This May, we asked partners to share events and activities they are hosting in honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. We are thrilled to spotlight a few amazing partners who have planned creative events on behalf of their communities.
We also want to acknowledge that many of our partners serving these communities are calling for changes to the AAPI category, which, in its broadness, fails to accurately represent the range of identities and lived experiences held by Asian, Asian American, Pacific Islander, Native Hawaiian and Pasifika people. To learn more about this effort, we encourage you to read this statement co-written Kiana McKenna of PICA-WA and this one written by APIC Spokane.
Multicultural Service Center of the South Sound (MCSCSS)
MCSCSS is hosting a Community Health & Wellness Fair on May 27 at Lacey’s Saint Martin’s University’s Norman Washington Conference Center in Lacey, WA from noon to 4 p.m. The event will be in-person, free and open to all. A mobile vaccine clinic will be present for attendees who would like to get their COVID-19 vaccine or booster shot. Masks and hand sanitizer will also be available, and attendees will have the opportunity to get a free, basic health screening if desired.
NW Asian Weekly
On May 1, NW Asian Weekly participated in an Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month Celebration at the Seattle Center Armory. The event involved five full hours of programming featuring music, martial arts, live dance and other festivities. Check out photos from the event and learn more about this celebration here. Vivian Nguyen at NW Asian Weekly also shared an important perspective on the intersection between Mental Health Awareness Month and Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in an article published on May 12. Read Nguyen’s The mental health toll of being a model minority for insight into this relationship.
In honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Crossings TV aired six educational shows during May. On May 1, Bittersweet Roots: The Chinese in California’s Heartland explored the history of Chinese fortune-seekers arriving in San Francisco in the 1850s. The documentary Resettlement to Readdress, which examines the resettlement of Japanese Americans after World War II,aired on May 8. Sikhs in America, a documentary exploring Sikh culture, and Hapa: One Step at a Time, a commentary on what it means to be a mixed-race American today, were both featured on May 15. Lastly, Little Manila: Filipinos in America’s Heartland and We Came to Grow: Japanese Americans in the Central Valley were aired on May 22. The first is a documentary that tells the story of immigration from a Filipino perspective. The second and final program explores the rich history of Japanese Americans in the Central Valley between 1869 and 1941.
Asian Pacific Islander Coalition of Spokane (APIC Spokane)
With support from the Amplifying Community Stories grant, APIC Spokane partnered with artists Margaret Albaugh and Frances Grace Mortel to create Hidden in Plain Sight: A Visual Anthology on the Complexities of Asian Identities, which additionally features the work of Remelisa Cullitan. The exhibit is hosted at the Terrain Gallery May 13-28, with a Closing Reception and Solidarity Event on May 27 at 5 p.m. This exhibit is just one of several efforts from APIC Spokane, as they embraced their theme of Amplify and Diversify: Honoring Complex Narratives and Joining Calls for Real Equity throughout the month of May. View the full Heritage Month calendar here.
Thank you to MCSCSS, NW Asian Weekly, Crossings TV, and APIC Spokane for sharing your incredible efforts this month, and to all partners who had efforts focused on Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Your work is a constant source of inspiration to us, and we are honored to partner with you in this effort.
As always, we love to hear about the work you are doing. To have your events included in our calendar or newsletter, reach out to a DH team member or add your event to our partner events list.