Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month Speech Resources: Fact Sheet

May is Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month. It is designed to be a time to recognize the contributions and achievements of Americans of Asian, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Island descent.

This guide is designed to assist congressional offices with work related to Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month celebrations. It contains links to census and demographic information, CRS reports, and presidential proclamations, as well as additional web resources commemorating Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month. The guide also provides a list of educational, cultural, and advocacy organizations focusing on the Asian Pacific American community.

Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month Speech Resources: Fact Sheet

Updated January 17, 2020 (R43977)

Introduction

May is Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month. It is designed to be a time to recognize the contributions and achievements of Americans of Asian, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Island descent.

This guide is designed to assist congressional offices with work related to Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month celebrations. It contains links to census and demographic information, CRS reports, and presidential proclamations, as well as to additional web resources commemorating Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month. The guide also provides a list of educational, cultural, and advocacy organizations focusing on the Asian/Pacific American community.

History

President Jimmy Carter declared May 4-10, 1979, Asian Pacific Heritage Week, as called for by the passage of P.L. 95-419. The observance was extended to one month by P.L. 101-283, signed by President George H. W. Bush in 1990. In 1992, Congress passed P.L. 102-450, which permanently designated May as "Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month." The commemoration also is referred to as "Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month," as seen in Presidential Proclamation 8369 of 2009.

Legislation

P.L. 102-450 is codified in the U.S. Code at 36 U.S.C. §102.

H.Res. 401 (2019), Recognizing the significance of Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month in May as an important time to celebrate the significant contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to the history of the United States.

S.Res. 218 (2019), A resolution recognizing the significance of Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month as an important time to celebrate the significant contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to the history of the United States.

H.Res. 911 (2018), Recognizing the significance of Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month in May as an important time to celebrate the significant contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to the history of the United States.

S.Res. 546 (2018), Recognizing the significance of Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month as an important time to celebrate the significant contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to the history of the United States.

H.Res. 338 (2017), Recognizing the significance of Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month in May as an important time to celebrate the significant contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to the history of the United States.

S.Res. 183 (2017), A resolution recognizing the significance of May 2017 as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month and as an important time to celebrate the significant contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to the history of the United States.

Asian/Pacific American Members of Congress

The Congressional Research Service has several reports that include information related to Asian/Pacific Americans.

CRS Report R45583, Membership of the 116th Congress: A Profile, by Jennifer E. Manning. The report provides statistical information on current Members of Congress, including the number of Asian/Pacific American Members, by gender and party.

CRS Report R44762, Membership of the 115th Congress: A Profile, by Jennifer E. Manning. The report provides a demographic profile of Members of the 115th Congress, including the number of Asian/Pacific American Members, by gender and party.

U.S. House of Representatives, "Asian and Pacific Islander Americans in Congress." From the Office of the Historian and the Clerk of the House's Office of Art and Archives, this website, based on the book Asian and Pacific Islander Americans in Congress, 1900-2017, contains profiles of former and current Asian/Pacific American Members of Congress, essays, images, and photos.

Sample Congressional Speeches and Recognitions

Members of Congress often make floor statements, issue press releases, or enter Extensions of Remarks into the Congressional Record to recognize federal holidays and observances. The following are some examples from the Congressional Record.

Senator Ben Cardin, "Asian Pacific American Heritage Month," remarks in the Senate, Congressional Record, daily edition, vol. 165 (May 23, 2019), pp. S3098-S3099.

Representative Darren Soto, "Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month," remarks in the House, Congressional Record, daily edition, vol. 164 (May 23, 2018) p. H4690.

Representative Jim Costa, "Asian Pacific American Heritage Month," remarks in the House, Congressional Record, daily edition, vol. 162 (May 24, 2017), p. H4511.

Representative Judy Chu, "Asian Pacific American Heritage Month," remarks in the House, Congressional Record, daily edition, vol. 162 (May 24, 2016), p. H2968.

Representative Aumua Amata Coleman Radewagen, "Recognizing Asian Pacific American Heritage Month," Extensions of Remarks, Congressional Record, daily edition, vol. 161 (April 26, 2016), p. E588.

Presidential Proclamations

One of the many uses of a presidential proclamation is to ceremoniously honor a group or call attention to certain issues or events. Some recent proclamations commemorating Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month, from the Compilation of Presidential Documents, include

Presidential Proclamations—Donald H. Trump (2017- )

Presidential Proclamations—Barack H. Obama (2010-2017)

Presidential Proclamations—George W. Bush (2002-2009)

Presidential Proclamations—William J. Clinton (1994-2001)

Presidential proclamations and remarks from 1993 to the present are available through the govinfo service on the Government Publishing Office website. Earlier remarks (including selected audio and video clips) are available through The American Presidency Project, established by the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Statistics

Numerous federal and private sources maintain statistics on the Asian/Pacific American population. Four that may be useful are

U.S. Census Bureau, "Asian Pacific American Heritage Month: May 2019," facts for features, May 8, 2019.

U.S. Department of Commerce, "Key Statistics in Honor of Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month," May 1, 2017.

Nicholas A. Jones, "The Asian Population in the United States: Results from the 2010 Census," Presentation for the 2010 Asian Profile America Event, Washington, DC, May 2012.

Abby Budiman, Anthony Cilluffo, and Neil G. Ruiz, "Key Facts About Asian Origin Groups in the U.S.," Pew Research Center, May 22, 2019.

Commemorating Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month

Several federal, state, and local departments and agencies provide resources and host events to celebrate Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month. Some of these include the following:

Library of Congress, "Asian Pacific American Heritage Month." Events, exhibits, collections, and educational materials related to Asian Pacific American Heritage Month are highlighted. For additional research material, see the "Guide to Asian American and Pacific Islander Resources at the Library of Congress."

National Archives, "Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month." Holds a wealth of material documenting the Asian and Pacific Islanders experience, and highlights those resources online, in programs, and through traditional and social media.

National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), "Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage and History in the U.S." The NEH highlights historical readings and educational resources.

National Park Service (NPS), U.S. Department of the Interior, "Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month." The NPS features historic properties listed in the National Register and National Park units "highlighting important aspects of the Asian and Pacific experience in America."

Programming Librarian, "Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month." The American Library Association highlights public libraries throughout the United States that celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month with activities, programs, displays, entertainment, and more.

Educational, Cultural, and Advocacy Organizations

Numerous nongovernmental organizations provide information on and promote advocacy for Asian/Pacific Americans. Some of these include the following:

Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies

Asian Pacific Fund

Federal Asian Pacific American Council

National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development (CAPACD)

OCA-Asian Pacific American Advocates

UCLA Asian American Studies Center

Author Contact Information

Ben Leubsdorf, Reference and Digital Services Librarian ([email address scrubbed], [phone number scrubbed])

Acknowledgments

Sundeep Mahendra originally authored this report. Lisa N. Massengale and Kristi Meltvedt contributed to an earlier version of the report.