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Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month Resource Guide

Celebrate Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month with the Drexel University Libraries

Chinese baseball team in Hawaii

The Drexel University Libraries celebrates Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month in May by honoring the contributions of Asian, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders to the history, culture, and achievements of the United States. [Learn more via]

The 2022 Asia/Pacific American Heritage Month theme, “Advancing Leaders Through Collaboration” [Federal Asian Pacific American Council], is the start of the new theme series for 2021-2024 highlighting efforts in “Advancing Leaders”. Join us as we "celebrate the contributions that generations of AAPIs have made to American history, society, and culture." 

This resource guide includes information and resources about just a few of the people and some of the research and creative works that have inspired us – and we hope they will inspire you throughout the year!

Be sure to keep checking this page for new resources and updates throughout the year!

About Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month

About 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).

Like most commemorative months, Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month originated with Congress. In 1977 Reps. Frank Horton of New York introduced House Joint Resolution 540 to proclaim the first ten days in May as Pacific/Asian American Heritage Week. In the same year, Senator Daniel Inouye introduced a similar resolution, Senate Joint Resolution 72. Neither of these resolutions passed, so in June 1978, Rep. Horton introduced House Joint Resolution 1007. This resolution proposed that the President should “proclaim a week, which is to include the seventh and tenth of the month, during the first ten days in May of 1979 as ‘Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week.’” This joint resolution was passed by the House and then the Senate and was signed by President Jimmy Carter on October 5, 1978 to become Public Law 95-419. This law amended the original language of the bill and directed the President to issue a proclamation for the “7 day period beginning on May 4, 1979 as ‘Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week.’” During the next decade, presidents passed annual proclamations for Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week until 1990 when Congress passed Public Law 101-283 which expanded the observance to a month for 1990. Then in 1992, Congress passed Public Law 102-450 which annually designated May as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month.

More on DEI from Drexel University Libraries

Photograph of book display in W. W. Hagerty Library 2022. Featuring brightly colored book titles and signage celebrating diversity, equity and inclusion.These guides provide resources and information about monthly heritage celebrations, available through the Drexel Libraries and other organizations. 

Contact us if you would like to share resources and other widely recognized cultural observances for consideration!