Cultural Connection: Celebrating Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Heritage MonthMay 4, 2023
Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month is recognized throughout the month of May in the U.S., also known as AANHPI Heritage Month. As of the 2020 U.S. Census, about 20.6 million people in the U.S. identify as AANHPI, which is about seven percent of the total U.S. population. The Pew Research Center projects the AANHPI population will surpass 46 million by 2060.
According to an article at history.com, the AANHPI umbrella term includes cultures from the entire Asian continent including East, Southeast and South Asia, and the Pacific Islands of Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia. And much like we learned about the complexity and uniqueness of identity in our National Hispanic Heritage Month interview with Carolyn Vasquez, Ascend Learning director of talent development and inclusion — the same applies to AANHPI, which encompasses a wide range of ethnic groups with diverse languages, histories, cultures and traditions. CNN recently explored this topic.
To continue our commitment to our values and to encourage learning and understanding — which helps us continue to build our culture of inclusion at Ascend — we provided our team members with some resources to learn more about AANHPI Heritage Month and explore events in the communities where we live and work.
Another great way to learn is through friends, colleagues or neighbors who are part of these communities. We encourage you to engage them in conversation and ask them about their own narratives or their familial culture. Whether you love to watch, listen, read or get out and support events and communities in person, follow the thread of what interests you most, explore the unfamiliar and be compassionately curious.
- Explore the origins, meaning and evolution of AANHPI Month at the History Channel
- Did you know AANHPI Heritage Month has a new theme each year? This year’s theme is “Advancing Leaders Through Opportunity.” Learn more from the Federal Asian Pacific American Council.
- White House Proclamation on Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month:
- Celebrate AAPI histories, communities, arts and cultures in the U.S. through culture labs, online exhibitions, blogs, essays and more at the Google Arts & Culture hub and the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center
- Perform a search for AAPI Heritage Month in your preferred music streaming service to access a wide breadth of curated playlists featuring AAPI artists, songwriters and performers. If podcasts are your jam, seek out Dear Asian Americans, Ka Leo o ka Uluau or Self-Evident: Asian America’s Stories.
- Rotten Tomatoes has compiled a list of all streaming services with curated collections of films, documentaries and other content celebrating AAPI Heritage Month featuring Asian filmmakers, directors and actors. Look for a special icon or hub when you log in to your preferred steaming service. PBS also has a robust offering of documentaries and resources to explore.
- Explore recommended books from the New York Public Library or Penguin Random House.
Below are links to additional information about celebrations, events and more in the communities where many of us work.
- Boston Globe: Eight Ways to Celebrate AAPI Heritage Month
- Boston Public Library
- Massachusetts Asian American & Pacific Islanders Commission
- Visit Phoenix: Where to Celebrate AAPI Cultures in Phoenix (please note Visit Phoenix has not posted an update for 2023 — but this article from 2022 includes links to plenty of year-round offerings and attractions)
- Arizona PBS: Celebrating AAPI Heritage Month
- Arizona Public Media: Celebrating AAPI Heritage Month
- AANHPI Heritage Month Celebration with the Mayor
- Kansas City Public Library: Events & More
- KMSP Minneapolis: Where to Celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
- Meet Minneapolis: Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month