Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

May 9, 2022

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month - a celebration of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States. 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).

AAPI Heritage commemoration was first proposed in 1977 to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad, constructed mainly by Chinese immigrant workers. In 1978, President Carter made it an annual week-long event and President George H.W. Bush extended the proclamation to include the entire month of May.  

The theme for AAPI Heritage Month 2022 is “Advancing Leaders Through Collaboration.” The theme builds on the Advancing Leaders series, which began in 2021 and will run through 2024. 

The following are some ways we can learn more about Asian American and Pacific Islanders:

Children’s Book: The Name Jar. A heartwarming story about the new girl in school, and how she learns to appreciate her Korean name. This bestselling classic is about finding the courage to be yourself and being proud of your background.

Adult Book: Leveraging Stereotypes to your Advantage: Turning Stereotypes into Opportunities, Finding Balance Between the Yin and the Yang. Dianne Lee shares how she has had to turn negative situations into positive success stories, both personally and professionally. She deconstructs how society views stereotypes as mostly negative characteristics and demonstrates that if certain traits persist, they can be detrimental to one's life, but with the right approach, strategy, and mindset, those negative experiences can be used to your advantage.

Podcasts: 15 Best Podcasts from AAPI creators to add to your list.

National Organization with a local chapter: National Association of Asian American Professionals – Kansas City (NAAAP) – a non-profit, all-volunteer organization that promotes the career advancement and leadership development of Asian American professionals in all fields. It is the largest and fastest growing Asian American professional organization in the U.S. and Canada.

Local Restaurant: Chewology. Owned by Katie Liu-Sung, Chewology is a street food-inspired eatery showcasing local eats from the streets of Taiwan. They are located at 900 Westport Rd, Kansas City, MO, 64111.