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Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month: Home

Resources related to the contributions of Asian American and Pacific Islander communities at WPI's Gordon Library

Month of Celebration

WPI Celebrates Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) celebrates Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month 2023 by honoring and highlighting the diverse culture, heritage, achievements, and contributions of the AAPI community throughout history.

This year, the Federal Asian Pacific American Council (FAPAC) has selected “Advancing Leaders Through Opportunity” as the theme for AAPI Heritage Month 2023. We encourage our community to study, observe, and celebrate the AAPI today and every day in support and recognition of the history and culture of this community.

History of Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month

Asian/Pacific Heritage Month

In 1978, Representative Frank Horton (NY) and Senator Daniel Inouye (HI) introduced House Joint Resolution 1007 which requested the President declare an "Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week."  On October 5, 1978, President Jimmy Carter proclaimed the first Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week be celebrated in May 1979 as part of Public Law 95-419.  Each year, the President would issue a proclamation to celebrate Asian/Pacific Heritage Week during May.

In 1990, Congress expanded the celebration from one week to one month and in 1992 passed Public Law 102-450 which designates each May as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month.  May was chosen to celebrate the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants to the United States on May 7, 1843 and to mark the completion of the transcontinental railway on May 10, 1869, which was constructed primarily by Chinese immigrants.

The theme for 2022, "Advancing Leaders Through Opportunity" which champions the idea of encouraging participation and opportunities for leadership positions in government and business. Gordon Library joins WPI and the world in honoring the legacy and culture of Americans descended from the Asian continent and the Pacific Islands of:  Melanesia, Micronesia, Polynesia Zealand, the Hawaiian Islands, Midway Islands, Samoan Islands, Cook Islands, French Polynesia, and Easter Island.

To learn more:

Federal Asian Pacific American Council

National Archives

National Endowment for the Humanities

National Park Service

Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center

United States Census Bureau