We take the time on this Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month to honor, celebrate, and recognize the historical and cultural contributions of individuals and groups of Asian and Pacific Islander) AAPI) descent nationally and here in Chicago. Two significant events established more than 100 years ago mark the commemoration of May for what is now celebrated as AAPI Heritage Month: on May 7, 1843, the first of Japanese immigrants arrived in the country, and on May 10, 1869, predominantly Chinese immigrants constructed and completed the transcontinental railroad.
Despite these and so many other contributions to American society and culture, the “destructive foreigner” narrative has for decades incited suspicion, prejudice and hatred of AAPI individuals and communities. And in recent years, Asian American communities have experienced an uptick in violence and hate driven largely by racist and xenophobic rhetoric surrounding the coronavirus pandemic. We at Association House reject these notions of hate and exclusion and recognize that the contributions of our diverse AAPI communities add to American society and identity in immeasurable ways.
During AAPI Heritage Month and beyond, we can be allies in actionable ways that go beyond words. AAPI Heritage Month is not only for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to celebrate, but it is also a time where we can all actively participate in Chicago’s rich Asian-American culture and take actions to educate ourselves.
Association House’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI/Anti-Racism) Committee has created a list of ways to support local AAPI Businesses within the Chicagoland Area displayed in the images below. We're proud to partner with a number of these organizations and businesses throughout the year.