognize as "Champions of Change" this week is Latter-day Saint Selu Alofipo.
During Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month in May, the White House and White House Initiative on AAPIs are celebrating artists and advocates who have used unique channels and diverse platforms to tell powerful stories, increase awareness around key AAPI issues, and encourage diversity and inclusion in all sectors of society. . . .The event will feature remarks by Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to the First Lady Tina Tchen, National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu, and White House Initiative on AAPIs Executive Director Doua Thor. Panels with the Champions of Change will be moderated by Phil Yu, blogger of Angry Asian Man, and Jeanny Kim, Acting Director of the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center.
Here are the honorees:
Selu Alofipo – North Salt Lake, Utah
Selu Alofipo is a self-taught expressionist artist who immigrated to the United States from the Island of Samoa in 1983. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Louisiana Tech University while on a football scholarship and credits much of his success to the opportunities made available to him through his parent’s hard work and family support. As a first-generation Samoan American, Selu feels a tremendous responsibility not only to his family, but also to his Samoan heritage to persevere, progress, and succeed by doing things the right way and by utilizing the values instilled in him as young child–faith, family, respect, and above all, hard work. Selu has returned to his local elementary, junior high, and high schools to speak to students and to personally thank the teachers and administration for their dedication by donating customized original paintings as a token of gratitude.