Today there are more than 300,000 living Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander American veterans according to

Like most commemorative months, Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month originated with Congress. In 1978, a joint congressional resolution established Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week. The first 10 days of May were chosen to coincide with two important milestones in Asian/Pacific American history: the arrival in the United States of the first Japanese immigrants (May 7, 1843) and contributions of Chinese workers to the building of the transcontinental railroad, completed May 10, 1869.

What stands out to me the most is the culture in the food from Asia. I grew up eating Asian food and now I am a cultural food fanatic! What makes Southeast Asian cooking and eating truly unique goes beyond the robust flavors and smells, colorful and exotic ingredients and spices, and history of immigration. I recall the smells of my mother and grandmother’s cooking and the diversity of food we used to eat. To this day my friends and neighbors will randomly call me and say they want my Asian cooking. This is something my family and I take pride in and love to do.

Asian Americans, and Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders make our Nation more vibrant through diversity of cultures, languages, and religions. During this year’s Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander Heritage Month, our Nation celebrates the achievements of Vice President Harris, the first person of South Asian descent to hold the Office of the Vice President. Vice President Harris has blazed a trail and set an example for young people across the country to aspire to follow.

A record 23 million Asian American people trace their roots to more than twenty countries in East and Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent, each with unique histories, cultures, languages and other characteristics. Currently, Asian American people comprise about 7% of the U.S. population. Eighty-five percent of those Asian American people have origins in six countries: China, India, Philippines, Vietnam, Korea and Japan.

Unfortunately earlier this year, Asian American activists carried signs reading “Love Us Like You Love Our Food” as they denounced a surge of anti-Asian racism in communities across the United States during the global pandemic.

“Sadly, the spike in hate incidents against the Asian American community experienced over the summer has not abated,” said Dr. Abraham Kim, Executive Director of CKA. “These acts of violence create fear within our communities, which elected officials, community leaders, and law enforcement must come together to address. The Korean American community stands firmly against acts of hate and bias and will work with partners around the country to eliminate them.”
What you can do to help:

Create Change in Your Community
Call on your elected officials to speak out and take action. Build relationships with your local government agencies to develop solutions, prevention programs, and provide culturally sensitive victim support. Participate in cross-racial, anti-racist, and solidarity programs in your community. Promote Asian American and Pacific Islander art, film, literature and food. Immerse yourself in the richness and complexity of cultures that make up this community. Support Asian American and Pacific Islander-owned businesses and non-profits. Read one of 8 great books perfect for Elementary aged students.

Did you know?
The estimated number of Asian alone-or-in-combination residents in the United States in 2019 is 22.9 million.
The estimated number of the Asian population of Chinese, except Taiwanese, descent in the United States in 2019 is 5.2 million.
The percentage of Asians alone or in combination who are military veterans in 2019 is 2.5%.
The percentage of the Asian alone-or-in-combination population age 25 and older who had a bachelor’s degree or higher level of education in 2019 is 54.6%.
The percentage of the Asian alone-or-in-combination population age 25 and older who had at least a high school diploma or equivalency in 2019 is 88.3%.
The estimated number of Asian-owned employer firms in the United States in 2018 is 577, 835.

Some key dates to note:
CULINASIA: The Future of Asian Food in America:
CULINASIA program dates: June 9 & 23, 2021
Trailblazer and Tycoon: Conversation on Success with Ethan Allen's Chairman and CEO Farooq Kathwari | 7 p.m. Central, Virtual, May 26, 2021

Deep Dive: Bollywood | Sunday, May 30


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