Celebrating Asian American/Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Sorenny, one of our Asian-American staff members at Dr. Logan Speaks, shares: What does Asian American/Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month mean to me? It’s a month dedicated to Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders where the focus is on educating others about our history in America; the contributions and challenges in the years of our existence in this country. It’s a month where we can celebrate each other as Asian Americans of various ethnicities with different experiences yet also share some similarities.

The twin pandemics of COVID and racism that have dominated our society over the last year have brought more conversations about race and identity to the fore. Our awareness has increased, and more people are discussing and speaking out about AAPI heritage than ever before. Here are a collection of ideas and resources to guide our celebration and observation of AAPI Heritage Month!

Tools to learn about AAPI communities

AAPI communities have a long and storied history in the United States, including a history of anti-Asian discrimination and violence, as well as incredible contributions and leadership in many fronts of our nation’s development. Learn more about AAPI communities across the country with this mapping tool.

AAPI Data provides interactive graphics with census data. This image depicts the population of different nationality groups in the Chicago area.

Stop AAPI Hate

Lingering anti-Asian racism and the increasing occurrence of violent attacks on AAPI individuals due to prejudice about the coronavirus pandemic have recently become far more prominent in our public conversations, but the history of anti-Asian violence and discrimination has been a twisted American tradition for centuries. Read more about intersectionality during a pandemic and responding to race-based anti-Asian violence in some of our previous blog posts.

Representation

As we see more representation of AAPI individuals in leadership in our country, we celebrate that representation while we do our best to avoid the issue of the “model minority” myth. In January, the first woman and first Asian American (and Black) person was sworn into the second highest office in the United States; Vice President Kamala Harris shares boldly about her Indian roots and celebrates the way she models possibility for young girls of every race.

In April, director Chloé Zhao made history as the first woman of color and the first Chinese woman to win the Oscar for Best Director. Her film, Nomadland, spoke about joys and struggles of life in America. Her brilliant direction of this story illustrates the incredibly diverse set of experiences, backgrounds, and histories that come together to form this nation.

Tell your story

AAPI readers: let us know in the comments what AAPI Heritage Month means to you!

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