May 2012 is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

According to the NBC4 web page about the meaning of May being a month to celebrate Asian Americans:

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month is a month to celebrate and pay tribute to the contributions generations of Asian and Pacific Islanders have made to American history, society and culture.

… Why was May picked as the official heritage month? According to the Library of Congress, it was chosen “to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. The majority of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants.”

A few things I found about this month:

President Obama’s Presidential Proclamation — Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, 2012.

UCLA compiles this 2012 Statistical Portrait of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Other Pacific Islanders

The U.S. Census Bureau will host a forum with the Asian American Justice Center on the Asian population at the Rayburn House Office Building. This event will highlight statistics from the American Community Survey and 2010 Census, providing a portrait of the Asian population in the U.S. Following the presentation, an expert panel will discuss the statistics and their implications. When: Wednesday, May 2, 2012; noon to 2:30 p.m. (EDT) The event will be broadcast on the Census Bureau’s Ustream channel at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/us-census-bureau. Viewers will be able to submit questions via Facebook and Twitter (#ProfileAmerica)

Asian American & Pacific Islander Christian women leaders are gathering this week for the 1st national conference May 3-5, 2012 near Los Angeles. This event will empower women leaders through a safe, honest and challenging environment for women to grow their voice and to learn from other women leaders.

And to our team of contributors here at NextGenerAsianChurch.com: what makes our heritage as Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders worth celebrating? What are you and/or your community doing to celebrate?

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About djchuang

DJ Chuang is a social media strategist for churches and non-profit orgs, with a personal priority on next generation Asian Americans. He's a veteran blogger at djchuang.com and resides in Orange County, California

Comments

  1. Adrian says:

    Thanks for getting this conversation started, DJ. In terms of what makes our heritage worth celebrating, I’d suggest courage and resilience. When we think of so much of the adversity that generations before us faced, whether due to poverty, discrimination, or adjusting to a new life in a new and unfamiliar country… there are some inspiring examples. Last month, we in Epic Movement had a staff conference based on the theme of “resilience,” and featured pictures around the room of Asians and AAs who have “led the way” or inspired in various ways. Then we did an exercise where each of us wrote down names of those who have personally “come before us”, and those who might be leaders of the future, and we put them on the wall, as a visual representation of the “cloud of witnesses” (Hebrews 12:1-3). It was a visual and powerful way that we celebrated who we are in Epic, and as community that’s part of the AA story.

  2. djchuang says:

    @Adrian, thanks for sharing about the experience there at Epic Movement staff conference. Once in a blue moon, or less often, I hear of an event where an exercise or presentation is made that mentions and honors the Asian American leaders who have gone before us, and IMHO it’s something that’s not done enough, something that doesn’t flow into the consciousness of a larger number of Asian Americans, and so on the whole we don’t benefit as much as we could from their role models and examples for making a difference in the world.

    In my past 10+ years of working in this realm of leadership development with Asian Americans, the #1 issue with current leaders is the lack of role models for themselves. So you’ve put your fingers on a very critical issue for the Asian American community.

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