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Cultural Connection: Celebrating Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

May 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.




  • 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.


Below are links to additional information about celebrations, events and more in the communities where many of us work.



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