Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month

“When you learn something from people, or from a culture, you accept it as a gift, and it is your lifelong commitment to preserve it and build on it.”
― Yo-Yo Ma

In May, we celebrate, honor, and recognize the historical and cultural contributions made to the United States by people of Asian and Pacific Islander decent. The term AAPI includes 75 countries from the Asian continent – East, Southeast, and South Asia – as well as the Pacific Islands of Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia.

We want to recognize the diversity of cultures and people. Check out this video.


The month of recognition began as a week in the 1970s and was officially extended in 1992 to include the entire month, which is apropos, considering Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have been a part of the American story since the 1800s. May was designated AAPI Month to commemorate the first Japanese immigrants to arrive in the U.S. in 1843. May was also chosen as way to remember the Chinese immigrants who worked tirelessly to create the first transcontinental railroad in America in May of 1843 and ending in May of 1869.

AAPI Month celebrates the rich, diverse culture that spans from countries such as China, Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Laos, the Philippines, Singapore, Samoa, Thailand, Taiwan, Vietnam, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Nepal, to name a few.

This month we are honored to tell the stories of people on our campus whose identity stems from the 75 countries included in the AAPI designation.

We should put emphasis on AAPDI month to be inclusive of our South Asisan community and highlight our ministry and upcoming events.

Here is an excerpt from Loyola University
Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) Heritage Month is a celebration of Asians, Southeast Asians, and Pacific Islanders in the United States. Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) encompasses people from all over the Asian continent, India, and the Pacific islands of Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia.

The month of May was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese immigrants to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. The majority of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants.

Additional Resources

  • The Library of Congress: Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month
    May is Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the generations of Asian and Pacific Islanders who have enriched America’s history and are instrumental in its future success.
  • LUC CDI APIDA Celebration
  • Smithsonian

More Ways to Learn and Celebrate 


Be an Active Bystander

Watch for and intervene in cases of harassment. Sign up for free bystander intervention training during the month of May.

  • Pledge to stand up to all forms of hate, racism, bigotry and bullying.
  • Recognize racism against Asian Americans might not be easy to see.
  • Don’t dilute language when talking about hate crimes and racism, but be accurate.
  • Recognize that the fight against anti-Asian racism needs to be inclusive–there are many subgroups within the AAPI umbrella.
  • If someone uses the phrase, “China virus,” arm yourself with an argument against it.
  • Champion legislation (e.g. S.Res.140S.963 and H.R.1340) to protect Asian persons and immigrants in your community.


Read and sign this statement on Anti-Asian racism in the time of COVID-19. Let us stand with our Asian brothers and sisters as well. Read first-hand Asian-American’s stories of their experiences with racism and violence.

Let your friends and neighbors know what Floris UMC is seeking to do with regard to racial reconciliation. Celebrate Rev. Tom Berlin’s desire to elevate and learn from Asian American congregants how to best support them.

Share this newsletter and Floris UMC’s Social Justice resources with your friends and family through email, Facebook, Instagram, etc.

Share this newsletter with family, friends and neighbors. We invite everyone to join in this work for racial reconciliation. Our vision is to transform ourselves, our church and our community through education, advocacy and action.

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