2013 AAPIHM poster

Resources

Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month, May 2013

2013 AAPIHM banner

The month of May is “Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month,” and this year’s theme is “Building Leadership: Embracing Cultural Values and Inclusion.”

Initially, the week beginning May 4, 1979, was designated as “Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week.” In 1990 the week-long celebration was extended to a month-long celebration designating the month of May as “Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month.” The month of May was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese people to the U.S. on May 7, 1843 and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad by many Chinese laborers on May 10, 1869.

Because of the two important anniversaries mentioned earlier, many people today assume the Chinese or the Japanese were the first Asian Americans to set foot on American soil; however, the first Asian Americans were Filipino men. In 1763, they fled mistreatment aboard Spanish ships, settled in Saint Malo, Louisiana, and married Cajun and Native American women. Fifteen years later in 1778, Chinese sailors settled in Hawaii and married Hawaiian women. When Hawaii and the Philippines became U.S. territories in 1898, residents who were mostly Asians received U.S. citizenship. Later in the mid-19th century, Chinese and Japanese immigrated into the U.S.

Asian Americans are Americans of Asian descent having origins in any of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent, including Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Vietnamese, Korean, and Japanese. According to the 2010 Census, Asian Americans comprise 5.6% (17,320,856) of the U.S. population and grew 46% faster than any other racial group between 2000 and 2010. Census projections expect the number to increase to more than 40 million by 2050.

Pacific Islander are Americans who have ancestry in Polynesia (including Hawaii, American Samoa, New Zealand), Melanesia (including Fiji Island, New Guinea), and Micronesia (including Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, Marshall Islands, Palau). According to the 2010 Census, Pacific Islanders make up .40% (1,225,195) of the U.S. population and grew 40% faster than any other racial group between 2000 and 2010. Census projections expect the number to increase to more than 2.6 million by 2050.

The month of May is designated as a time to recognize, appreciate, and celebrate all the contributions of our Asian and Pacific Islander Americans. Please take the opportunity this month to celebrate and learn more about the culture and history of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders who have helped fulfill the promise of the American dream.

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 For more information on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, please check-out these sites!

asian pacific heritage


May is Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month

The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the generations of Asian and Pacific Islanders who have enriched America’s history and are instrumental in its future success.

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The White House


Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

...When any of our citizens are unable to fulfill their potential due to factors that have nothing to do with their talent, character, or work ethic, then I believe there's a role for our government to pay. - President Obama

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“Promoting a Healthy, Vibrant Asian American and Pacific Islander Community” (2011)

Coalition of Asian Pacific Americans online


34th Annual Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Festival

Smithsonian


Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center

OHIO state Logo


The Multicultural Center sponsors this major Asian American identity programmatic undertaking each year, bringing together student and community groups across a wide diversity of Asian cultures and traditions.

This year’s theme is “ImaginAsian: Redefining and Recognizing Asian American Voices.” Through the month, we want to engage with the broadening meanings of Asian American and recognize Asian Americans who are contributing to a range of important societal conversations.

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minnesota


Lighting the Past, Present, and Future

May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month — a celebration of Asian and Pacific Islanders in the United States. In 1977-78, Congress passed legislation recognizing the first ten days of May as Asian Pacific Heritage Week. It was expanded in May, 1990 when President George H.W. Bush designated May as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.

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