Des Moines Area Community College has the distinction of enrolling the most culturally diverse student population in the Iowa higher education system. Our responsibility to our students, and to the staff and faculty that serve them, is articulated in the diversity vision statement:
DMACC will create a culture in which all people are valued and supported, and will celebrate the similarities and differences among us. In doing so, we will prepare the DMACC community to live, to learn, and to work together in a global society.
For speaker, swag or funding requests from the Diversity Commission, please
Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month: May 2023
May is national Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders encompass all of the nations within the continent of Asia 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) (https://asianpacificheritage.gov/about/).
May was originally selected as AANHPI Heritage Month because of it’s historic significance with the first Japanese immigrants coming to the U.S. on May 7, 1843 and to recognize the contributions from Chinese laborers for the completion of the North American transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. (https://education.nationalgeographic.org/resource/asian-pacific-heritage-month/). AANHPI Heritage month celebrates the accomplishments, contributions, and unique cultures of the pan-AANHPI community amidst continued perceptions of being “perpetual foreigners.” Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders have long been a part of North America, with some history pointing to AANHPI community presence in this continent over 15,000 years ago (https://www.history.com/topics/holidays/asian-american-pacific-islander-heritage-month).
In the late 1970’s, Rep. Frank Horton (New York) introduced a joint resolution (HJR 540) that proposed a proclamation that the first 10 days of the month of May become Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week. Senator Daniel Inouye (Hawaii) also introduced a similar joint resolution. The following year, a joint resolution (HJR 1007) was passed that requested Presidential proclamation for one week during the first ten days of May become known as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week (1978). President Jimmy Carter signed this joint House and Senate resolution into law on Oct. 5, 1978 (Public Law 95-419). From 1980-1990, each President passed annual proclamations for Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week. In 1990, Congress moved the week-long observation to a month and President George H. W. Bush made it into law into 1992, passing Public Law 102-540. In 2009 Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month was renamed to AAPI Heritage Month (https://www.history.com/topics/holidays/asian-american-pacific-islander-heritage-month). And in 2022, the Biden-Harris administration designated May as “Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month” to bring broader visibility to Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders and their unique needs.
AANHPI communities are incredibly diverse and resilient and are the fastest growing racial group in the United States with the first Vice-President of AANHPI decent, Vice-President Kamala Harris (who is from African American and AANHPI decent) being elected in 2020. The Pew Research Center and the U.S. Census estimating that by 2060, the largest People Of Color (POC) community in the United States will be individuals from Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander heritage, including individuals from multiracial and multi-ethnic AANHPI heritage (https://www.pbs.org/newshour/nation/asian-americans-are-the-fastest-growing-group-in-the-u-s-report-finds)
DMACC District Events
DMACC Boone Campus held an AANHPI film screening of “Everything Everywhere All at Once” in April to observe Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. April 24th: DEI Film Series Showing of 'Everything Everywhere All At Once' at Boone Campus - DMACC Daily
DMACC Library Asian American, Native Hawaiian & Pacific Islander Heritage Month “Read, Watch, Listen”
Here is the link for this month’s “Read, Watch, Listen” AANHPI History Month resourcing (click on the image from the list to get the direct link to the book or resource in the DMACC library system) https://libguides.dmacc.edu/rwl. Thank you to Emma Adams and DMACC’s outstanding library team!
Iowa Resources, Opportunities, and Events for AANHPI 2023 Heritage Month
May 6th (Saturday) 11:00-12:30 p.m. (in-person event) “Civil Rights and Seeds” sponsored by Des Moines Civil & Human Rights and Monsoon Asians and Pacific Islanders in Solidarity to celebrate Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
May 15-27th (Des Moines South Side Library, 1111 Porter Ave., Des Moines, 50315) Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month Scavenger Hunt
May 26-27: Iowa Asian Alliance CelebrAsian Festival 2023 (11:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m. daily in Western Gateway Park, downtown DSM)
Visit the “Robert D. Ray Asian Gardens” in downtown Des Moines
- The Robert D. Ray Asian Gardens highlight the importance of diversity in Des Moines and acknowledge the contributions Asian Americans have made to Iowa, while also serving as a lasting monument to Robert D. Ray (1928-2018), who was Iowa governor from 1969-1983. He was the first public official anywhere in the U.S. to offer the endangered Vietnamese “Boat People” a safe haven; created Iowa SHARES to send food and medicine to Cambodia; and helped support the Tai Dam of Laos with resettlement in Iowa; as well as welcomed people from all Asian nations to become Iowans. Governor Ray also helped build key relationships with China, Japan, and other Asian nations during his time serving as governor and after his time in office (https://dmbotanicalgarden.com/gardens/robert-d-ray-asian-garden/).
Iowa Department of Human Rights Office of Asian and Pacific Islanders Affairs Resources
We Are Iowa News Stories for May 2023 Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
AANHPI Heritage Month Resources and Virtual Learning Opportunities
Free AANHPI History Month online educational resources through 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 commemorating and encouraging the study, observance and celebration of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islanders in American history:
White House Proclamation 2023 on Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month:
U. S. Department of Defense “Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month” resources 2023
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health AANHPI Heritage Month Resources 2023
Federal Asian Pacific American Council (FAPAC) 2023 Theme for Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Month, “Advancing Leaders Through Opportunity” 2023
National Park Service 2023 AANHPI Heritage Month Resources
National Public Radio (NPR), “The story behind Asian Pacific American Heritage, and why it’s celebrated in May” 2023
History.com Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific islander Heritage Month Resources 2023:
National Geographic AANHPI Heritage Month Resources 2023:
PBS “Asian Americans are the fastest growing group in the U.S., report finds” 2021
USA Today, “May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. What it really means to some AAPI members” 2023
Smithsonian Resources for AANHPI Heritage Month 2023:
TED Talks: “I Am Not Your Asian Stereotype” by 18-year old Canwen Xu
Time Magazine’s “A ‘History of Exclusion, of Erasure, of Invisibility.’ Why the Asian-American Story is Missing from Many U.S. Classrooms” March 30, 2021: