Since Congress officially designated it in 1992, Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month has been a monthlong celebration of Asians and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) in the United States. Asian-Pacific is a broad term that encompasses all of the Asian continent and the Pacific islands of Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia. Here are a variety of worthwhile online resources and events to kick off AAPI Heritage Month.
- The National Asian Pacfic American Women’s Forum will be holding a speakers series to kick off this year’s AAPI month. The virtual panel, “Conversation on Race & Gender” is an ongoing dialogue to bring visibility to AAPI women. This heritage month, panelists and guests will be exploring the intersectionality of racism and sexism as AAPI women. The first discussion, held May 3, was “Race and Gender and Militarism: Pacific Islander Experiences.” Future events will continue online, including “A Conversation with AAPI Moms” on May 13 and “A Conversation with Asian American Writers” Workshop about creating spaces for AAPI voices June 23. Those who are interested can sign up here to receive the latest updates on upcoming events and panels.
- The Asian Women Giving Circle (AWGC) primarily raises funds to support Asian-American women led projects in New York that support culture awareness and social change. They will be holding several events this month with artists and activists based in New York.
- North Star Fund and AWGC are hosting a free webinar titled “Conversations on Justice,” featuring leading grassroot organizers in New York City, on May 20 from 12 to 1:15 p.m. in celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.
- The AWGC will also be screening Kelly Tsai’s new dance and music short film “6,” to intersect arts and activism by AAPI women artists. Kelly Tsai is an interdisciplinary performance artist based in Brooklyn, New York. Following the screening, Kelly will host a conversation with neuroscientist-turned-artist Amanda Phingbodipakkiya. Tickets are available here.
- May MYgration Films Watch Party is a free virtual event on Facebook Live to share the stories of Central Floridians. The screening will be followed by an open conversation with filmmakers and storytellers. The event is funded by the Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC), or The Reliable One, a municipally-owned public utility providing water and electric service to the residents of Orlando, Florida in partnership with the Global Peace Film Festival. The watch party will be screening documentaries, “Puxiao Cen” by Orlando-based filmmaker Thuyvi Gates and “Aloha Orlando” by California-based filmmaker LaMont Chaney II.
- In recognition of Asian-American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) month, the Council for Diversity and Inclusion of the Sarasota County Bar Association (SCBA) will host an interactive town hall discussing the social and legal issues surrounding the rise in AAPI hate crimes. “Words Matter: Understanding the Rise in Asian American Pacific Islander Hate Crimes” is a virtual event that will be held on May 18th from 12 – 1pm. Registration is required and can be made here.
- Founded in 2018, Red Canary Song is a grassroots coalition that advocates for the rights of Asian and migrant massage parlor workers. Yang Song: Fly in Power is a short film that brings to light the death of Yang Song, a Chinese migrant massage parlor worker who fell to her death during a police raid in Flushing, Queens. Red Canary Song is invested in those who experience the most surveillance and policing but do not have legal protections. You can donate to their organization here.
- Formed by sex workers, social workers, legal and health professionals based in Toronto, Canada, Butterfly: Asian and Migrant Sex Worker Support Network provides support to and advocates for the rights of Asian and migrant sex workers under the belief that sex workers are entitled to respect and basic human rights, regardless of their immigration status. There are no upcoming in-person or online events, but various donation packages can be found here.