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JACL Celebrates the Start of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

May 1st marked the beginning of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. In 1978, Congress passed its first resolution to proclaim the first 10 days of May as Asian-Pacific Heritage Week. In 2009, President Barack Obama signed a proclamation recognizing the full month as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Since then, JACL alongside other community partners and organizations has celebrated the history, cultures, and accomplishments of the AANHPI community.

This AANHPIHM we look forward to several amazing and wonderful events to celebrate our community and others. The first event is coming up this week on May 7th as we look back on the history of baseball and its influence on Japanese Americans before and during the mass incarceration during World War II. Alongside the National Nikkei Redress Coalition (NNRC) we look forward to a week of educational actions around Black reparations and HR40, starting on Saturday, May 21st!

Near the end of the month, we bring together JACL members from across the nation to join with members of OCA Asian Pacific American Advocates in Washington, D.C. for our annual JACL/OCA Leadership Summit. Here, attendees will learn about the advocacy work both our organizations do on the national level, how to engage with members of Congress and our partners, and how to bring their new leadership skills back to their local chapters.

Finally, we also celebrate May as Jewish American Heritage Month. With our friends at the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), we’re planning an in-person panel, that will also be live-streamed, featuring community members who identify as Japanese and Jewish, including JACL staff and one of ADL’s new multicultural fellows! This will be followed up by a virtual tour of Heart Mountain and a discussion on the intersections of the Incarceration and the Holocaust, in partnership with the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation.

We hope that everyone takes part in appreciating the rich and diverse history of the AANHPI community this month as well as celebrating the intersecting identities we share with others. We look forward to bringing these exciting events to everyone as this month goes on and encourage you to visit our website and follow our social media for information and updates about these events.


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