There are countless articles, events, and collaborations relating to various initiatives brought by the community of Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) around Chicago. It’s definitely hard to give a spotlight to all of them. However, despite the difficulty of casting some light on these equally important drives, someone has found a way for all Asian Americans to stay connected and be in the loop of all the things that continue to happen within the AAPI community of Chicago.
To say that he is all about the community is an understatement. There might not be enough superlative words to describe him and his passion but honestly, he really is all about the AAPI community. Lakhi Siap has selflessly served and helped bring the community to the next level. This has been the purpose of his life.
Born and raised in Cebu City, Philippines, Lakhi’s appreciation for different cultures stemmed from having an Indian mother and a Filipino-Chinese father. This love for culture carried on when he immigrated to the United States in 2006 where he immediately began participating in many cultural and community-building events. It was from there that he saw that there was a disconnect and miscommunication within the Asian American community. He found a way to consolidate all Asian American events taking place by founding Chicago Asian Network (CAN) and developing an online event calendar where various AAPI-related organizations could access as well as submit their own. CAN grew to be a multicultural marketing and public relations firm whose purpose is to represent the many Asian American communities.
For more than a decade, Lakhi has devoted his time to the Asian American community. He has hosted and managed events, participated in the development of various leadership programs, engaged in public speaking decorums, actively took part as one of the board of directors for a non-profit organization, and even volunteered in various non-profit organizations such as Chinese Mutual Aid Association, Filipino Young Leaders Program, ACE NextGen, and so much more. His passion for the community not only derives from his innate friendliness but also his willingness and sincerity when it comes to connecting one community to another. All these to further any great cause brought by any AAPI individuals, communities, and organizations. He believes in the spirit of collaboration as he sees that success is meant to be shared by the whole community and not just by one individual or one strand of that community. This mindset continuously forms a shared history among the members of the community which will serve not only as his legacy, but of everyone who believes in the great potential and power of AAPIs. His many nominations to the #AsiansWhoCAN proves this and the whole team is also filled with much joy.
With an extensive experience in leadership, public relations, multicultural and millennial media marketing, and community outreach, Lakhi was awarded President Obama’s Volunteer Service Award for Community and was given the Distinguished Young Asian Professional Award by Asian Chronicle USA Cable Access TV. It’s no surprise that with his dedication towards community service, he has consulted for and collaborated with various companies and organizations such as the likes of Pepsico, Mcdonald’s, AT&T, and the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the US State department.
Lakhi, Founder of CAN, is more than a leader, friend, advocate, businessman, and believer. He is, more than anything, just one of us. This is his—our story.