Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

The month of May was chosen to honor the Asian American and Pacific Islanders and their contributions, specifically commemorating both the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants to the U.S. in May 7, 1843, and the completion of the transcontinental railroad – which was predominantly built by Chinese immigrants – on May 10, 1869.

AAPI Heritage Month 2022 takes place from Sunday, May 1 to Tuesday, May 31.

The AAPI umbrella term includes cultures from the entire Asian continent—including East, Southeast and South Asia—and the Pacific Islands of Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia.

According to the Federal Asian Pacific American Council (FAPAC), the theme for AAPI Heritage Month 2022 is “Advancing Leaders Through Collaboration.”

AAPI Heritage Month 2022 commemorates the victims of the 2021 spa shootings along with all other Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders who have been lost to anti-Asian violence during the pandemic and throughout history.

A few historic dates include:

  • 1850: During the California Gold Rush of the 1850s, a wave of Asian immigrants came to the West Coast and provided labor for gold mines, factories and the transcontinental railroad.
  • 1882: Congress enacted the Chinese Exclusion Act, which banned Chinese immigration for 10 years, and declared Chinese immigrants ineligible for naturalization.
  • 1885: Japanese and Koreans began immigrating to the United States by 1885 to replace Chinese labor in railroad construction, farming and fishing.
  • 1965: The Immigration and Nationality Act changed restrictive national origin quotas and allowed for the large numbers of Asians and Pacific Islanders to come to the United States with their families.
  • 1972: In the mid-1970s, refugees from Southeast Asia like Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos came to the United States to flee war, violence, and hardship.

For more information on AAPI, #StopAsianHate, or to tell us how your organization is recognizing the AAPI community in the workplace, contact us today at

You can also check out a clip of a previous webinar on #StopAsianHate hosted by Diversity Crew Partners Leila Cranford and Dinaz Jiwani hosted last year. And of course, don’t forget to download the infographic below to share with your community or organization.

Stay tuned for more information on AAPI Month throughout May!

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