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Celebrating AAPI Heritage

yellow background. on the top right and bottom left are red and orange circles. on the top left and right are paper lanterns. in the center text appears to read "celebrate asian american and pacific islander heritage" and underneath swipes right to read "may 1 to may 31"

What is Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Month?

Like most commemorative months, Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month originated with Congress. In 1977 Reps. Frank Horton of New York introduced House Joint Resolution 540 to proclaim the first ten days in May as Pacific/Asian American Heritage Week. In the same year, Senator Daniel Inouye introduced a similar resolution, Senate Joint Resolution 72. Neither of these resolutions passed, so in June 1978, Rep. Horton introduced House Joint Resolution 1007. This resolution proposed that the President should “proclaim a week, which is to include the seventh and tenth of the month, during the first ten days in May of 1979 as ‘Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week.’” This joint resolution was passed by the House and then the Senate and was signed by President Jimmy Carter on October 5, 1978, to become Public Law 95-419. This law amended the original language of the bill and directed the President to issue a proclamation for the “7 day period beginning on May 4, 1979, as ‘Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week.’” During the next decade, presidents passed annual proclamations for Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week until 1990 when Congress passed Public Law 101-283 which expanded the observance to a month for 1990. Then in 1992, Congress passed Public Law 102-450 which annually designated May as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month.

The month of May was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. The majority of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants. [Source: Asian Pacific American Heritage Month]

What does Asian/Pacific mean?

A rather broad term, Asian/Pacific encompasses all of the Asian continent and the Pacific islands of Melanesia (New Guinea, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji, and the Solomon Islands), Micronesia (Marianas, Guam, Wake Island, Palau, Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Nauru and the Federated States of Micronesia) and Polynesia (New Zealand, Hawaiian Islands, Rotuma, Midway Islands, Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Cook Islands, French Polynesia, and Easter Island). [Source: Asian Pacific American Heritage Month]

Celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage

Some honor and celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month by donating to AAPI charities, eating food from any of the countries that are being celebrated, learning from their cultures, and honoring influential AAPI figures who have made an impact on our society. Below are some ways you can celebrate with us!

red background, in the center is a bag of money, below it reads "donate to AAPI charities" orange background, in the center is a bowl of noodles with vegetables beside a set of chopsticks, and underneath reads "traditional AAPI foods" yellow background, in the center is a woman wearing a traditional wrap, and underneath her reads "influential AAPI figures"

Check out TV Shows, Documentaries, Movies, and Music:

AAPI Month Playlist Listen on Spotify!
The Great Wall (2016) Watch on Youtube or Amazon Prime!
The Joy Luck Club (1993) Watch on iTunes, Youtube, Amazon Prime, and Google Play!
Crazy Rich Asians (2018) Watch on HBO, Youtube, Google Play, and Amazon Prime!
Plus One (2019) Watch on Hulu, Amazon Prime, and Youtube!
Tigertail (2020) Watch on Netflix!
Always Be My Maybe (2019) Watch on Netflix!
The Half of It (2020) Watch on Netflix!
Asian Americans (2020) Watch on PBS!
#AsianAmCovidStories (2021) Watch on Youtube!
Call Her Ganda (2018) Watch on Amazon Prime!