Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month – May 2021


John F. Kennedy once said: “Our attitude towards immigration reflects our faith in the American ideal.” The American ideal is to recognize the rich cultural diversity of our nation and honor the contributions of all immigrants. The U.S. celebrates Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month each May. Through traditional and social media, in theatres, museums, and parks, various events are organized to draw attention to Asian American and Pacific Islander culture.

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month timeline

Numbers keep growing

According to a survey, 1.5 million Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islanders live in the U.S.

Asians Became the Largest Immigrant Community

Asians surpassed Hispanics as the largest immigrant community. They are also the fastest growing.

It Became a Monthlong Celebration

We have President George H.W. Bush to thank for making this official.

Chinese Exclusion Act

As a result of growing anti-Chinese sentiment, this act banned Chinese citizens from entering the US for 10 years.

How to Observe Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

  1. Cook a traditional recipe

    Embark on a cultural culinary journey in your kitchen! Begin with fresh ingredients and serve up some Asian or Hawaiian dishes.

  2. Join the social media celebrations

    You don’t have to be an Asian American or Pacific Islander to join the fun on social media. Maybe you have a friend or neighbor who is one. Tag or follow them.

  3. Travel back to your roots

    Connect with relatives and trace your genealogy. Don’t forget to record your experiences in a memoir and make your family tree. It's something the next generation can treasure!

4 Things To Know About Asian Americans And Pacific Islanders

  1. The Chinese arrived first

    Chinese immigrants came in the mid-19th century to work on the railroads and gold mines.

  2. Aloha is not a simple "Hello"

    The Spirit of Aloha is a law that all Hawaiians, including tourists, must follow and respect by emoting good feelings for others.

  3. New "home" states

    More than half of all Pacific Islanders live in two states – Hawaii and California.

  4. The Largest Asian American Population

    Hawaii has the largest Asian American population — nearly 800,000.

Why Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month is Important

  1. It honors immigrants

    Asian American immigrants and Pacific Islanders contribute greatly to the U.S. economy. This is a time to recognize how they have strengthened our communities.

  2. We learn about diversity

    Events and activities give us a glimpse of Asian American and Pacific Islanders’ rich culture.

  3. It emphasizes racial equality

    Celebrations like these keep the dialogue alive.

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month dates

2021May 1Saturday
2022May 1Sunday
2023May 1Monday
2024May 1Wednesday
2025May 1Thursday