Every May we take extra time to celebrate Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AA and NHPI) Heritage Month by shining a light on AA and NHPI experiences and paying tribute to the generations of AA and NHPI who have enriched America’s history and are instrumental in its future success. Although today marks the last day of AA and NHPI’s heritage month, we continue to learn and celebrate the light and love in our diverse AA and NHPI communities. We must also unite to expand our understanding of racism and xenophobia to be true allies. We continue to stand up against violence and rhetoric against Asians, Asian-Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders. When we are honest about the past, we can begin to heal from the wounds of hate and in doing so, make a better future together.
Some recommended influential Asian American and Pacific Islander Authors: Cathy Park Hong “Minor Feelings,” Ocean Vuong “On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous,” Amy Tan “The Joy Luck Club,” Viet Thanh Nguyen “They Sympathizer,” Jhumpa Lahiri “The Interpreter of Maladies.”
Mabel Lee was a suffragist who mobilized the Chinese community in America to support women’s right to vote leading up to the 19th Amendment to the Constitution that gave many women in the US the right to vote. She was also the first Chinese woman to earn a PhD in economics from Columbia University.
Tye Leung was a civil rights and community activist born in San Francisco’s Chinatown in 1887.
Wilhelmina Kekelaokalaninui Widemann was born in 1861 at Lihue, Kauai in the Kingdom of Hawaii, she was a suffragist.
Larry Itliong was a Filipino American labor organizer and civil rights activist. He played a central role in the founding of the United Farm Workers (UFW) union.
Ruth Tanbara was a pioneering Japanese American community leader in St. Paul, Minnesota. Tanbara was a community leader in St. Paul, Minnesota, who assisted with Japanese American resettlement during and after World War II.
Hong Yen Chang was reportedly the first Chinese immigrant licensed to practice law in the United States. Though admitted to the New York State Bar, he was denied admission to the California State Bar in 1890.