What is AAPI Month?
AAPI stands for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI). Each May, attention is turned to intentionally stand with this community, which represents around 50 ethnic groups, and who speak more than a hundred languages.
When you think about people with ancestors from China or India, Japan or Korea, Hawaii or Malaysia, you are imagining the AAPI community. It is an incredibly diverse, rich group of people…who often face brutal racism in the United States and other western countries.
From demeaning stereotypes to fetishization, the AAPI community has always faced racism. Ending the hate toward this community is long overdue. Having a month dedicated to seeing AAPI people is the beginning of a journey toward appreciation and true inclusion.
Listening to and Learning about the AAPI Community
This month, Preemptive Love’s Community team hosted a conversation centered on ending hate toward the AAPI community (look for upcoming conversations here.) Some of the helpful action items which came from the conversation include:
1. Realize that the Asian American community is not a monolith. There are over 45 different countries represented, which espouse very different religions, cultures, languages, and immigration stories. Learn about the history of different Asian American communities in our country and how vastly their experiences may differ.
2. Learn about the Model Minority myth and how it is rooted in white supremacy. Listen to our friends when they share their stories. Be willing to share and lift their stories in your circle of influence—disrupting the narrative with love is key.
3. As always, the onus/opportunity to learn is on US. It is not the responsibility of the AAPI community to come to teach and guide us. We are very fortunate to be in a time of the world where knowledge is at our fingertips. Leverage this ease to learn and grow.
4. Learn what conscious and unconscious biases you may have, look inward, and focus on those biases and what role you may play in perpetuating “othering” and racism towards the AAPI community. Have grace for yourself. You are on a journey.
5. Don’t end the conversation when this month ends. We are peacemakers who show up consistently. We are looking to create a better world and that takes time, trust, energy, and consistency. Support your individual AAPI friends, local AAPI businesses, places of worship, and cultural centers. Show up when invited, listen, be curious, and seek to understand—all year round.
Further AAPI learning resources:
- Witness anti-AAPI hate? Report it at: https://stopaapihate.org/reportincident/
- Check out the resources available at: https://stopaapihate.org/resources/
- WE ARE MORE: Public art campaign created by Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya (@alonglastname) in partnership with Times Square Arts that celebrates the expansive diversity and individuality of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in NYC and around the country.
- My People Have Been in the News Lately: Some historical context for the church shooting in Laguna Woods, CA.
- Learn more about the history and challenges in the Asian American Community at A different Asian American Timeline