AAPI Heritage Month – Learn the History

May 12, 2022

The month of May is recognized as Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month. AAPI communities consist of approximately 50 ethnic groups speaking over 100 languages, with connections to Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Filipino, Vietnamese, Korean, Hawaiian, and other Asian and Pacific Islander ancestries.

At AMS we enjoy learning about the cultures and appreciating the history and experience of our employees. Commemorative months give us the opportunity to do that.

We are a company very dedicated to serving our clients as operational partners and that’s unique. We’re proud of that. But in addition to serving clients, we are a B Corporation, focused on our employees and company culture. Our culture is very diverse at AMS, as we have intentionally built an inclusive workforce where employees are highly respected and listened to as stakeholders in decisions affecting themselves and the company.

While we, in our places of business, may strive for diversity, equity and inclusion, how much do we actually know about the experience of the AAPI ethnic groups in America? We do know that there is a history of racism, discrimination, prejudice and mistreatment but our schooling has taught us very few of the historical events. We also learn very little about the contributions of AAPI individuals and communities.

With a salute to our AAPI employees and friends in the community we are sharing an article and video from Time Magazine. The article outlines some milestones in the history of AAPI groups and individuals.

“More than 30 years after President George H.W. Bush signed a law that designated May 1990 as the first Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, much of Asian American history remains unknown to many Americans—including many Asian Americans themselves.

“Often the Asian-American history taught in classrooms is limited to a few milestones like the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and the incarceration of people of Japanese descent during World War II, and that abridged version rarely includes the nearly 50 other ethnic groups that make up the fastest-growing racial and ethnic group in the U.S. in the first two decades of the 21st century.”

The article tells about eleven historical milestones beginning in 1765 when the first Filipino Americans settled in Louisiana to the 1860s when President Lincoln’s passage of the anti-coolie legislation codified racist ideas about Asians to the 1907 Bellingham Riots against Indian laborers. Please click HERE to read the full article.

TIME also produced an excellent video entitled “The Immigrants of Angel Island: The History You Didn’t Learn,” which is available HERE on YouTube.

The White House proclamation for this commemorative month becomes more meaningful the more we learn of history:

“During Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, our Nation recognizes the innumerable contributions, vibrant cultures, and rich heritage of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (AA and NHPIs).  As some of the fastest-growing racial and ethnic groups in the Nation, AA and NHPI communities represent a multitude of ethnicities, languages, and experiences that enrich America and strengthen our Union.

“AA and NHPIs have long played an essential role in writing the American story.  From serving our country in uniform, advocating for civil rights, starting new businesses, and winning Olympic medals, the contributions of the AA and NHPI community touch the lives of Americans every day.  AA and NHPIs serve with distinction at the highest levels of Federal, State, and local government.”  

It is up to us to build a better world where diversity is celebrated, equity is achieved and inclusion is a ‘given’. At AMS Fulfillment, this is our goal. Thank you to our employees of AAPI heritage during this important month of recalling and valuing your unique history and heritage.

Photo credit: Jason Leung