The month-long celebration acknowledges the achievements of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders while highlighting their undeniable impact on American history.
Solidarity & Support in Current Times
With the rise of anti-Asian hate crimes during the coronavirus pandemic, AAPI Month is an especially important time for celebration and raising awareness.
Showing love and support for all cultures within the AAPI community, as well as solidarity with non-Asian communities is incredibly important—turning grief and injustice into activism and joy is the greatest form of community.
From May 1 to May 31, we’re reminded that Asian Americans should neither be lumped together into a single East Asian monolith, nor boxed into the stereotype of a model minority to be pitted against other underrepresented communities.
Did you know that Asia is the most populous continent, containing 48 countries and 3 territories?
The Pacific Islands is a geographic region in the Pacific Ocean comprised of three ethno-geographic groupings: 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).
Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have contributed significantly to many facets of American culture and society, including science and medicine, literature and art, sports and recreation, government and politics, and activism and law. Below are just a few of the many examples of this!
In 1869, the golden spike was driven into the first transcontinental railroad, a project accomplished with Asian laborers.
In 1964, Patsy T. Mink was the first Asian American woman and woman of color sworn into Congress. In 2021, Kamala Harris became the first Asian American Vice President of the United States!
In 1964, pitcher Masanori Murakami was the first Japanese man to play in U.S. baseball’s major leagues for the San Francisco Giants.
In recent years, AAPI communities, stories, and traditions have become more visible in film. In 2019, South Korean director Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite won the Academy Award for Best Picture, and in 2019, the release of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings debuted Marvel’s first Asian superhero.
“The power of visibility can never be underestimated.” ― Margaret Cho
We’re encouraging our Staff and Board Members alike to celebrate AAPI voices all month long.
From watching a documentary to reading a book by an AAPI author, Family Promise of Morris County is committed to gaining knowledge and insight about the many cultures and experiences within the AAPI community this month and every month.
We encourage our community to do the same! Check out our list of resources below. Listening and learning are the first steps toward positive change.
A Reading List to Celebrate Asian Authors, From Members of TIME's Asian Community
Article: What is the Model Minority Myth? – “The myth of the ‘model minority’ is pervasive. It does real damage. And Asian American students aren’t the only ones it harms.”
Article: The Limits of the Lunchbox Moment by Jaya Saxena – “Not all children of immigrants grew up embarrassed about their food, but pop culture convinced them they should be.”
Article: What You Can Do to Fight Violence and Racism Against Asian Americans – “Advocates are urging Americans to be allies in actionable ways that go beyond words.”
Organizations & Events:
STOP AAPI Hate Coalition - Mission to advance equity, justice, and power by dismantling systemic racism and building a multiracial movement to end anti-Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) hate. Offers reports and educational resources for furthering education.
Asian Mental Health Collective - Seeks to raise awareness about the importance of mental health care, promote emotional well-being, and challenge the stigma concerning mental illness amongst Asian communities worldwide. Tool for locating an Asian therapist in the US and Canada.
Celebrate AAPI Heritage Month in NJ with Bollywood music, lantern festival and more
Listen & Watch:
Podcast (Series): Vietnamese Boat People - Stories of hope, survival, and resilience. Between 1975 to 1992, almost two mil. Vietnamese risked their lives to flee oppression and hardship after the Vietnam War. Escaping by boat, this population is known as the “Vietnamese Boat People.”
Documentary: Free Chol Sol Lee - A documentary about Korean immigrant Chol Sol Lee who was wrongfully convicted for a 1973 San Francisco murder and set free after a pan-Asian solidarity movement. (1.25 hours, audio description available)
Video: Growing Up Asian - Stories from the Stage - Every day, millions of people are creating their own definitions of what it means to be Asian American. Check out their stories here. (26 minutes, transcript available)
Listen: What You Don't Know by Lulu Wang - Lulu Wang tells the story of an elaborate attempt to keep someone ignorant — her grandmother — and how her family pulled it off. (27 minutes, transcript available)