May Celebrations of Note

May brings us opportunities to celebrate several American heritage groups including Asian Pacific Americans and Jewish Americans.

Asian Pacific Americans include people who are Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander. During the recent pandemic, a rise in anti-Asian hate showcased a lack of understanding of Asian cultures and experiences, along with lumping all Asians into one group. The rich history of each ethnic group can be explored to learn about the similarities and differences between groups. To provide a more authentic view, PBS has several documentaries which showcase the voices of AANHPI folks sharing their experiences and challenges existing in the United States.

Along with the rise in anti-Asian hate, we have also seen an increase in antisemitism. It is important to take time to learn more about the struggles and accomplishments of Jewish Americans and how we can take steps to counter antisemitism. President Biden issued a proclamation which stated in part, “This month, we celebrate the enduring heritage of Jewish Americans, whose values, culture, and contributions have shaped our character as a Nation.” The Jewish American Heritage site offers a variety of resources to learn about the general Jewish American experience as well as narratives from Jews of Color, Jewish women, and Asian American Jews.

I challenge you to spend some time this month reading about the amazing contributions and unique history each group and asking yourself, what can you do to support Asian Pacific and Jewish-Americans in today’s contentious climate?

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