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May is AAPI Heritage Month

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, which celebrates the cultures, traditions, and histories of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States.

May was designated as AAPI Heritage month for two reasons: first, to commemorate the earliest documented arrival of Japanese immigrants to the U.S. on May 7, 1843, and second, to honor the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad on May 10, 1869, which upwards of 20,000 Chinese workers helped to construct.

This year, there are a variety of ways to honor AAPI Heritage Month – supporting local AAPI-owned restaurants, celebrating stories with AAPI representation, and participating in AAPI advocacy efforts are just a few places to start. This message is meant to serve as a spotlight on upcoming events, resources, and training opportunities for individuals of all ages to participate in.

Upcoming Events (with hyperlinks):

  • May 4th: Virtual Children’s Workshops: Young Portrait Explorers - Lili'uokalani (Free tickets, registration required)

    • Join the Natural Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian for a virtual workshop for children ages 3- 6 and their adult companions as participants learn about art, history and more! This thirty-minute program, featuring a portrait of Lili'uokalani, incorporates close looking at portraiture, movement, and art-making.

(Free presentation, registration required)

  • Drawing from the Smithsonian's Anacostia Community Museum's new exhibition, "Food for the People: Eating and Activism in Greater Washington," this free spring series of virtual cooking demonstrations and conversations features women chefs in the greater Washington, D.C., area. Chef Janet Yu, owner of Hollywood East Café in Wheaton, Maryland, shares stories and prepares recipes from her home kitchen that draw upon her family's Chinese heritage.


As we pay tribute to the generations of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders who have enriched United States history, it is imperative to acknowledge the surge in violence, hate crimes, and xenophobia against members of AAPI communities since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a report published by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, anti-Asian hate crimes in the United States have increased by 339% in the last year. As we work to build a culture that champions equity, inclusion, and belonging, there are a wide array of opportunities for all of us to take action and demonstrate solidarity.

This month, Right to Be is hosting free, virtual trainings on bystander intervention strategies, specifically in the context of Anti-Asian/American harassment and xenophobia. See below for further information on the May 9th and May 24th sessions:

Bystander Intervention to Stop Anti-Asian/American And Xenophobic Harassment (Available in Chinese)

Date: May 9, 2022

Time: 8:00 PM - 9:15 PM EST

Bystander Intervention to Stop Anti-Asian/American And Xenophobic Harassment (Available in Korean & Vietnamese)

Date: May 24, 2022

Time: 8:00 PM - 9:15 PM EST

Finally, here are a few additional resources for those who are able to take action:

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