Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month 2021

Posted By on May 1, 2021 |

May is Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the generations of Asian and Pacific Islanders who have enriched America’s history and are instrumental in its future success.

Stories from the Veterans History Project: Asian-American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander American Veterans

Today there are more than 300,000 living Asian-American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander American veterans. The Library of Congress’ Veteran’s History Project honors those veterans who have shared their stories, veterans such as Kurt Chew-Een Lee, Jaden KimKenje OgataMaginia Sajise MoralesPeter Young and Veasna Rouen. The digital collection Asian Pacific Americans: Going for Broke highlights additional stories from World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and Iraq. (Library of Congress)

Left image credit: [Detail of] Kenje Ogata in uniform, Sterling, Illinois. 1943. (Library of Congress)

Right image credit: [Detail of] Jaden Kim in flight gear, beside a plane.

2021 Event Highlights


May 5

Homegrown: Samoan Studies Institute Students’ Association for Faasamoa
The Students’ Association for Faasamoa has been active in performing the Siva Samoa (traditional Samoan dance), and in teaching and practicing ancient Samoan customs. The dancers, under the direction of Molitogi Lemana, will be performing a 30-minute program of traditional dances.
This presentation will premiere on both Facebook  and YouTube . The presentation will be available for viewing afterwards at those sites and in the Library’s Event Videos collection.

(Library of Congress)

Online Event

May 5

CULINASIA: The Future of Asian Food in America: Saving Chinatown and Our Legacies
Join a panel of chefs, advocates, and activists who discuss the future of Chinatowns across the country. CULINASIA is a dynamic, free series of virtual conversations that explore food legacies and the ways in which Asian Diaspora cuisine continues to change and enrich our lives. Panel members’ experiences span the complex spectrum of Asian Diaspora identities in the U.S. as they discuss the successes, challenges, and future of Asian food in America.

Program on Zoom, Registration required 

(Smithsonian Institution)

Online Event

May 6

Jim Lee and Asian American Superheroes
This event celebrates the life work of DC Chief Creative Officer and Publisher Jim Lee. He will appear in conversation with illustrator Bernard Chang (“Generations Forged”) and writers Sarah Kuhn (“Shadow of the Batgirl”) and Minh Lê (“Green Lantern: Legacy”). Moderated by former National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Gene Luen Yang (“Superman Smashes the Klan”). This presentation will premiere on both Facebook  and YouTube .

(Library of Congress)

Online Event

May 19

CULINASIA: The Future of Asian Food in America:
Southeast Asia Got Something to Say

Hear from celebrity chefs and restaurateurs Jet Tila, Food Network star and chef partner in Pei Wei Restaurant Group, and Christina Hà, the first blind contestant of “MasterChef” and winner of its third season in 2012, and owner of The Blind Goat and Xin Chào in Houston. Then, follow along as Genevieve Villamora, co-owner of the award-winning restaurant Bad Saint and Vilailuck “Pepper” Teigen, author of the forthcoming The Pepper Thai Cookbook: Family Recipes from Everyone’s Favorite Thai Mom, demonstrate a recipe from the new cookbook.
Program on Zoom, Registration required 

(Smithsonian Institution)

Panel Discussion

May 20

Youth in Action: Ecological Knowledge in Pacific Coastal Communities
How can traditional knowledge inform responses to current environmental challenges? Join us in conversation with young Indigenous activists from across the Pacific who are using traditional ecological practices to combat threats to the ocean resources their communities have protected and thrived on for thousands of years. Moderated by Gabbi Lee (Kanaka ‘Ōiwi). Panelists include Franceska De Oro (Chamoru/Taotao Tåno Ginen Guåhan), Kammie Tavares (Kanaka ‘Ōiwi) and ‘Qátuw̓as (Gahtuwos) Brown (Haíɫzaqv [Heiltsuk] and Nuučaan̓uł [Nuu-chah-nulth]).

(National Museum of the American Indian)

Additional Events

Library of Congress Event Calendar

The National Archives Event Calendar

National Endowment of the Humanities Events Calendar

National Gallery of Art Events Calendar

National Park Service Event Calendar

Smithsonian Institution Event Calendar

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Public Events Calendar