AAPI Month began in 1978 as a time to commemorate and celebrate the achievements, influence, and contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) throughout the United States. Initially designated as a week of celebration each May, Congress passed a resolution in 1990 to expand the observance to the full month of May.
Throughout May, employees at Sendero engaged in conversations and learning opportunities that shed light on the experience of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the professional world. In addition, Sendero’s DEI Committee helped facilitate conversations to dispel stigmas and myths that impact these communities daily.
Analyst Kathryn Harrington and Associate Jennica Shah reflect on the importance of AAPI Month in Sendero’s latest blog post:
What is Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Month?
The achievements, challenges, and people of the AAPI community are an integral part of American history and cultural landscape. Although these stories aren’t commonly taught, AAPI Month, celebrated annually during May, is an opportunity for all of us to:
- Learn and remember AAPI history
- Acknowledge the challenges faced by the AAPI community in the past and the present
- Appreciate the contributions AAPI have made to American culture and society
- Celebrate the diversity that lies within the AAPI community
Diversity Within the AAPI Community
The term AAPI, more widely recognized within the last decade, is used primarily to identify a major racial group within the United States, consisting of over 24 million people. While it is important to recognize the AAPI community as a significant, influential group within the United States, it is also important to acknowledge the diversity that lies within it.
AAPI includes people and cultures from the entire Asian continent (including but not limited to East, Southeast, and South Asia), the Pacific Islands (Micronesia, Melanesia, and Polynesia), as well as the Hawaiian Islands. The communities that fall under the term AAPI have ties to over 10 different religions, 100 ethnic groups, and 2000 languages.
As we celebrate AAPI Month, we must make a point to appreciate the diversity within the community, and recognize that due to the diversity, the experiences and challenges within the community vary greatly.