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May is AANHPI Heritage Month!

Celebrating our Asian Pacific Islander Desi Community!

Throughout the month of May, UMBC, Maryland and the Country celebrate the history, resilience, and cultures of Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) communities worldwide as a part of APIDA Heritage Month. 

The White House Initiative on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (WHIAANHPI) and the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center are proud to present their joint 2024 theme for Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AA and NHPI) Heritage Month: “Bridging Histories, Shaping Our Future.” 

“The 2024 theme is an homage to our ancestors and invites all Americans to delve into the legacies, triumphs, and challenges that have shaped AA and NHPI communities. It embodies the spirit of our collective journey – one rooted in resilience and hope – and encourages us to forge intergenerational connections to honor our past and pave a durable path forward.” - WHIAANHPI / Smithsonian APAC

The Month of May carries significance as it commemorates the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the transcontinental railroad completion on May 10, 1869 - honoring the majority Chinese Immigrants who laid the tracks. In 1978, President Jimmy Carter designated the first 10 days of May as Asian-Pacific Heritage Week. However, it was not until 1990 that President George H. W. Bush sign a bill turning Asian-American Heritage Week into Asian-American Heritage Month. 1992 was the first year that May was officially celebrated as Asian-American Heritage Month. To learn more about the 2024 presidential proclamation, click here

AANHPI Heritage Month is a celebration of Asians, Southeast Asians, South Asians, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders in the United States. AANHPI & APIDA encompasses people from all of the Asian continent, India, and the Pacific islands of Melanesia (New Guinea, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji and the Solomon Islands), Micronesia (Marianas, Guam, Wake Island, Palau, Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Nauru and the Federated States of Micronesia) and Polynesia (New Zealand, Hawaiian Islands, Rotuma, Midway Islands, Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Cook Islands, French Polynesia and Easter Island). We celebrate ALL of our Asian communities. 

This month goes by many names and it is a great time to recognize the different acronyms and the communities within these groups: 

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM)

Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month (AAPIHM) 

Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Heritage Month (APIDAHM)

Asian American Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander Heritage Month (AANHPIHM) 

Today, there are over 20 million Asian Americans who trace their roots to more than 20 countries, each with their unique histories, cultures, languages, and norms. While this diverse group is often treated as a monolith, significant differences exist by income, education, religion, etc. 

Want to learn more about the Bridging Histories, Shaping Our Futures theme? See the image below or click here

Check out our i3b Instagram (@umbci3b) to see additional information, resources, and opportunities throughout the month of May!

Posted: May 1, 2024, 3:55 PM