President Jimmy Carter signed Public Law 95-418 recognizing Asian Pacific American Heritage Week in 1978 and directing subsequent Presidents to issue annual proclamations recognition the event. In 1990, President George HW Bush signed a bill passed by Congress to designate May as Asian/Pacific American Heritage month. This month celebrates the contributions and influence of Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans to the history, culture and achievements of the US.
Asian/Pacific is a very broad term that encompasses over 50 different cultures from the Asian continent as well as the numerous Pacific Islands. Each in their own right have unique histories, cultures and customs.
This year’s recognition of Asian Pacific American Heritage month takes on added significance in light of the increase in anti-Asian violence against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are not a stereotype” Video Series
The Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center has developed a video series for classroom teachers and caregivers called We are not a stereotype to help educate what it means to be an Asian Pacific American, who is Asian Pacific American and the impacts of Asian Pacific American stereotypes. Please take this opportunity to familiarize yourself and your family on this topic or send to a teacher, coach or administrator who may have this need.
The Struggles of Being An Asian American
Watch a short video on special stories of woman and their struggles growing up Asian American.