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Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month: Events

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

WPI Events presented by the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Team

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month! AAPI Heritage Month is a month of celebration, education, and reflection of the contributions of AAPI communities in history and contemporary society. Asian/Pacific encompasses communities in connection to all of the Asian continent and the Pacific islands of Melanesia (New Guinea, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji, and the Solomon Islands), Micronesia (Marianas, Guam, Wake Island, Palau, Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Nauru and the Federated States of Micronesia) and Polynesia (New Zealand, Hawaiian Islands, Rotuma, Midway Islands, Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Cook Islands, French Polynesia, and Easter Island).

In 1977 Reps. Frank Horton of New York introduced House Joint Resolution 540 to proclaim the first ten days in May as Pacific/Asian American Heritage Week. This joint resolution was passed by the House and then the Senate and was signed by President Jimmy Carter on October 5, 1978, to become Public Law 95-419. During the next decade, US presidents passed annual proclamations for Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week, until 1990 when Congress expanded the observance to a month for 1990. In 1992, Congress annually designated May as Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month. May was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869.

Gathering of Nations
April 28, 2022

In the past 39 years, the Gathering of Nations and Miss Indian World Pageant has grown from an early, simple dream to one of the world’s most recognized annual festivals. From the beginning, the concept has always been to produce an event where Native people can come together each year to celebrate and share culture, and a place where singers and dancers can feel confident that competition is fair to all. From those genuine and humble beginnings that the Gathering of Nations Pow Wow has evolved into the event you see today, as well as its role in many community outreach efforts. If you want to learn more about Gathering of Nations Day visit:

Gathering of Nations


Philippine-American Friendship Day
July 4, 2022


July 4 has been observed anew as Philippine-American Friendship Day marked from 1946. Despite the changes in nomenclature, the word Friendship is writ large as the defining element in the two countries’ relationship.

If you want to learn more about Philippine American Friendship Day visit:


Philippine-American Friendship Day



Dharma Day
July 13, 2022

Dharma Day is celebrated in Theravada countries on the full moon day of July. It marks the beginning of the Buddha's teaching. Soon after the Buddha's enlightenment, he went to find his disciples and tell them about his experience. The Buddha's first sermon is believed to have taken place in the Deer Park at Sarnath. This event is usually seen as the beginning of Buddhism and is what Dharma Day celebrates.

If you want to learn more visit:

Dharma Day


The Truth Behind Indian American Exceptionalism

Many of us are unaware of the special circumstances that eased our entry into American life—and of the bonds we share with other nonwhite groups.

Why I Love a Country That Once Betrayed Me

When he was a child, George Takei and his family were forced into an internment camp for Japanese-Americans, as a "security" measure during World War II. 70 years later, Takei looks back at how the camp shaped his surprising, personal definition of patriotism and democracy.

How Can I Be an Ally? Stop AAPI Hate

Our communities stand united against racism. Hate against Asian American Pacific Islander communities has risen during the COVID-19 pandemic. Together, we can stop it.