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May is Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month


DoDEA joins the whole Nation in celebrating National Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month during the month of May. This year's theme is "I Am Beyond."

The month of May was designated by Congress to in order to commemorate, celebrate, and pay tribute to the countless contributions generations of Asian and Pacific Islanders have made to American history, society and culture. The month of May is significant and strategically selected for the celebration of two major activities in American history involving the first immigrants from Japan who landed in America on May 7, 1843, and the transcontinental railroad, built largely by Chinese workers, which was completed on May 10, 1869.

Throughout our history, Americans of Asian and Pacific Islander descent have also answered the call to secure and protect our Nation. By displaying courage and strength, they have crossed boundaries and barriers in order to help shape a more diverse America. According to the latest DoD and Manpower data, Asian Americans make up 3.8% of current active duty service members.

The Census Bureau reported in 2011 that 16.6 million Asian American/Pacific Islanders (AAPI's) reside in the U.S., comprising 5.4 percent of the U.S. population. By 2050, AAPIs will make up 9.7 percent of the total United States population-over 40 million people.

Asian Pacific Americans describes people who are predominantly from or have roots in the Asian continent and the Pacific islands of Melanesia (New Guinea, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji and the Solomon Islands), Micronesia (Marianas, Guam, Wake Island, Palau, Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Nauru and the Federated States of Micronesia) and Polynesia (New Zealand, Hawaiian Islands, Rotuma, Midway Islands, Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Cook Islands, French Polynesia and Easter Island). In terms of culture, language, music, arts, and geography, Asian Pacific Americans represent one of the most diverse populations on the planet with ethnic groups that speak over 100 different languages.

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month gives us the opportunity to recognize, appreciate, and celebrate the rich diversity, leadership, and enduring empowerment of all Asian Pacific Americans. We encourage you throughout this month to take the time to enrich your knowledge of the accomplishments and embrace the values, traditions, and vision of our Americans of Asian and Pacific Islander descent.

The following is list of activities and exhibitions related to Asian and Pacific American history available from the Library of the Congress and other partner agencies and represents only a selection of the digital and physical holdings of the participating agencies.


National Gallery of Art 

Library of Congress 

Smithsonian Institution 

Other Websites: