Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month is observed annually in May to celebrate the contributions that generations of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) have made to American history, society, and culture. This year’s theme is: Advancing Leaders Through Purpose-Driven Service.
According to StopAAPIHate, nearly 3,800 hate-related incidents against Asian Americans have been reported in the last year. As we know is often the case, the number of reported incidents is likely much lower than the number of incidents that have occurred. Having previously had a President who not only enabled anti-Asian rhetoric during the COVID-19 pandemic, but participated, we now see an even more heightened public display of violence toward Asian American communities.
While we know the Covid-19 Pandemic has contributed to a recent surge in violence, anti-Asian violence is not new to our country. Hatred and violence towards any community of color is intolerable and keeps us all from living in a just, safe and healthy world. It is why it is important for us to speak up if we hear racist, derogatory language, and to be actively anti-racist as individuals and as a collective.
Learn how to support the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities and get important tips on what to do if you witness or encounter hate, through Stop AAPI Hate here. Find out more about our agency’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion work, click here.
- Read about the History of the Asian American Civil Rights Movement.
- Check out this Curated Reading List for Engaging With Asian American And Pacific Islander Heritage Month from NPR.
- For free online, watch Asian Americans, PBS’s five-part docuseries that gives an overview of America’s Asian communities from the first immigrants in the 19th century right up to today.
- Learn about 10 Influential Asian American and Pacific Islander activists who left a lasting mark on American history, fighting for civil rights, labor rights and everything in between.
- From disease cures to influential tech to workers’ rights, Asian American innovators have made huge impacts on people’s lives. Discover eight groundbreaking achievements by Asian Americans History.com.
- Enjoy 10 free streaming PBS programs that are premiering during AAPI Heritage Month, including Amy Tan: Unintended Memoir, about the life and literary career of The Joy Luck Club author; and The Donut King, about how Cambodian refugee Ted Ngoy created his ultra-successful doughnut business on the West Coast. You can see the full schedule here.
- For 42 years, the Coalition of Asian Pacific Americans has hosted a festival in celebration of AAPI Heritage Month. In a typical year, the event, which takes place in New York City’s Chinatown, includes food, art, and musical performances highlighting AAPI culture in its many forms. Throughout May 2021, virtual events will be hosted on EventHub.