Celebrating AAPI Heritage Month with Kiwa
As May was Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month Heritage month. We wanted to acknowledge and embrace the fact that every culture and community matters; as well as take this time to hold space for Asian American Pacific Islanders.
As for Kiwa, we believe that community care is truly so important. We are the generation that can make changes in our society and our time is now. For AAPI month, we want to share the history about this holiday and how we've been honoring the community.
Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month was originally only one week long. It was signed in 1978 to celebrate the AAPI community. After President George H.W. Bush signed in 1990 to extend the week into the full month.
"The month of May was chosen to commemorate the first immigration of the Japanese to the U.S. on May 7, 1843, and also to mark the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. So the May dates are significant for celebrating AAPI Heritage Month." - Understanding Asian American And Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Texas A&M Today.
Every year we have a different theme, which is chosen by the Federal Asian Pacific American Council, a nonprofit organization that supports the interests of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders. This year the theme is "Advancing Leaders Through Collaboration"
"the month is a time to speak out, share stories and debunk myths about Asian communities."
"Our history is also filled with incredible stories of resilience, of persistence, of determination, to fight for our basic rights,"
"This is a celebration of our history, of our culture ... and all the different ways in which our community has really demonstrated that we're not only here to stay, we are a part of this fabric — a part of this country."
- Cynthia Choi, co-executive director of Chinese for Affirmative Action and co-founder of Stop AAPI Hate, The story behind Asian Pacific American Heritage, and why it's celebrated in May, NPR
The best way to support the AAPI community can simply be to hold space for those that are part of the community. Listen to their stories, let them be heard. Along with this, it's important to educate ourselves on the history and culture of these communities. There are tons of books as well as documentaries connected to AAPI experiences. And most importantly, let's remember to always support AAPI organizations. If you don't know where to start, we've got your back, don't worry.
For the books and films, CNET has made a list. Find out more from one of their articles, "AAPI Heritage Month: How to Celebrate Asian American and Pacific Culture"
Sustain The Mag knows many resources for the organizations that we can easily participate in. Explore from their Instagram post, "Supporting the AAPI Community"