Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month was signed into law in 1978. Over the years, the recognition of the AAPI community has grown and evolved with over 24 million people in the United States falling under this umbrella.
Celebrating other cultures helps to foster a sense of community, respect, and open-mindedness for other cultures. When you take part in other people’s heritage celebrations you are able to celebrate differences in a positive way. This also helps to understand other people’s perspectives and educate yourself at the same time.
Below are 5 ways you can celebrate AAPI Heritage Month.
Support AAPI Groups on Social Media
Show your support on social media by liking, sharing, donating, and following accounts that support AAPI efforts. Below are a just a few accounts to follow:
- Asian American Alliance, Inc. on Facebook
Through this non-profit, you can learn more about the diverse cultures of Asia and Asian Americans in Indiana.
- Asian Arts Initiative on Instagram
This initiative is building community through art, located in the heart of Philly.
- Asian Pacific Fund on Twitter
This community-based foundation is dedicated to strengthening the Bay Area’s Asian and Pacific Islander communities through philanthropy.
Watch an AAPI-Focused Documentary
If you love watching documentaries, then why not add a few documentaries created by AAPI filmmakers? Here is a list!
- Call her Ganda
Call Her Ganda follows the brutal murder case of Filipino transgender woman by a U.S. Marine, and the obstacles faced in the pursuit of justice. Available on Amazon and iTunes.
- The Claudia Kishi Club
In this film, Asian American creatives pay passionate tribute to the iconic, stereotype-busting “Baby-Sitters Club” character in a heartfelt documentary short. Available on Netflix.
- Bad Rap
Bad Rap follows four independent Korean American rappers, all in different stages in their career, navigating the music industry and working on getting mainstream. Featuring Awkwafina, available on Hulu.
Listen to a Podcast
Podcasts are such an amazing way to educate yourself on all matters including AAPI heritage month. Try giving a few of the suggested podcasts a listen:
- Mx. Asian American
Karen Zheng hosts and invites other Asian Americans to discuss issues relating to the community and covers everything from mental illness, career aspirations, racism to food, love languages, and pop culture.
- Politically Asian
Politically Asian features Aaron Yin and Gerrie Lim as they discuss current topics and events related to Asian Americans through the lenses of history, class, and advocacy.
- Asian American History 101
Join daughter and father Gen and Ted Lai, for a podcast that will entertain and educate as they dive into the vast history of Asian Pacific Americans, from their contributions to their struggles to their triumphs.
- Asian Boss Girl
Hosted by three young Asian women, Asian Boss Girl is a podcast that shares their experiences and explores topics as 20/30 something Asian American women working, dating and living in Los Angeles.
Crack open an AAPI-Authored Book
The following books recount very personal stories that are experienced, in some way or another, by every Asian American.
- Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning by Cathy Park Hong
Cathy Park Hong utilizes her own story as a vessel for a deeper examination of racial consciousness in America today. This book examines shame and depression, poetry and artmaking in a search to both uncover and speak the truth.
- Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
An exquisite novel about a Chinese American family living in 1970s small-town Ohio. The story is profoundly moving and a gripping page-turner.
- The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
This is a story that takes place in 1949 of four Chinese women that are recent immigrants to San Francisco. The tale unfolds of four mothers, four daughters, and four families, whose histories shift with the four winds depending on who’s telling the stories.
Visit an AAPI Museum
Check out the following museums – the second one is even a “digital” museum if you’re not located near any physical institutions!
Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA)
No, it’s not the Museum of Contemporary Art, but this MOCA, located in New York, engages audiences in a consistent dialogue where people of all backgrounds are able to see American history from a critical perspective and make meaningful connections.
Asian Pacific American Center
Using the tagline “A museum without walls,” the Asian Pacific American Center, established in 1997, is not a traditional museum with a public building, The Smithsonian APA is a migratory museum that brings history, art and culture to the public through innovative community-focused experiences.
Now is a great time to use this time and beyond to learn about other cultures outside of your own.