Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month (AAPIHM)

Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month (AAPHIM), also referred to as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month was established in the U.S. in 2009. In June 1977 Representatives Frank Horton and Norman Y. Mineta created a motion to make the first ten days as " Asian-Pacific Heritage Week". This idea that grew into the submitted motion was initially brought forth to Horton by Capital Hill staffer and member of the Organization of Chinese Americans (now referred to as OCA-Asian Pacific American Advocates), Jeanie Jew. On May 1, 2009, President Barack Obama signed Proclamation 8369 designating the full month of May as Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month. As a national way to celebrate the heritage and culture of the Asian, Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. April of 2022, President Joe Biden proclaimed the name of the heritage celebration to be Asian American Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. This change was in recognition of the vibrant cultures and racial and ethnic groups within the Asian, Asian American and Pacific Islander communities, providing further recognition of the Native Hawaiian communities. 

The Month of May was chosen as the month for AAPIHM due to many historic moments regarding the asian community occurring in May. On May 7, 1843 the first Japanese immigrant arrived in the United States. On May 10, 1869, the "golden spike" was used to connect the rails of the First Transcontinental Railroad using labor of Chinese immigrants in which approximately 15,000 to 20,000 Chinese immigrants were a major part of the construction.


  • To highlight stories from AAPI members who are less represented within the community
  • Explore how one defines their own identities within the Pan Asian Community
  • Celebrate the unique beauty that comes from our experiences of culture and adversity.


The purpose of AAPIHM is to celebrate, honor, and educate the Dartmouth community on issues of Asian Pacific American identity, history, and culture. Throughout the month of May, events featuring speakers, cultural dinners, performances, and discussions are planned and organized to promote and foster engaged reflection, exploration, and conversation on the intricacies of the API community as well as how this community contributes to mutual respect, diversity, and inclusion at Dartmouth.