Sandy Yi-Davis | Founder | Strategic Meeting International
Ever wonder why Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month was established in May? The month of May was chosen to commemorate two important events in AAPI history: the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants to the United States on May 7, 1843, and the completion of the transcontinental railroad (which was largely built by Chinese immigrant workers) on May 10, 1869. Thanks to President Jimmy Carter (my personal hero) who signed the first proclamation for AAPI heritage month in 1979. This month-long celebration recognized the contributions and achievements of AAPIs through various events, exhibits, and educational activities.
I am a first-generation Taiwanese/Chinese American, rooted with the Chiang dynasty heritage and Mongolian blood. I choose to be designated as an Asian American simply because of the freedom the United States provides to me as a citizen. As much as we see the bitter divide in our daily life through our industry work, government or personal network, we all want the same thing – the possibility to have a happy and prosper life. If we can look beyond our name, title, skin color or the perfect image of the person and lift each other up instead of putting each other down, I truly believe that our world will be more at peace.
I encourage you to get to know an AAPI community member and perhaps ask, “Can you tell me about your background and heritage?” It’s a great way to start any conversation and get to know the person. (BTW, it works with everyone!)