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APIDA Heritage Month

This guide celebrates APIDA (Asian, Pacific Islander, Desi American) Heritage Month.

What is AAPI / APIDA Heritage Month?

Celebrated in May, Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month recognizes and honors the contributions, achievements, and influence of Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans (AAPI) who have shaped the culture and history of the United States. AAPI Heritage Month began in 1978 as a weeklong celebration and in 1992 May was permanently designated as the commemorative month. The month of May was chosen to memorialize the arrival of the first known Japanese immigrant to the U.S. on May 7, 1843, and to honor the completion of the transcontinental railroad — built by as many as 20,000 Chinese workers — on May 10, 1869. 

source: “Celebrate Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month - Asian Art Museum.” Main, Accessed 26 Apr. 2024.

Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) Heritage Month is a celebration of Asians, Southeast Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States. Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) encompasses people from all of the Asian continent, India, 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).


source: Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Heritage Month (APIDA) | Office of Multicultural Affairs. Accessed 26 Apr. 2024.