May is Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month, a time to recognize the accomplishments of people of Asian and Pacific Islander descent.
This year’s theme is “Many Cultures, One Voice: Promote Equality and Inclusion.”
May was selected because it includes two important dates. The nation’s first Japanese immigrants arrived May 7, 1843, and the transcontinental railroad was completed May 10, 1869. The railroad was built mostly by Chinese immigrant laborers.
Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month is also known as Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. It’s celebrated by people of Bangladeshi, Bhutanese, Burmese, Cambodian, Chinese, Filipino, Hmong, Indian, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Laotian, Malaysian, Nepalese, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, Thai and Vietnamese descent.
The Asian-American and Pacific Islander population grew almost 43 percent between 2000 and 2010 and is projected to grow 19.5 percent by 2020. The population is expected to reach 47 million by 2060.
For more information, read the Asian-American and Pacific Islander section on the Diversity Resources site.