USDA is proud to join the nation in recognizing the Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month, also known as Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month (AAPI). Observed annually in May, AANHPI Heritage Month is a time to reflect upon and celebrate the remarkable role of the AANHPI community in our nation’s history.
The Federal Asian Pacific American Council (FAPAC), the premier organization representing Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) employees in the Federal and District of Columbia governments, is proud to announce the theme for the observance of Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in May 2022: "Advancing Leaders Through Collaboration". This year's theme is a continuation of the "Advancing Leaders" theme series which began in FY 2021.
This heritage month originated in June 1977, when Representatives Frank Horton of New York and Norman Mineta of California called upon the President to proclaim the first 10 days of May as Asian-Pacific Heritage Week. In October 1978, President Jimmy Carter expanded the observance as an annual celebration; and, 12 years later President George H.W. Bush extended the week-long celebration to a month. The official designation of May as AAPI Heritage Month was signed into law in 1992. The month of May was chosen to observe AAPI for several reasons, including to commemorate the first Japanese who came to the country in May of 1843, and to mark the May 1869 completion of the Transcontinental Railroad which involved the labor of many Chinese immigrants. The AANHPI community is made up of culturally and linguistically - diverse people, representing populations from many countries and islands.
Throughout the month of May, USDA agencies and offices will be hosting events designed to commemorate AANHPI Heritage Month. Your participation and support for these events is highly encouraged!
This May, during Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we recognize the history and achievements of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (AANHPIs) across our Nation. In the midst of a difficult year of pain and fear, we reflect on the tradition of leadership, resilience, and courage shown by AANHPI communities, and recommit to the struggle for AANHPI equity.
Asian Americans, and Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders make our Nation more vibrant through diversity of cultures, languages, and religions. There is no single story of the AANHPI experience, but rather a diversity of contributions that enrich America’s culture and society and strengthen the United States’ role as a global leader. The American story as we know it would be impossible without the strength, contributions, and legacies of AANHPIs who have helped build and unite this country in each successive generation. From laying railroad tracks, tilling fields, and starting businesses, to caring for our loved ones and honorably serving our Nation in uniform, AANHPI communities are deeply rooted in the history of the United States.