May 19, 2022

Celebrating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

Admitify honors Asian Pacific American Heritage (APAH) month in May, which celebrates the histories of Americans hailing from across the Asian continent and from the Pacific islands of Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia.


According to NPR, Jeanie Jew is attributed with founding APAH during the time she was a Capitol Hill staffer.  Jew was inspired to promote the heritage week in honor of her great grandfather, M.Y. Lee, who left China for the United States in the 1800s and helped build the transcontinental railroad.  However, he was killed during a period of anti-Asian sentiment.  Jew shared the initial idea of APAH Week with Rep. Frank Horton, who introduced the legislation that formed it in 1977.  Congress later extended the observance of APAH from one week to the full of May in 1990.


For 2022, the Federal Asian Pacific American Council (FAPAC) — a nonprofit that supports the interests of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders in the federal and D.C. governments — selected the theme: Advancing Leaders Through Collaboration.  The theme builds on the Advancing Leaders series, which began in 2021 and will run through 2024.  Fahmida Chhipa, FAPAC’s vice president, notes “when you have diversity at the leadership table, the magnitude of what you can accomplish is enormous…you really expand yourself in the horizons to have something creative and innovative.”


Many business schools have commemorated the APAH month by showcasing stories, trends, and students.  Harvard Business School featured an MBA blog post showcasing its Asian Affinity Business Association with student profiles from the class of 2022.  Each has a unique story of their background and connection with their heritage.  In addition, HBS published a dataset on Advancing Racial Equity.  The HBS class of 2019 was 18% Asian and that number climbed to 24% for the class of 2023.  Northwestern Kellogg also featured a blog post of the extensive number of clubs and events taking place over the course of May.  The events range from TED talks and fireside chats with executives to dance performances and a Bollywood Bash.


For a full read of the NPR article, click here.