Honoring AAPI Heritage Month
May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, and it’s an important time to celebrate important figures within the AAPI community and their impacts, amplify AAPI voices and spread awareness.
Important Women, Past and Present, in the AAPI Community
- Patsy Mink: In 1964, Patsy Mink became the first Asian-American woman to serve on the U.S. House of Representatives, and her career spanned multiple decades. She was a key author for Title IX, a law that advanced gender equity within federal funding policies for education.
- Sandra Oh: Sandra Oh rose to fame as Dr. Christina Yang on Grey’s Anatomy. The role got her numerous Emmy and Golden Globe nominations, including a win for Best Supporting Actress. In 2019 she won the Golden Globe for Best Leading TV Actress, the first actress of Asian descent in 39 years to do so.
- Joanne Chang: Joanne Chang is the famed James Beard award winning, Boston-based baker, restauranteur and cookbook author behind Flour and Myers+Chang.
- Chloe Kim: At the 2018 Winter Olympics, Chloe Kim became the youngest woman to win an Olympic snowboarding gold medal when she won gold in the women’s snowboard halfpipe at 17 years old.
- Miki Gorman: Miki Gorman is the only female marathon runner to win the Boston Marathon and New York Marathon TWICE and is the first of only two woman runners to win both marathons in the same year (all in the 1970’s).
- Olivia Rodrigo: Olivia Rodrigo rose to fame with Disney TV acting roles prior to releasing her debut solo album, “Sour” in 2021, garnering her 3 Grammy Awards and 7 nominations.
- Kamala Harris: Kamala Devi Harris is an American politician and attorney who is the 49th and current Vice President of the United States. She is the first female Vice President and the highest-ranking female official in US. history, as well as the first African American and first Asian American Vice President.
- Geena Rocero: Geena Rocero is a Filipino-American model and transgender advocate. Her powerful TED Talk on coming out in 2014 led to become the face of transgender visibility, sharing stories of what it means to be trans and gender non-conforming.
- Helen Zia: Helen Zia is a journalist and activist for Asian American and LGBTQIA+ rights. She is also the co-founder of American Citizens for Justice, an Asian American nonprofit organization that provides victims of discrimination with legal resources and advocates for immigrants.
- Tammy Duckworth: Tammy Duckworth is a retired Army National Guard lieutenant colonel, where she suffered severe combat wounds and injuries — including losing both of her legs. Along with being the first Thai American woman elected to Congress, she is also the first woman with a disability elected to Congress and the first Senator to give birth while in office.
Watch, Listen and Read
We believe in the power of learning and exploring books, topics and films that depict life and character that don’t always resemble our own. May is an especially good month to join us in doing the same!
- Crying in H Mart
- The White Tiger
- Everything Everywhere All at Once
- They Call Us Bruce
- Feeling Asian
- Long Distance
- Everything I Never Told You
- We Are Not Free
- The Making of Asian America
- What We Carry