Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month is observed during the month of May, and recognizes the contributions and influence of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islander Americans to the history, culture and achievements of the United States.

Please join us as we celebrate important figures within the AAPI community and their impacts, area events to spread awareness, and amplify AAPI voices near and far.

Ways to Celebrate:

Important Figures in the AAPI Community: 

  • Geena Rocero – Geena Rocero is a Filipino-American model and transgender advocate. Her powerful TED Talk on coming out in 2014 led to become the face of transgender visibility, sharing stories of what it means to be trans and gender non-conforming.
  • Helen Zia – Helen Zia is a journalist and activist for Asian American and LGBTQIA+ rights. She is also the co-founder of American Citizens for Justice, an Asian American nonprofit organization that provides victims of discrimination with legal resources and advocates for immigrants. 
  • Kamala Harris – Kamala Devi Harris is an American politician and attorney who is the 49th and current Vice President of the United States. She is the first female Vice President and the highest-ranking female official in US. history, as well as the first African American and first Asian American Vice President.
  • Miki Gorman – Miki Gorman is the only female marathon runner to win the Boston Marathon and New York Marathon TWICE and is the first of only two woman runners to win both marathons in the same year (all in the 1970’s).
  • Olivia Rodrigo – Olivia Rodrigo rose to fame with Disney TV acting roles prior to releasing her debut solo album, “Sour” in 2021, garnering her multiple awards. Time named her the 2021 Entertainer of the Year and Billboard named her Woman of the Year in 2022.
  • Patsy Mink – In 1964, Patsy Mink became the first Asian-American woman to serve on the U.S. House of Representatives, and her career spanned multiple decades. She was a key author for Title IX, a law that advanced gender equity within federal funding policies for education.
  • Sandra Oh – Sandra Oh rose to fame as Dr. Christina Yang on Grey’s Anatomy. The role got her numerous Emmy and Golden Globe nominations, including a win for Best Supporting Actress. In 2019 she won the Golden Globe for Best Leading TV Actress, the first actress of Asian descent in 39 years to do so.
  • Tammy Duckworth – Tammy Duckworth is a retired Army National Guard lieutenant colonel, where she suffered severe combat wounds and injuries — including losing both of her legs. Along with being the first Thai American woman elected to Congress, she is also the first woman with a disability elected to Congress and the first Senator to give birth while in office.

Watch, Listen and Read:

Educational Resources: