Celebrating AAPI Month in 2022


No matter how people differ in beliefs, no matter what color people are and ethnicity people come from, all people are capable of bringing goodness to the world. The United States is a country that is not only home to Americans but also to other ethnicities and heritage such as the Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders who have made significant contributions to society. This month of May is the celebration and recognition of the wonderful people from the AAPI community.

The origins of the celebration dates back to 1977 when New York representative Frank Horton introduced House Joint Resolution 540. It was a proposal to declare the first 10 days of May as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week. This was not passed into law which led to representative Horton introducing House Joint Resolution 1007. This is a request for the president to declare a week during the first 10 days of May in the year of 1979 to be the celebration of Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week.


New York representative Frank Horton

Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia

The said Resolution was passed by the House and Senate and was signed by former President Jimmy Carter into Public Law 95-419 in 1978. The celebration was then extended by Congress from a week to a month in 1990. During the administration of George H.W. Bush, the month of May was annually designated for the celebration and was renamed into AAPI Heritage month in the year 2009.

The theme for this year’s AAPI Heritage month is “Advancing Leaders Through Collaboration” according to the Federal Asian Pacific American Council. “May” being the month for the commemoration is symbolic because it was the month wherein the first Japanese people immigrated to the United States in 1843 as well as the month that the transcontinental railroad was finished by Chinese workers.


Photo Courtesy of FAPAC

There are numerous ways you can take part in recognizing the efforts of the AAPI community to society. For instance, you can eat at Asian-owned restaurants and support small businesses especially in San Francisco. This would greatly help Asian business owners boost their sales after being affected by pandemic restrictions back then.

People can also grab the opportunity to know more about the AAPI community by listening to a podcast named Campu which is about Japanese American incarceration survivors or watch a film in CAAMFest 40 organized by the Center for Asian American Media which will happen in the San Francisco Bay Area.


Photo Courtesy of Discover Nikkei


Photo Courtesy of CAAMFEST

There will also be an exhibit in San Francisco’s Chinatown by the Chinese Historical Society of America entitled “We Are Bruce Lee: Under One Sky, One Family” which showcases memorabilia from his family and the legacy he had made in acting and martial arts. For sports lovers, there will be a free webinar happening this May 7 by the Japanese American Citizens League on the history of baseball and the impact it has made during the 2nd World War.


Photo Courtesy of Chinese Historical Society

The Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders community truly is a community rich in heritage and stories and they deserve to be celebrated and recognized for the contributions they have made.

References:

AARP
History

Written by Jan Marbella

Jan Marbella is a Digital Marketing Intern of PS Media Enterprise and a 4th year Bachelor of Arts in Communication student of De La Salle University DasmariƱas.

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