Asian-Pacific Heritage Month

The month of May is Asian-Pacific Heritage month where recognition is given to the widespread contributions to the United States by Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders in the areas of music, medicine, science and mathematics, technology, literature and the arts. From acupuncture to zen, the cultures, philosophies and technical knowledge of this region have enriched and expanded our lives.

May was chosen for this celebration because it commemorates the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States in May 1843 and to honor the anniversary of the transcontinental railroad completion in May 1869 through the hard work of Chinese immigrants.


Related research guide

Asian History and Studies
Created by a PCC Librarian, this guide covers Asian art, literature, religion, and a multitude of featured titles for suggested reading on Asian History and Studies.

Organizations in the Fight Against Asian Hate

Asian Americans Advancing Justice
This group is an affiliation of five organizations advocating for the civil and human rights of Asian Americans

Asian American Feminist Collective
Asian/American feminism is an ever-evolving practice that seeks to address the multi-dimensional ways Asian/American people confront systems of power at the intersections of race, gender, class, sexuality, religion, disability, migration history, citizenship and immigration status.

Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance
An organization of AAPI workers, many of whom are union members, advancing labor, immigrant, and civil rights.

An initiative and community raising awareness on anti-Asian racism and supporting Asian-owned businesses.

National Organization of Asians and Pacific Islanders Ending Sexual Violence
NAPIESV was created by API anti-sexual assault advocates to center the experiences of victim/survivors of sexual violence from the Asian & Pacific Islander communities.

Stop AAPI Hate
A national coalition documenting and sharing resources about anti-Asian discrimination.

Streaming videos

Asian Americans
A five-hour PBS film series that delivers a bold, fresh perspective on a history that matters today, more than ever. This series traces the story of Asian Americans, spanning 150 years of immigration, racial politics, and cultural innovation.  PCC Library also has this series by episode:

Nation Within
In this compelling, stirring and new vision of the American overthrow, Coffman weaves into existing Western history uncovered historical facts as well as the point of view of Hawaiians and their storytellers.

No Turning Back
This program presents intimate portraits of the new Chinese Americans who face a struggle common to so many immigrants: to reconcile some losses of their old culture in order to embrace their adopted American one.

Pacific Islanders: Dances of Life
Dances of Life examines dances from five island cultures: Maori, Samoan, Palauan, Chamorro (Guam), and Kanak (New Caledonia). How their dances have evolved and incorporated new influences is seen as a testament to the endurance of their cultures.

Wayfinders: A Pacific Odyssey
Wayfinders focuses on the revival of wayfinding – the art of guiding a canoe across long distances using only natural signs: the sun, the moon, the stars and the ocean swells.


And The View From the Shore: Literary Traditions of Hawai’i
This book chronicles and reinterprets the variety of patterns found within Hawaii’s pastoral and heroic literary traditions.

Asian American History and Culture: Volume One-Two: An Encyclopedia
An exhaustive encyclopedia documenting the history of Asians in America from the earliest contact to the present day.

A Companion to Asian American Studies
This book provides a snapshot of early debates within the field ranging from class and sexuality to literature, transnationality, and identity.

Contemporary Asian American Communities Intersections and Divergences
Asian America has undergone profound changes as a result of post-1965 immigration.

Margins and Mainstreams: Asians in American History and Culture
This book argues that the core values and ideals of the nation emanate today not from the so-called mainstream but from the margins, from among Asian and African Americans, Latinos and American Indians, women, and the gay and lesbian community.

Related websites

Asian Nation
This site includes an overview of the historical, demographic, political, and cultural issues that make up today’s diverse Asian American community.

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
Hosted by the Library of Congress, this site provides a calendar of events at various national museums, including the Smithsonian Institution’s online exhibit Righting a Wrong: Japanese Americans and World War II Exhibition.

Asian Reporter
A source for international, national, and Pacific NW Asian news.

Cambodian-American Community of Oregon
A Facebook site set up to unite, preserve and empower the Cambodian community in Oregon and SW Washington.

Japan-American Society of Oregon
A non-profit organization whose mission is to strengthen US-Japan relationships.

Portland Classical Chinese Garden
A treasure in the heart of downtown Portland, this garden is an authentic representation of Chinese trees, flora, and pavilions.

Portland Japanese Gardens (currently closed due to COVID-19)
Located in Southwest Portland, these gardens offer a peaceful respite from a busy world. Japanese culture is on display in the landscape, the gift store, and in public tours and exhibits.

Vietnamese Community of Oregon
This Facebook site has daily news, reports, scholarships, awards, and a variety of events related to the Vietnamese Community.