Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
Celebrate Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month!
May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, an opportunity to celebrate the rich history, cultural diversity, and achievements of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) in the United States. The AAPI community includes nearly 50 countries and ethnic groups with their own distinct histories, cultures, traditions, languages, and dialects. With the dramatic surge in anti-Asian violence, amplifying AAPI voices and bringing attention to their experiences is more important than ever before.
Join us in lifting up and celebrating the AAPI community this month and throughout the year. We’re spotlighting essays about representation from Capstone authors Saadia Faruqi and V.T. Bidania, as well as featuring some of our favorite book recommendations by Asian American authors and fun freebies for your classroom or library.
Children from all backgrounds benefit from learning more about the culture and contributions of Asian American and Pacific Islanders. Two amazing online resources we recommend exploring are the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month website and the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center.
Ensuring Accurate Representation During AAPI Month
By Saadia Faruqi, author of the Yasmin series
"Some will argue that labels don’t matter. I disagree. Labels are important for a number of reasons, specifically as they relate to young readers. After all, accuracy and authenticity are both part of representation, and if we cannot correctly define the heritage of our readers, how can we ensure that the rest of their representation is correct? If we count certain reader populations as Asian, but not others who fall by right in that definition, what message are we giving to those left out?"
What Astrid and Apollo Mean to Me and Why Representation Matters
By V.T. Bidania, author of the Astrid and Apollo series
"When I decided to write books for children, Hmong representation was at the forefront of my mind. . . . I would write about Hmong heroes and heroines. My books would reflect the specific and universal experiences of Hmong people. But it would take well over a decade before my writing would get published; the rejections I received often said the same things: there is no place for Hmong stories in the market and books with Hmong people will not sell."