Celebrating AAPI Heritage: A Month of Recognition
How are you planning to honor AAPI Heritage Month?
Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month is a time to recognize and celebrate the diverse cultures, histories, and contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the U.S. Throughout May, various events and activities are held to honor their heritage and promote cultural understanding and awareness.
What is the history?
- AAPI Heritage Month was established in 1977 to recognize the accomplishments and contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
- May was selected to commemorate the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants to the U.S. on May 7, 1843, and the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869, primarily built by Chinese immigrants.
- In 1990, the entire month of May was designated by President George H. W. Bush as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.
Educate yourself online
- Bravespace is a collection of original songs, sounds, and meditations by Asian American women and non-binary artists, providing a safe haven for reflection, sorrow, and healing during a time of communal trauma and increased xenophobia.
- The National Archives features online programs and resources documenting the Asian and Pacific Islander experience.
- The National Park Service and its partners commemorate AAPI Heritage Month by sharing the histories of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders and the continuing culture thriving in parks and communities today.
- The AAPI Collection comprises over 230 public radio and TV programs from 1965 to 2019, showcasing Asian American and Pacific Islander cultures through interviews with prominent artists and writers.
- New York City: Join the Urban Park Rangers to discover how Flushing has expanded over the years to become one of the largest and fastest-growing Asian communities.
- San Francisco: The AAPI Heritage Festival honors the diversity of Asia and the Pacific, providing an opportunity for people to learn about AAPI communities.
- Houston: Asia Society Texas Center presents an immersive multimedia performance by pianist Eunbi Kim, which blends classical music with indie-pop elements and delves into themes of identity and family.
- Houston: As part of the Bank of America Women's Leadership Series, Asia Society Texas Center will host a discussion featuring prominent women news anchors who will discuss their experiences as women of color in journalism.
- Washington D.C.: The National Museum of Asian Art will run a two-week festival from May 1-14, featuring keynote presentations, performances, and community projects that commemorate Asian art and culture of the past, present, and future. Additionally, the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library will host "Making History: Celebrating AAPI Women in the Lab," a conversation with Ashleigh Coren from the American Women's History Museum and U.S. Mint Director Ventris Gibson.
- Asian Americans Advancing Justice: A voice for Asian American civil rights through policy advocacy, litigation, and education.
- Asian Americans for Equality: A leading charitable organization in the U.S. providing housing, social services, and community development for Asian Americans.
- Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance: Empowers Asian American and Pacific Islander workers to address workplace issues and bridge the gap between labor organizations and the AAPI community.
- Stop AAPI Hate: A coalition of organizations responding to discrimination against the AAPI community by tracking and responding to incidents of xenophobia and bigotry.
How are you planning to honor AAPI Heritage Month?
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One of my favorite Asian Art & History resources is the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art, Freer and Sackler Gallery at the Smithsonian which also has online programs. Currently they have a webinar on the Silk Road which is an exhibition they had years ago, and Japanese prints.
"the Freer and Sackler care for exceptional collections of Asian art, with more than 40,000 objects dating from the Neolithic period to today and originating from the ancient Near East to China, Japan, Korea, South and Southeast Asia, and the Islamic world. Nearly a century old, the Freer Gallery of Art also holds a significant group of American works of art largely dating to the late 19th century. It houses the world’s largest collection of diverse works by James McNeill Whistler, including the famed Peacock Room."