Recognized since 1977, during May, we honor the heritage of Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders and Native Hawaiians and celebrate their many contributions to our nation. The Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center’s theme for this year’s AAPI Heritage Month is “I Am Beyond.”
"The phrase ['I Am Beyond'] captures the aspirations of the American spirit, how Americans of Asian and Pacific descent have always sought to excel beyond the challenges that have limited equal opportunity in America. 'I Am Beyond' recognizes Dalip Singh Saund's election as the first Asian American Congressman in 1957 after campaigning for the rights of all Asian immigrants to become naturalized U.S. citizens. 'I Am Beyond' recognizes the civil rights work of Larry Itliong and Philip Vera Cruz in championing for the rights of American workers across communities. 'I Am Beyond' recognizes the achievements of Patsy Mink, the first woman of color and first Asian American woman elected to Congress, a woman whose legacy includes the promotion of equal opportunity in education. 'I Am Beyond' recognizes the legacy of Chinese American Grace Lee Boggs, a major figure in the civil rights who continues to work on empowering communities in Detroit, MI at nearly 100 years old. 'I Am Beyond' is the theme of the new Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center exhibition Beyond Bollywood: Indian Americans Shape the Nation, a look at history, art and culture of Indian immigrants and Indian Americans in the U.S. beyond stereotypes."
-Konrad Ng, Director of the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center
To learn more about AAPI Heritage month, click here!