Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month: May

Just in case you didn’t know, this month is Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month or AAPIHM for short.  AAPIHM is a month to celebrate the culture, traditions, challenges and accomplishments of Asian Americans everywhere.  With 22.2 Million Asians and 1.6 Million Pacific Islanders living in America  it is kind of a big deal!

AAPIHM actually originated with Congress like most commemorative months back in 1977.  A woman by the name of Jeanie Jew, a former Capitol Hill staffer had actually approached Congressmen Frank Horton almost 15 years before the bill in the 1970’s.  She had voiced the need to have recognition for Asian Americans as she had seen Black History Month be decreed in 1976 and Hispanic Heritage week designated in 1968.  The first resolution was finally passed and signed by President Jimmy Carter on Oct 5, 1978 to become public law.  It originally started as the first 10 days in May to celebrate a week, but eventually evolved in 1992 to officially declare the entire month of May as Asian Pacific Islander Heritage month.  This date was chosen to commemorate the first Japanese who came over to the United States on May 7, 1843 as well as mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad (which mostly was worked on by Chinese Immigrants) on May 19th in 1869.

During this month we have seen a lot of big companies do some really cool things.  Google posted a few videos in tribute to AAPIHM during the month of May.  One was called Highway Inn, a story about a small Hawaiian business that used google tools to help them grow.  It showed a cool way to celebrate AAPIHM and also advertise a product at the same time.

Another cool video that they posted highlighted Kruti Dance and Indian culture.

For those of you who didn’t know, Comcast did an amazing tribute to Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, especially those in film and media who have led that way with a beautiful illustration created by world renown artist Kim Jung Gi.  He is famous for creating large stream of consciousness masterpieces.  The piece that was commissioned is a massive 6’ x 10’ which took over 20 hours that is centered around numerous different film genres and celebrates the Asian American and Pacific Islanders in front of the camera and those behind it who have helped progress Asian Americans in Film and Media.

AAPIHM is a time to celebrate all the accomplishments and how far Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have come, not only in this country, but all over really.  If you have seen any cool ads, or videos this month that pay tribute, feel free to shoot them over, we would love to see them!

Recommended Posts