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NCR Diversity, Equity and Inclusion #38 – May 2023

May 1, 2023

NCR Diversity, Equity and Inclusion #38 – May 2023
Cultural Observances, Awareness Information and Events

Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month

Why Is May AAPI Heritage Month?

Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month takes place in May in the U.S. and is celebrated by communities within the country’s millions of Asian and Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islanders.

During a Congressional hearing in 1992, New York Congressman Frank Horton introduced the bill that called for May to be the AAPI designated observance month. This was accomplished with the help of Jeanie Jew, a former Capitol Hill staffer in mid-1970’s.

Jeanie Jew witnessed the U.S. Bicentennial celebrations in 1976 and was concerned about the lack of recognition given to Asian Pacific Americans.  The right thing to do was to push for Asians to have a similar time for commemoration and celebration.  Not only should Asians understand their heritage but all Americans must know about the contributions and histories of Asian-Pacific American experience in the U.S. The month of May was selected for two reasons:  first, to commemorate the arrival of the first known Japanese immigrant to the U.S. on May 7, 1843, and second, to honor the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. 20,000 Chinese helped build this railroad.

In 1978 President Jimmy Carter signed the Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Week into being.  In 1990, the commemorative week expanded to a commemorative month after a new bill was passed by Congress and signed into law by President George H.W. Bush.  The proclamation did not include an annual designation, but in 1992, May was designated as the commemorative month. 


Did you Know?

Jerry Yang, Taiwanese American, is the Co-Founder of Yahoo and Tech Investor.  In 1994, he and his classmate David Filo dropped out of the doctoral program at Sandford University to create an internet directory originally named “Jerry and David’s Guide to the World Wide Web”, which was later renamed Yahoo.  As creator of one of the first internet portals, Yang played a critical role in defining the role of technology.  After leaving Yahoo, Yang  became a mentor to numerous technology startups and an investor to more than 50 startups.

Dr. Chien-Shiung Wu is a Chinese American Nuclear Physicist.  Known as the “Chinese Marie Curie” and the Queen of Nuclear Research,” Dr. Wu moved to U.S. in 1939 to pursue her Ph.D., at the University of California, Berkley.  As an experimental physicist, Dr. Wu made significant contributions to the study of nuclear physics. As a member of the research staff at Columbia University, she played a critical role in the Manhattan Project, the research and development consortium that created the first nuclear weapons.  Dr. Wu was the recipient of the inaugural Wolf Prize in Physics and was the first woman to serve in the American Physical Society.

Lt Col Bonnie Braun
NCR Diversity Officer

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