May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month – an excellent time to celebrate Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AA and NHPIs) leaders in your organization and educate members about these cultures. This year’s theme is "Advancing Leaders Through Opportunity,” and according to the Federal Asian Pacific American Council (FAPAC), a successful organization invests in the professional development of members and employees by providing opportunities that enable them to refine their skills and enhance leadership abilities. Applicable to all organizations, Asian Pacific American Heritage Month is the perfect time to provide your members with new professional development opportunities and concrete steps to improve leadership abilities.
AA and NHPIs individuals descended from the Asian continent and the Pacific islands of Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia. Spanning over 50 ethnicities and more than 100 languages, it would be erroneous to adopt a one-size-fits-all approach to connecting with these individuals. While learning everything there is to know about these diverse cultures would be a herculean task, here are some resources to help your association celebrate and honor Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.
The U.S. celebrates Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) individuals in May due to two important anniversaries: the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants in the U.S. (May 7, 1943) and Golden Spike Day (May 10, 1869), the completion of the first U.S. transcontinental railroad. Immigrants worked under brutal conditions and faced discrimination at every turn. It is the duty of each and every one of us to ensure that history does not repeat itself and AA and NHPI individuals get the credit, pay, and opportunities they deserve.
For more resources about Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, visit the Library of Congress website.
Annie Davidson is in Corporate Marketing at Smithbucklin.