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AAPI Heritage Month

May 11, 2021

May is not just a random month for celebrating Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) heritage. Two significant events that happened in May are: (1) the first Japanese immigrant came to the United States on May 7, 1843, and (2) the completion of the transcontinental railroad took place in May of 1869 with the majority of the workers being Chinese immigrants.

The AAPI community is diverse with it representing many different countries. But it is often seen through a single lens that includes hurtful stereotypes and biases. The rise in Asians being the target of hate crime has a strong connection with the radicalization of disease. AAPI Heritage Month comes at a time in 2021 when the racial group that has been sometimes labeled the "model minority" is facing a new level of discrimination and mistreatment.

Dr. Kevin Wong of the Pepperdine Graduate School of Education and Psychology recommend three actions for AAPI Heritage Month: learn, unlearn, and listen. Learn about the injustices that target AAPI individuals and communities. Unlearn the stereotypes and biases that create a false narrative. Listen to the stories of AAPI people.

additional link: Dr. Kevin Wong talks about AAPI Heritage Month