Here are few ideas and resources to learn about our diverse heritages and suggestions for highlighting Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (May).
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Few people realize the contributions and legacies of Asian and Pacific Islander pioneers that lie scattered across the Western U.S. — including on lands that are part of today’s National Forests. You can visit Asian Pacific American Heritage Sites, through this travel website, a partnership with USFS and Wing Luke Museum.
Forest Service also partnered with Wing Luke Museum in a new exhibit, Grit: Asian Pacific Pioneers across the Northwest.
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- Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center – An outstanding national resource for discovering the consequence and complexity of the Asian Pacific American experience
- Website sponsored by the Library of Congress and other government organizations – http://asianpacificheritage.gov/
Asian Pacific American Perspectives
- Listen to the Asian-Pacific American experience from “What’s Your Story” finalists, sponsored by the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
- “Ask Who I Am, Not What.” Jessica Hong discusses her six-word essay in the Race Card Project (View and contribute other perspectives related to race, ethnicity, and cultural identity at http://theracecardproject.com).
- Listen to Ellie Lee’s story, “A Kind of Wisdom,” of her Chinese immigrant father and the empire he built from nothing on The Moth (http://themoth.org/stories).
- Sponsor a tai chi class, hula lesson, or other cultural experience.
- Feature a book or a movie during Asian-Pacific American Month that offers deeper insight into the culture. At the end of the month, discuss the book or movie.
- Book suggestions: The Fortune Cookie Chronicles: Adventures in the World of Chinese Food by Jennifer 8. Lee. Ronnie Yimsut, senior Landscape Architect for the U.S. Forest Service, is also author to a number of books that may also be of interest. His books include, Facing the Khmer Rouge (2011 Rutgers University Press), Journey to Freedom (2006 Documentation Center of Cambodia), In the Shadow of Angkor (2004 Manoa Journal, Hawaii Univ. Press), and Tonle Sap Lake Massacre (1997 Yale University Press).
- Movie suggestion: Transcending: The Wat Misaka Story (documentary about a Japanese American pro-basketball player in the 1940’s), by Bruce Alan Johnson and Christine Toy Johnson
- Organize a potluck and sample a variety of Asian-Pacific Island dishes. How about a luau?
- Share Asian Pacific American community events happening in your area.
Did you know…?
- Among the nearly 17 million AAPIs across the nation, there are over 265,000 Asian American veterans and 28,000 Native Hawaiian and/or Pacific Islander veterans.
Feel free to contribute other ideas!