Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
Published on May 01, 2023
May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, and the City of Lakewood joins the federal and state governments and hundreds of public and private organizations in paying tribute to this important commemoration.
There are more than 23 million people of Asian or Pacific Islander descent in the United States, and in less than 50 years, nearly one of every ten people in America will trace his or her heritage to Asia and the Pacific--a region that covers more than one third of the earth. This diverse and growing population makes up about 7 percent of the total U.S. population, and at least 15% of Lakewood residents are of Asian/Pacific Islander descent.
A key element of Lakewood’s Community Dialogue on Race, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion is celebrating the diversity of cultures and people in Lakewood. On behalf of the Lakewood City Council, Mayor Steve Croft has issued a proclamation in recognition of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, which can be viewed at www.lakewoodcity.org.
Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have played vital roles in shaping the United States—from building the Transcontinental Railroad to advocating for labor law changes to fighting to defend our nation in multiple wars. They made these contributions while also facing persistent discrimination and violence throughout U.S. history. Most recently, the COVID-19 pandemic led to a rise in hate crimes against Asian-Americans. They have long been perceived as outsiders, despite the Chinese being the first Asian immigrants arriving in the United States in significant numbers over 150 years ago in the mid-nineteenth century.
Resources to learn more
The Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center (APAC) has sought to showcase the resiliency and strength of this community in presenting Bravespace (smithsonianapa.org/bravespace), a compilation of original songs, sounds and meditations created by Asian American women and non-binary artists and musicians. Commissioned at the beginning of the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020, APAC spent almost three years collaborating with these musicians, artists and cultural practitioners to capture how an intensely challenging moment could lead to personal discovery and collective healing. The compilation is available on multiple streaming options.
The Los Angeles County Public Library has a wealth of resources at www.lacountylibrary.org/asian-pacific-american-heritage-month, including booklists for adults, teens and kids. The library’s Asian Pacific Resource Center Facebook page is also continuously updated with AAPI news, programs and useful resources for everyone to enjoy.
The Iacoboni Library has two programs that are related to AAPI Heritage month:
Baby Band Practice
Dates: Thursdays May 18 & May 25 @ 10 a.m.
Celebrate AAPI Heritage Month with a special playlist of music! Build your child’s pre-literacy, social skills and motor skills through song and rhyme! For ages 0 - 24 months and their caregivers. Registration required.
Polka Dot Art
Date: Tuesday, May 9 @ 4 p.m.
Create your own polka dot art inspired by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. Canvas, markers, and polka dot making tips will be provided. For ages 13 – 17. Registration required.
Register for either event here: https://lacountylibrary.org/angelo-m-iacoboni-library/.
George Nye Library will have a take-home activity kit inspired by the beautiful handmade lei created and worn by Native Hawaiians. Individuals will use a braiding technique to make a colorful ribbon lei. This kit will be for adults 18+, while supplies last.