May is Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, a time to celebrate Asians and Pacific Islanders in Atlanta, GA and across the United States.
Asian American and Pacific Islander cultures are so rich in culture and diversity because they are represented in more than 30 countries — including the entire Asian continent and the Pacific Islands — and encompass more than 100 different languages.
The month of May was chosen as AAPI Heritage Month in the United States to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, and the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. The transcontinental railroad was largely built by Chinese immigrants. Congress officially designated May as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month in 1992.
This month-long celebration in previous years has featured the diverse contributions and historical achievements of the AAPI community to the United States and around the nation through festive celebrations with traditional performances, food, and art.
But this year is different. Reports of increased violence against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have been in the news frequently and now is a time more than ever to show compassion and support to this amazing group of Americans. Positive representation and uplifting the voices of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders matter in Atlanta, GA, and beyond.
Here are ways you can support and learn about the AAPI community in Atlanta, and beyond, while also celebrating their culture and traditions.
- AAPI Arts & Culture Pops at the Shops of Dunwoody Saturday, May 15
- Dekalb Public Library More-igami May 15
- Yang Warriors Virtual Event with Author, Kao Kalia Yang
- Dekalb Public Library Chinese Dance Demonstration & Lecture Monday, May 17 -23 (Virtual Library)
- Celebrating Asian Pacific Heritage Month with Picture Books + Self-love May 18
- AAPI Heritage Teen Book Discussion May 19
- Film Screening: Geographies of Kinship May 21
- See Us Unite for Change: Ken Jeong will host this special event on MTV Entertainment on May 21 at 8 p.m. EDT/5 p.m. PDT. The special will feature music, comedy performances, short film packages, and speakers and seek to educate viewers about the AAPI community’s impact in America and inspire them to support efforts against hate and discrimination. It will be shown across MTV's portfolio of brands (MTV, Comedy Central, Paramount Network, Smithsonian Channel, Pop TV, VH1, CMT, TV Land, and Logo), as well as BET and Nickelodeon. It will also stream exclusively on Facebook Watch.
- Uplifting AAPI Voices Summit May 27: Watch TIME's first-ever Uplifting AAPI Voices Summit, a celebration held in recognition of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
Virtual AAPI Storytime:
- AAPI Storytime from The Conscious Kid Featuring a new title every week in May!
- Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao read by author Kat Zhang
- Amy Wu and the Patchwork Dragon read by author Kat Zhang
- Drawn Together by Minh Le
- Ellie Makes a Friend read by author Mike Wu
- Eyes that Kiss in the Corner read by author Joanna Ho
- Grandpa Grumps ready by author Katrina Moore
- I Promise read by Illustrator Nina Mata
- The Little Engine that Could read by Illustrator Dan Santat
- Lotus & Feather read by Michelle Yeoh
- Roxy the Last Unisaurus Rex read by author Eva Chen
- Grace Lin Author Storytime and Drawing
Check your local library for AAPI books for your kids. Here's a reading list available from the Dekalb Public Library.
Support Atlanta restaurants and businesses owned by AAPI
Even though many of these museums are far from Atlanta, most still offer free virtual opportunities for tours and to learn!
Check out The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art's virtual picture book exhibition, Asians, Everyday, curated by Grace Lin.
- The Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, California
- The Crow Collection of Asian Art, The University of Texas at Dallas
- Dallas Museum of Art
- The Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery at The Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art, Washington, D.C.
- The Honolulu Museum of Art, Honolulu, Hawaii
- Museum of Chinese in America, New York
- The Noguchi Museum, Queens, New York
- The Rubin Museum of Art, New York, New York
- The Seattle Asian Art Museum, Seattle, Washington
- Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience
- The Japanese American National Museum, Los Angeles, California
Plus more! Here are great videos featuring AAPI History:
- Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision
- Kid-friendly version: BrainPOP Maya Lin
- Asian Americans PBS Film Series
- Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Hosted by the Library of Congress
- The SIX Documentary: The Untold Story of RMS Titanic's Chinese Passengers
- Amend: The Fight for America (Episode 6)
Movies and shows for kids featuring AAPI characters or culture
Many of these movies and shows can be found on popular streaming networks.
Movies and shows for younger kids:
- Bend it like Beckham
- Big Hero 6
- Finding ‘Ohana
- Lilo and Stitch
- Over the Moon
- Mira, Royal Detective
- Mulan (Animated & Live Action)
- My Neighbor Totoro
- Raya and the Last Dragon
- The Speed Cubers
- Spelling the Dream
Movies for older kids and adults:
- Blinded by the Light (13+)
- Crazy Rich Asians (13+)
- Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (+12)
- Driveways (13+)
- The Farewell (11+)
- Gran Torino (17+)
- The Joy Luck Club (16+)
- Meet the Patels (12+)
- Minari (13+)
- Namesake (14+)
- Never Have I Ever (14+)
- To All the Boys I've Loved Before (+12)
- Yellow Rose (13+)
Resource for Parents
- PBS Talking to Young Children About Race and Racism
- Sesame Street Coming Together: Talking to Children About Race and Identity
Local Organizations to Support
- Asian American Advocacy Fund
- Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Atlanta
- Center for Pan Asian Community Services (CPACS)
- We Love BUHI (Buford Highway)
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