Celebrating May as Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Last Updated May 2, 2024

Wednesday, May 1 – Friday, May 31

May is Asian and Pacific American Heritage Month – a celebration of the fine contributions and influence of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) to the history, culture, and achievements of the United States.

According to the 2020 census, an estimated 24 million people make up the AAPI community nationwide. California has the largest Asian American population in the U.S. and 30.1% of California’s Asian population resides in Los Angeles County.

In 1977, New York Representative Frank Horton proposed proclaiming the first 10 days of May as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week, which was backed by Hawaii Senator Daniel Inouye. President Jimmy Carter signed it into Public Law on October 5, 1978. In 1992, under the George W. Bush administration, May was annually designated as Asian and Pacific American Heritage Month.

More Information on the History of Asian and Pacific American Heritage Month HERE

Notable Asian American Historical Figures

  • Leah Hing was the first Chinese American woman to earn her pilot’s license.
  • Dr. Chien-Shiung Wu was known as the “Queen of Nuclear Research.” 
  • Ellison Onizuka was the first Asian American and first person of Japanese origin to fly in space.
  • Serena Sasingian is a lawyer and co-founder of The Voice Inc., a leading youth development organization.
  • Kalpana Chawla was an American astronaut, engineer, and the first Indian American woman to go to space.

Ways to celebrate AAPI Heritage Month include trying new recipes and dishes from various Asian countries and discovering Asian art and Asian American history through local museums and libraries.

CLICK HERE for L.A. Museums that exhibit Asian art collections and cultural artifacts

CLICK HERE for Books to read for AAPI Heritage Month

CLICK HERE for Authentic Asian recipes to try at home

CLICK HERE for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Events in Los Angeles

We honor the AAPI community’s varied histories, celebrate the beauty and richness of their cultures, remain vigilant in our efforts to address discrimination and injustice, and work to create and support meaningful change for the community.

Happy Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month,

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