Anna Crosslin | St. Louis Public Radio

Anna Crosslin

Anna Crosslin (at left), Harold Law (center) and Bret Narayan joined Thursday's talk show.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

For native St. Louisan Bret Narayan, April was a big month. The first-term 24th Ward Alderman was sworn into office and is believed to be the first-ever Asian Pacific American to serve on the city’s governing board. And with May being Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, Narayan is partnering with the Office of the St. Louis City Recorder of Deeds to celebrate the contributions of some of his fellow citizens.

He joined Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air alongside Anna Crosslin, president and CEO of the International Institute of St. Louis, and Harold Law, who first came to the United States in 1956 as a Chinese refugee and has since played integral civic roles in the local Asian American community.

They talked with guest host Sharon Stevens about the many contributions of St. Louis’ thriving Asian Pacific American community and also delved into some history as well as current challenges and opportunities.

Anna Crosslin is joined by St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay to talk about the importance of immigrants in the region. Jan 30, 2017
Erica Hunzinger | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis leaders are decrying the Trump administration’s executive order that bars refugees from coming to the United States for 120 days. The order also prevents those from seven Muslim-majority countries – Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Libya and Somalia – from entering the U.S. for 90 days.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Anna Crosslin is one of two people that Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has nominated to the Missouri Commission on Human Rights. On Monday’s “St. Louis on the Air,” host Don Marsh talked with Crosslin, the CEO of the International Institute of St. Louis, about her experience for such a role.

International Institute of St. Louis president and CEO Anna Crosslin, today, and with her parents in Tokyo in 1952.
Anna Crosslin

The head of the International Institute of St. Louis says she is looking forward to taking her passion for equity to a statewide level.

Anna Crosslin is one of Gov. Jay Nixon's two nominees to the Missouri Commission on Human Rights. The Commission investigates complaints about discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations based on factors like race, gender, and national origin.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

When Shatha Alshati had her first American Thanksgiving dinner, there was one particular item on her plate that gave her pause: the turkey. The former Iraqi refugee who arrived here in 2009, said that while there are turkeys in her home country, they aren’t frequently eaten. 

A U.S. citizen as of April 2015, Alshati has perfected the art of serving a golden roasted turkey at the Thanksgiving dinners she now hosts.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner talks with reporters in O'Fallon, Illinois. Rauner expressed enthusastic support for bringing the NGA headquarters to the Metro East.
File photo | Katelyn Petrin I St. Louis Public Radio

Even as Republican lawmakers from Missouri, Illinois and elsewhere across the U.S., speak out against allowing Syrian refugees into their states, St. Louis is seen as a community that welcomes those most in need of finding a new home, according to Audrey Singer, a senior fellow with the Brookings Institute in Washington, D.C. “St. Louis is a place that definitely sees refugees and immigrants as assets and as members of the community, members of the work force, and members of the (city’s) future workforce.”

Anna Crosslin
Courtesy of the Intentional Institute

Picking up your roots in one country and moving to a land with different customs and language is a daunting prospect. That story is not unfamiliar to Anna Crosslin, president and CEO of the International Institute of St. Louis.  

“I am a Japanese American and have grown up with my foot in two cultures. So what I have done for a living has been very grounded in what my personal mission has been, which has been building bridges between two worlds,” Crosslin said.

Anna Crosslin (left) and Betsy Cohen (right)
Alex Heuer

St. Louis regional leaders launched an initiative entitled the St. Louis Mosaic Project to make the region the fastest growing metro area for immigrants by 2020. Now in its third year, the goal of the project is to promote regional prosperity through immigration and innovation.

The first Thanksgiving comes every year for new immigrants

Nov 13, 2013
One of the International Institute's students and her young son go through the food serving line for the traditional Thanksgiving dinner that the Institute served Tuesday. For some of the 400 English and citizenship students, this was their first Thanksgi
Wayne Crosslin | Internationl Institute | 2013

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - Typically, the concept of the first Thanksgiving conjures images of Pilgrims and Native Americans, turkeys and pumpkin pie.

For “Mina” Zahra Abdollahi, it is about all that and so much more, as she explained before an early Thanksgiving at the International Institute.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: WASHINGTON -- With the White House stepping up the pressure, conservative lawmakers firing salvos, and one senator going so far as to deliver his remarks in Spanish, the Senate's long-anticipated debate began this week on an immigration bill that is a high priority but faces an uncertain future in Congress.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The St. Louis region’s lack of immigrants has hurt its economy and its growth – and its civic leaders are out to change the trend.

As those involved see it, Congress should use that experience and insight as examples of how to proceed – or not -- when it crafts a new immigration policy.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 10, 2011 - For all the fiery talk about immigration, legal or illegal, Missouri doesn't appear to have much of either. But St. Louis continues to be a magnet for legal refugees.

Those, in essence, were the key points made by Anna Crosslin, chief executive of the International Institute of St. Louis, as she laid out the statistics during a two-hour forum on immigration set up by U.S. Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-St. Louis.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 26, 2009 - If world travel isn't in the budget, get to know your neighbors.

With a little digging, you can find the world in St. Louis. Whether it's feasting on Eastern European fare in a Bevo Mill restaurant, salsa dancing at the Central West End's Club Viva, or grocery shopping at a Chinese supermarket on Olive Boulevard, you can take plenty of cross cultural trips without ever leaving town.