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RACE & JUSTICE: Asian American, Native Hawaiian, & Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month began as a week-long celebration signed into law by President Carter in May of 1978. In 1992, Congress passed a public law designating an annual month-long observance of "Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month."

"A rather broad term, Asian/Pacific encompasses all of the Asian continent and the Pacific islands of Melanesia (New Guinea, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji and the Solomon Islands), Micronesia (Marianas, Guam, Wake Island, Palau, Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Nauru and the Federated States of Micronesia) and Polynesia (New Zealand, Hawaiian Islands, Rotuma, Midway Islands, Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Cook Islands, French Polynesia and Easter Island). The month of May was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. The majority of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants" (

We have chosen to use the acronym AANHPI throughout this guide to designate Asian American, Native Hawaiian, & Pacific Islanders. However, you might see Asian American Heritage Month, Asian Pacific American (APA) Heritage Month, or Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month on other sites. There is no one "official" or "correct" acronym or name to designate such a diverse group of people. For more information, please check out the video Are You “AAPI” or “Asian American”? It's Complicated. below from "A People's History of Asian America."

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Are You “AAPI” or “Asian American”? It's Complicated. | A People's History of Asian America

"How many A’s in AAPI? Dolly & Adrian hear from South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander voices to explore the pros and cons of disaggregating Asian American as a statistical category. A People’s History of Asian America is a series of thoughtful visual essays and explainers, hosted by Emmy award-winning journalist, Dolly Li, and Asian studies scholar and professor, Adrian De Leon. Each episode offers informed and empowering perspectives, helping to break down common microaggressions and racist stereotypes through the tools of ethnic studies. This series covers what your classic American school history textbook may not."

AANHPI Biographies & Memoirs

Institutions with AANHPI Heritage Month Resources

Asian Enough? | David Huynh

"Asian-American actor, David Huynh, is working to bring awareness to the lack of Asian representation and visibility in film and theater. David Huynh is a NYC-based actor and model."

Films, TV, & Documentaries

Movies, TV Series, & Documentaries

Click on any of the links to visit that title's IMDb page!


Minari (Lee isaac Chung) — Hulu

The Farewell (Lulu Wang) — Hulu

The Tiger Hunter (Lena Khan) — Prime Video

Crazy Rich Asians (Jon M. Chu) — HBO Max

Moana (Ron Clements, John Musker, & Don Hall) — Disney+

Spirited Away (Hayao Miyazaki) — HBO Max

The Joy Luck Club (Wayne Wang) — Prime Video

To All the Boys I've Loved Before (Susan Johnson) — Netflix

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (Destin Daniel Cretton) — Disney+

Turning Red (Domee Shi) — Disney+

Finding 'Ohana (Jude Weng) — Netflix

Tigertail (Alan Yang) — Netflix

Always Be My Maybe (Nahnatchka Khan) — Netflix

Driveways (Andrew Ahn) — Showtime

Hasan Minhaj: Homecoming King (Hasan Minhaj) — Netflix

The Big Sick (Michael Showalter) — Prime Video

Saving Face (Alice Wu) — Prime Video

Parasite (Bong Joon Ho) — Hulu

Seven Samurai (Akira Kurosawa) — HBO Max

Sound of Metal (Darius Marder) — Prime Video

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Ang Lee) — Prime Video

Mulan (Niki Caro - 2020) — Disney+

Enter the Dragon (Robert Clouse) — HBO Max

Life of Pi (Ang Lee) — Prime Video

Slumdog Millionaire (Danny Boyle & Loveleen Tandan) — HBO Max

Over the Moon (Glen Keane & John Kahrs) — Disney+



Jiro Dreams of Sushi (David Gelb) — Prime Video

Pacific Warriors (James Marquand) — Freevee

Minding the Gap (Bing Liu) — Hulu

Ulam: Main Dish (Alexandra Cuerdo) — Hulu

Manny (Leon Gast & Ryan Moore) — Freevee

To Be Takei (Jennifer M. Kroot) — Prime Video

Koran by Heart (Greg Barker) — HBO Max

Writing with Fire (Sushmit Ghosh & Rintu Thomas) — Prime Video

Daughters of Destiny (Vanessa Roth) — Netflix


Television Series

Wu Assassins (Tony Krantz & John Wirth) — Netflix

Ugly Delicious (David Chang, Peter Meehan, & Aziz Ansari) — Netflix

Never Have I Ever (Lang Fisher & Mindy Kaling) — Netflix

Quantico (Joshua Safran) — Hulu

Bling Empire (Kevin Kreider, Christine Chiu, & Kelly Mi Li) — Netflix

Four Weddings and a Funeral (Mindy Kaling & Matt Warburton) — Hulu

The Mindy Project (Mindy Kaling) — Netflix 

Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens (Awkwafina & Teresa Hsiao) — HBO Max

Master of None (Aziz Ansari & Alan Yang) — Netflix

Killing Eve (Phoebe Waller-Bridge) — Hulu

Fresh Off the Boat (Nahnatchka Khan) — Hulu

Little America (Lee Eisenberg, Emily V. Gordon, & Kumail Nanjiani) — Apple TV+


Many popular streaming platforms, including Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, and Amazon Prime Video, have collections of curated media to help users celebrate AANHPI storytellers. Check out each of the streaming platforms for more media recognizing AANHPI voices this May!

Stop AAPI Hate

AANHPI Nonfiction

I Am Not Your Asian Stereotype | Canwen Xu

"Bad driver. Math wizard. Model minority. In this hilarious and insightful talk, eighteen-year-old Canwen Xu shares her Asian-American story of breaking stereotypes, reaffirming stereotypes, and driving competently on her way to buy rice. Canwen Xu's slogan for life is 'Canwen can win.'” 

AANHPI Heritage Month Online Archives & Exhibits

How Asian American Women Claim Their Leadership | Tutti Taygerly

"Asian American women often feel the pressure to conform to the model minority stereotype, fight imposter syndrome, and aim to lead authentically as an 'other' in the corporate world. From her personal journey identifying as a banana in college (yellow on the outside, white on the inside) through a 22-year career as a design leader in tech and now an executive coach, Tutti Taygerly moves beyond the stereotypes and shares three strategies for how to claim your leadership and succeed in workplaces not built with you in mind. Tutti coaches co-founders and tech leaders to embrace their unique leadership style to achieve professional impact and a sustainable company culture. She focuses on working with women, people of color, and immigrants. Previously she was a design leader at design firms, startups, and large companies including Disney and Facebook. Tutti writes for Harvard Business Review, Business Insider, and Fast Company and her book Make Space to Lead shows high achievers how to reframe our relationship to work."

Podcasts to Check Out!

Why I Love a Country that Once Betrayed Me | George Takei 

When he was a child, George Takei and his family were forced into an internment camp for Japanese-Americans, as a "security" measure during World War II. 70 years later, Takei looks back at how the camp shaped his surprising, personal definition of patriotism and democracy.


AANHPI Fiction

No-No Boy / John Okada; introduction by Karen Tei Yamashita
The Sympathizer / Viet Thanh Nguyen
Saving Fish from Drowning / Amy Tan
A Gesture Life / Chang-Rae Lee
Yokohama, California / Toshio Mori ; with a new introduction by Xiaojing Zhou ; Introduction to the original edition by William Saroyan; Introduction to the 1985 edition by Lawson Fusao Inada
Interpreter of Maladies; The Namesake / Jhumpa Lahiri
Interior Chinatown / Charles Yu
Paper Bullets: A Fictional Autobiography / Kip Fulbeck
Phoenix Eyes and Other Stories / Russell Charles Leong
Inscrutable Belongings: Queer Asian North American Fiction / Stephen Hong Sohn
The Bonesetter's Daughter / Amy Tan
Night Sky with Exit Wounds / Ocean Vuong
Circle K Cycles / Karen Tei Yamashita
All Over Creation / Ruth Ozeki
America is in the Heart: A Personal History / Carlos Bulosan; with a new introduction by Marilyn C. Alquizola and Lane Ryo Hirabayashi
M. Butterfly / by David Henry Hwang; with an afterword by the playwright
Scent of Apples: A Collection of Stories / Bienvenido N. Santos; foreword by Jessica Hagedorn; introduction by Allan Punzalan Isaac
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan: A Novel / Lisa See
When Heaven and Earth Changed Places: A Vietnamese Woman's Journey from War to Peace / Le Ly Hayslip with Jay Wurts
The Hundred Secret Senses / Amy Tan
The Boat / Nam Le
Gunga Din Highway: A Novel / Frank Chin
Pioneer Girl: A Novel / Bich Minh Nguyen
Short Girls: A Novel / Bich Minh Nguyen
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