“When you learn something from people, or from a culture, you accept it as a gift, and it is your lifelong commitment to preserve it and build on it…”Yo-Yo Ma
This month, around the country, the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community is being celebrated. Festivals, documentaries, and special events will focus on the unique contributions that this wonderfully diverse and growing population continues to make in the United States.
Did you know?
Over 50 different and very diverse ethnic groups fall within the AAPI umbrella, hailing from the Far East, Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent, including Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, Thailand, and Vietnam. It also includes Native Hawaiians.
In the United States, approximately 22.9 million people, or about seven percent of the population, identifies as being Asian American or Pacific Islander, according to information gathered in 2019. This number is expected to double by 2050. (Read more from the Pew Research Center)
Americans first started celebrating AAPI month in 2009. The month of May was chosen because:
> The first Japanese immigrants arrived in the United States on May 7, 1843
> The transcontinental railroad, built mainly by Chinese immigrants, was completed May 10, 1869
> Overall, 62% of AAPI adults over the age of 24 have completed an associate degree or higher.
Thirteen percent of associate’s degrees and 35% of bachelor’s degrees conferred to AAPI graduates were in STEM fields, higher than the percentage conferred to White, African American, Hispanic, or Indian/Alaskan Native students, or students of two or more races.
Asian American and Pacific Islanders continue to shape all aspects of our society, leaving an imprint on business, politics, and science, as well as entertainment, popular culture, and sports.
Kalpana Chawla (First Indian-born woman in space)
Steven Chen (Co-founder of YouTube)
Cecilia Chung (Activist)
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (Actor)
Kamala Harris (Vice President of the United States)
Yo-Yo Ma (Cellist)
Indra Nooyi (Pepsico CEO)
I M Pei (Architect)
Keanu Reeves (Actor)
Amy Tan (Author)
Vera Wang (Fashion designer)
Tiger Woods (Athlete)
Eric S. Yuan (Zoom CEO)
Liaison is proud to join in this month’s celebration—recognizing the amazing contributions and influence that this diverse population has on our society.