Asian American Pacific Islander Month


The month of May is designated as Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Month. The historical and cultural contributions of Asian and Pacific Islander to the United States are celebrated, honored, and acknowledged. The AAPI designation encompasses a total of 75 nations spanning across East, Southeast, and South Asia. In addition, to the Pacific Islands of Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia.

Why the month of May?

The observance of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month originated as a week-long celebration during the 1970s. In 1992, it was officially expanded to encompass the entire month. The historical presence of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States dating back to the 1800s. May is designated as AAPI Month because arrival of the first Japanese immigrants to the United States in 1843. The month of May was selected as a commemorative gesture to honor the Chinese immigrants. They dedicated their unwavering efforts towards the establishment of the inaugural transcontinental railroad in the United States. This would span from May 1843 to May 1869.

The mistreatment of Chinese immigrants who labored on the railroad in comparison to their White colleagues. This is a significant aspect of AAPI Month that warrants recognition and reflection. However, the month in question encompasses a broader range of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) experience. The purpose of this initiative is to narrate the experiences of individuals who self-identify as Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) with the aim of fostering dialogue and humanizing the individuals behind the identities. The ultimate goal is to overcome any obstacles that may impede genuine understanding and empathy towards one another.

Those to be Celebrated

AAPI Month commemorates the multifaceted and heterogeneous heritage that encompasses a wide range of nations, including but not limited to China, Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Laos, the Philippines, Singapore, Samoa, Thailand, Taiwan, Vietnam, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Nepal.

This month, we have the privilege of featuring narratives of individuals on our campus whose sense of self originates from the 75 nations encompassed within the AAPI classification. During this month of celebration, it may be worthwhile to participate in the special events centered around AAPI culture taking place at Dayton Metro libraries. These events offer an opportunity to gain insight into the diverse foods, cultures, and history of individuals who identify with the AAPI experience in America.