Asian Americans in Houston

Asian Americans
in Houston

Applause, please!

Houston is a multi-cultural city, with the most diversified population in the nation. Recent surveys tell us the racial mix of Houston is 37.8 percent White, 36.3 percent Hispanic, 16.8 percent Black and 7.2 percent Asian.

These facts are stated often and, more and more frequently, by us locals with pride, as each segment of our population has added greatly to the flair and flavor of our amazing city.

Though Asian Americans represent the smallest part of Houston’s racial mix, their positive impact on our city is apparent. They are contributing significantly in the fields of business, education, law, medicine, politics, philanthropy, IT, etc.

In this issue of Houston Woman Magazine, we put the spotlight on three specific Asian Americans (women, of course) who prove the point, quite beautifully!

Martha Wong was born in Houston to Chinese immigrants. She ventured into politics after a laudable career in education and many years of volunteering in her community. She was the first Asian American elected to Houston City Council and, later, the first Asian American woman elected to the Texas House of Representatives. Noteworthy, too, are the doors she opened for many other Asian Americans seeking roles in government and public service. Martha Wong’s inspiring story is told on pages 10-11.

Donna Fujimoto Cole, featured on the cover of this issue and on pages 20-21, is a Japanese American and highly successful entrepreneur. She is the founder and president of Cole Chemical & Distributing, Inc. Her success in business has allowed her do what she loves most – help other people and the causes that speak most loudly to her heart. She does this through the generous giving of her time, talent and treasure. By example, she encourages and inspires the rest of us to do the same! 

Anita Carman came to the U.S. from Hong Kong at the age of 17 to go to college and pursue a career in Corporate America. After she earned her MBA and enjoyed a successful career in business, her husband’s job necessitated a relocation to Houston. Here, Carman taught Bible classes for several years and, later, attended and graduated from the Dallas Theological Seminary, Afterwards, Carman believed God was calling her to take a different path. She answered the call in 2003 by founding Inspire Women to “inspire women of all ethnicities, denominations and economic levels to find and purse their God-given potential.” The incredible story of Anita Carman and Inspire Women begins on page 25.

As you finish reading about the Asian American women featured in this issue, a few choice words may come to mind (as they did for me): “Amazing...Brilliant...Cool...”

And, with deep appreciation, “Bravo! Thanks for all you do!”