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Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

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Origins of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

At the University of Dayton, we celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month during the month of April each year. This month--which is observed nation-wide in May--officially became a recurring annual affair in 1992, having started in the 1970s as a single week acknowledging and celebrating the accomplishments and contributions of Asian and Pacific Islander Americans in the United States.

A rather broad term, Asian/Pacific encompasses all of 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).

The month of May was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. The majority of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants.


This guide is intended as a non-exhaustive resource on contemporary Asian and Pacific American works, accomplishments, and histories. In it, we strive to recognize the intersectional nature of identity and hope to highlight voices and stories across a wide range of lived experience, while acknowledging and condemning the current and tragically persistent trend of anti-Asian racism and violence in the United States.

The UD community is welcome to suggest resources, guides, or any other information relevant to this guide by contacting Ione Damasco.


Asian Pacific American Heritage website

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