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May is Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM). Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month is an opportunity to recognize the diverse culture of Asian Americans and the accomplishments and contributions they have made.

In 1978 Congress passed a joint Congressional Resolution to commemorate Asian American Heritage Week during the first week of May (May 1-10). This date was chosen because two important anniversaries occurred during this time: the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants in America on May 7, 1843 and the completion of the transcontinental railroad (by many Chinese laborers) on May 10, 1869. In 1990 Congress voted to expand it from a week to a month long celebration and in May 1992, the month of May was permanently designated as "Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month."

APAHM was officially proclaimed "Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month" by President Barack Obama in 2012, a celebration of the culture, traditions, and history of Asians Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States.

Web Resources and Events

Smithsonian Asia Pacific American Center 

Center For Asian American Media

Short Film Series Celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

May is Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month – a celebration of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States. A rather broad term, Asian-Pacific encompasses all of the Asian continent and the Pacific islands. View three short films that celebrate Asian Pacific Heritage: Asian Flavors, Classical Dance of India and Breadfruit & Open Spaces!


  • First Showing: May 11
    Madison Plaza Conference Room C-1
  • Second Showing: May 25
    Madison Plaza Conference Room C-1

Asian Flavors

Food, tradition, and culture make a home. Asian Flavors is the Minnesota story of coming together around the Asian dinner table.

Classical Dance of India

Sudha Raghuram is a master of Bharatanatyam, a graceful style of classical dance originating in India. As a gifted performer and teacher, Sudha is a strong cultural link for her young students seeking a connection to their Indian heritage. Journey Proud visits Sudha and her students for practice and later at a dance recital of Cinderella adapted to Bharatanatyam style.

Breadfruit & Open Spaces

Breadfruit & Open Spaces explores the journey of a group of Pacific Islander immigrants from the Federated States of Micronesia who are now living on Guam. This documentary profiles their struggle to hold their ground and find a voice on a new island, while maintaining ties to their families on their home island of Chuuk.

Sushi Break

  • May 17, 11:30am-1:00pm
    Madison Plaza

Take a Break! Enjoy Sushi and other samples.

Cardio Belly Dancing

  • May 18, 12:00pm-1:00pm
    Fitness Center Studio 1
    Free for students, faculty and staff

Considered the oldest known from of dance by some experts, the roots of belly dancing were planted in the Middle East, Mediterranean and northeastern Africa. Throughout history, this ritualized expression has usually been performed for other women–generally during rites and social festivities.

This dance form can offer the same health benefits as other types of aerobic exercise-strengthen your cardiovascular system, ward off osteoporosis, and improve your stamina, leading to a life of fitness. Come learn how to belly dance and exercise at the same time!

Community Events

  • May 21, 2016, 10:00am-12:00pm
    Gaston Park Branch Library
    1040 S. Third St. Memphis, TN 38106

Tai Chi for Children workshop for childcare providers and teachers.

Celebrating UTHSC Employees!