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May is Asian American - Pacific Islander Heritage Month!

Asian American Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month banner - Building Legacy Together

May is Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month – a celebration of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States. AAPI Heritage commemoration was first proposed in 1977 to observe the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States (May 7, 1843), and the completion of the transcontinental railroad, constructed mainly by Chinese immigrant workers (May 10, 1869). In 1978, President Carter made it an annual week-long event and President George H.W. Bush extended the proclamation to include the entire month of May.

The national AANHPI Heritage Month theme, “Building Legacy Together: Our Communities’ Journey of Strength and Resilience” pays tribute to generations of AA and NHPIs who paved the way for greater opportunity for their communities and strengthened the fabric of our nation.

USDA FPAC and the Civil Rights Division invite you to celebrate Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month throughout May 2022. This year’s FPAC theme is “Cultivating Togetherness through Peace, Food, and Wellness.” Although Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (AA and NHPIs) have contributed significantly to American culture and society, this year we will explore and highlight the accomplishments and contributions AA and NHPIs have had to culture, cuisine, and well-being.

Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage MonthAn Asian American is a person having origins in any of the original peoples of East Asia, Southeast Asia, or South Asia, the Indian subcontinent (Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan, the Philippine Islands, Thailand, and Vietnam). A Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander is a person having origins in any of the original peoples of Oceania. Oceania is comprised of three major island groups: Polynesia (New Zealand, Easter Island, Hawaiian Islands, Rotuma, Midway Islands, Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Cook Islands and French Polynesia), Micronesia (Guam, Palau, Marianas, Wake Island, Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Nauru and the Federated States of Micronesia) and Melanesia (Fiji, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, West Papua, and New Guinea). The term "Native Hawaiian" does not include individuals who are native to the State of Hawaii by virtue of being born there.

Chinatown, San Francisco, California. Carol M. Highsmith's America Project, Jon B. Lovelace Collect.

Census Quick Facts

  • 24 million - the Asian-American population of the United States in 2020.
  • 5.1 million - The estimated number of the Asian alone or in combination population of Chinese, except Taiwanese, descent in the United States in 2020. The Chinese (except Taiwanese) population was the largest Asian group, followed by Asian Indian (4.5 million), Filipino (4.1 million), Vietnamese (2.2 million), Korean (1.9 million) and Japanese (1.6 million).
  • 1.6 million - The estimated number of Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander population of the United States in 2020.
  • 2.5% - The percentage of Asian alone-or-in-combination military veterans in 2019.

Heritage Month Events

More Information

Contact

  • AA/PI Special Emphasis Program Manager, Julie Wright, 340-692-9632 x107 or 340-626-0444
  • National Asian American/ Native Hawaian/ Pacific Islander SEPM, Andy Pham, 301-504-0105

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