Efforts to officially celebrate Asian/Pacific Islander Americans began in the 1970s when a resolution was introduced in the US House of Representatives by Representatives Frank Horton and Norman Mineta proclaiming the first 10 days of May as Asian-Pacific Heritage Week. Shortly thereafter, a similar bill was introduced in the US Senate. President Jimmy Carter made the week-long celebration official by signing a joint resolution in 1978. In 1990, Asian-Pacific Heritage Week was extended to a month when George HW Bush signed a bill passed by Congress, designating May as Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month.
According to a 2021 Pew Research Report, the Asian American community in the U.S. is diverse. A record 23 million Asian American people trace their roots to more than twenty countries in East and Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent, each with unique histories, cultures, languages and other characteristics. Currently, Asian American people comprise about 7% of the U.S. population. Eighty-five percent of those Asian American people have origins in six countries: China, India, Philippines, Vietnam, Korea and Japan.
The Federal Asian Pacific American Council has selected “Advancing Leaders Through Opportunity” as the theme for 2023. This theme continues the organization’s series on Advancing Leaders.
Brian Cao | NCA West Regional Staffing Director, Varsity Spirit