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Asian American and Native Hawaiian / Pacific Islander Heritage Month

In honor of Asian American and Native Hawaiin / Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we wanted to share some resources compiled by the Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallary of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution, and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. This broad collaboration has resulted in some phenomenal resources that we hope you will enjoy and share with your friends.


(Photo from AsianPacificHeritage.gov)


With the troubling rise of hate crimes against our Asian and Pacific Islander friends and neighbors, we strongly believe that education grounded in a foundation of understanding and empathy is key in combatting xenophobic, racist, or “othering” attitudes. Listening to people’s experiences, valuing cultural contributions to our collective national landscape, and acknowledging wrongdoing of the past are simple antiracist steps we can take, and easily taught in our homes and classrooms.


The Library of Congress’ Veteran’s History Project has collected individual stories from veterans of Asian and Pacific Islander heritage. Their website hosts a digital collection: Asian Pacific Americans: Going for Broke. Highlighted in this collection are personal accounts from dedicated service people who served during WWII, Vietnam, Korea, and Iraq. You can find their stories here: https://www.loc.gov/vets/stories/ex-war-asianpacific.html


(Photo from The Library of Congress.)


We are grateful to the Smithsonian for acknowledging the recent rise in violence against Asian Americans. Throughout May and June, they are hosting a series of digital events on the theme of Standing Together against AAPI hate. You can browse the list of events and register online. https://smithsonianapa.org/stand/


(Photo from The Smithsonian.)

We think of the National Park Service as forestry experts, but they are purveyors of so much history as well. The National Park Service website is a treasure trove of information, stories, and resources. You can digitally explore parks, memorials, and historical sites around the country, as well as plan trips to visit in person. There is a podcast that explores the science around Hawaii’s national parks from invasive species, to how volcanos change the landscape, to exploring the night skies in the unique environment of Hawaii’s parks. You can listen to a park ranger explain how Chinese immigrants helped shape Yosemite National park. There are also reflections on Japanese internment during WWII, from several historical sites that educate the public on that troubling time of our nation’s history. We encourage you to check out these resources on their website: https://www.nps.gov/subjects/npscelebrates/asian-american-pacific-islander-heritage-month.htm

(Photo from the National Parks Service.)


Ansel Adams, perhaps the most famous photographer in American History, documented Japanese internment at the Manzanar War Relocation Center in California. On the Library of Congress’ website, you can view the entire collection of photographs, which capture the experience of living in the camps. It is imperative for us to bear witness to this crime in our nation’s past and do everything we can to battle the xenophobia and hatred that we witness today. You can view the collection here: https://www.loc.gov/collections/ansel-adams-manzanar/about-this-collection/


(Photo from The Library of Congress.)


There are also a series of events throughout the month that you can participate in virtually. On May 5 there will be a performance of traditional Samoan dance, premiering on Facebook and Youtube. On May 6, there is a lecture on Asian American Superheros with Jim Lee, who works as a publisher and as the Chief Creative Officer for DC comics. And on May 19, you can join in a zoom event where you will hear from celebrity chefs including Pepper Teigan as they demonstrate a recipe from her new cookbook. Registration is required for some of these events, so check for more information on the website here: https://asianpacificheritage.gov/


(Photo from AsianPacificHeritage.gov)

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