The DNAinfo archives brought to you by WNYC.
Read the press release here.

Group Hopes to Give Voice to Growing Asian Population in Forest Hills

By Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska | February 18, 2015 2:11pm
 The Forest Hills Asian Association is officially launching next week.
The Forest Hills Asian Association is officially launching next week.
View Full Caption
Forest Hills Asian Association

QUEENS — A new group launching next week in Forest Hills will seek to give a voice to the rapidly growing Asian community, which currently constitutes nearly 25 percent of the population in the neighborhood, the group said.

The Forest Hills Asian Association hopes to promote various Asian-owned businesses, organize cultural and networking events as well as volunteer in the community, the organizers said.

“We do have a growing Asian population in the neighborhood and we would like to serve them,” said Kaleena Ma, one of the organizers, and the owner of MK Vision Center on 71st Avenue, near Queens Boulevard.

Ma, who is of Chinese descent, said that while other ethnic groups in the neighborhood have their organizations, community centers and meet-ups, Asians don’t. The group, she said, aims to fill that void.

According to U.S. Census data, the Asian population in Community Board 6, which covers Forest Hills and Rego Park, more than doubled in two decades — from less than 14,000 in 1990, when it constituted about 13 percent of the entire population in the neighborhood, to more than 29,000 in 2010, making up about 25 percent of the population.

The Asians living in Forest Hills and Rego Park have a diverse ethnic background and include Indians as well as people of Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese ancestry, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The new group, which is officially launching next Tuesday, hopes to represent them all, the organizers said.

“We hope to provide a sense of community for Asians,” said Ma, adding that the group will be open to everyone, including non-Asians, who are interested in the Asian culture.

Edwin Wong, 42, a manager at a bank whose parents immigrated to the U.S. from Hong Kong, said that the goal is also “to engage the growing Asian community in Forest Hills and to increase awareness among the rest of the Forest Hills community (about the Asian population).”

The new group, Wong said, plans to collaborate with other already existing organizations, such as the Forest Hills Chamber of Commerce and Community Board 6.

The Forest Hills Asian Association will host its first official event combined with the Lunar New Year celebration at Jade Eatery and Lounge on Tuesday, Feb. 24, from 6:28 p.m. to 8:28 p.m.

Wong said the time was picked because "8" is a lucky number in the Chinese culture.

“Come meet, mingle, and share ideas on how we can all partner, advocate and collaborate in 2015,” the group wrote about the event on its Facebook page.

The free event will feature a raffle drawing for local merchant discounts and gift cards, the group said.

Those interested in joining the group and participating in the event, can email: FHAA11375@gmail.com. Jade Eatery and Lounge is located at 1 Station Square in Forest Hills.