May marks the beginning of AAPI Heritage Month — a time to celebrate Asian and Pacific Islander heritage across North America.
Thanks in part to social media, it's also a month to recognize and openly acknowledge the contributions and influence of the Asian community.
Friendly reminder that you do not need to be of AAPI heritage to celebrate and be loud about National AAPI Heritage Month.— ✨ ɪᴛ ᴍᴇ ʟɪʟɪ ✨ (@LiliSparx) May 10, 2021
Given recent anti-Asian racism, it would be especially awesome to see more people hyping up + giving love to the Asian community❤️ #StopAsianHate
And with the past few years being especially tough on the Asian community, there’s no better time than the present to celebrate and uplift AAPI creators, businesses, entrepreneurs, and brands.
What Is AAPI Heritage Month?
Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month celebrates and recognizes the contributions of those from the Asian continent and the Pacific Islands of Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia.
Similar to many commemorative months in the US, AAPI Heritage Month originated with Congress.
The month of May was chosen to:
Commemorate the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants to the United States on May 7, 1843
Mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869 — where the majority of workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants
While it was first petitioned in 1977 to mark the first 10 days as AAPI Heritage Week, it wasn’t until 1992 (when Congress passed Public Law 102-450) that the month was officially recognized.
AAPI Heritage Month is also celebrated in Canada, and was officially designated as Asian Heritage Month in 2002.
What to Remember When Sharing AAPI Heritage Month Content
Talk the talk; walk the walk — the AAPI community should be celebrated and spotlighted in your social media content year-round, not a token thing to check off your marketing checklist in May.
If you’re integrating AAPI events into your marketing calendar, consider providing funds or resources to grassroots organizations (like Project 1907) to help support the wider community in an actionable way.
Make the effort to discover and listen to what is happening in the AAPI space, introduce new voices and faces to your social followers, and make room for more diverse conversations.
But remember to look internally too — how does your brand stack up with the diversity of the people who work there?
In 2022, it's time to do good for the world by doing better. Break the same old creator wheel. Create a new table, and pull up a chair.