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Teaching Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage

May Is Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
Graphic of tropical plants and the words "Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month" Adobe Stock
Published: 04/20/2021 Last Updated: 04/25/2022

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have contributed to politics, military, medicine, aviation, entertainment, and sports in the United States. To help celebrate and educate about these contributions, we offer the following list of resources. Educators should be mindful of cultural appropriation when teaching about other cultures and understand that students of Asian and Pacific Islander heritage may experience lessons differently than other students.

History of AAPI Heritage Month

AAPI Heritage Month originated in June 1977 when Representatives Frank Horton (New York) and Norman Y. Mineta (California) called for the establishment of Asian/Pacific Heritage Week. Hawaii senators Daniel Inouye and Spark Matsunaga introduced a similar bill in the Senate. Both bills passed, and in 1978 President Jimmy Carter signed the resolution. In 1990, President George H. W. Bush expanded the celebration from a week to a month. Asian Pacific American Heritage Month is celebrated to commemorate the arrival in May 1843 of the first Japanese immigrants to the United States.

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Affordable Higher Education for All

By working together, we can make sure students don’t have to choose between basic living expenses or their education, and that families who do attend college are not forever weighed down by a lifetime of crushing student debt. Join us: ask Secretary Cardona to cancel the student debt of longtime public service workers, and $50,000 in student debt for all other federal loans.
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Great public schools for every student

The National Education Association (NEA), the nation's largest professional employee organization, is committed to advancing the cause of public education. NEA's 3 million members work at every level of education—from pre-school to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliate organizations in every state and in more than 14,000 communities across the United States.