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Celebrate Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month This May!


Join AARP California as we take a stand against Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) hate crimes and celebrate AAPI cultures and contributions to our community.

Since 1992, the month of May has been permanently designated, by unanimous vote of the U.S. Congress, as Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. It is a month to commemorate and pay tribute to the many contributions generations of Asian-American and Pacific Islanders have made to American history, society and culture. It also offers us a time for reflection to better understand the Asian-American and Pacific Islander American experience today.

Indisputably, the rise in anti-Asian sentiment, harassment and hate crimes have been heightened in light of the coronavirus pandemic. These attitudes and actions run counter to the values we uphold at AARP. AARP’s vision is a society in which all people live with dignity and purpose, and fulfill their goals and dreams. Racism has no place in this vision. Our work continues to fight for social justice and end age discrimination, embrace a culture of innovation, and advocate for health care, financial resilience and personal fulfillment for all.

It is impossible for people to reach their fullest potential and for society to progress when any group of people are held back by fear and hate. We must stand united in the fight against the coronavirus. As CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield stated, “stigma is the enemy of public health,” and AARP agrees.

Our founder, Dr. Ethel Andrus wrote, “Whatever many may say about the future, it is ours, not only that it may happen to us, but it is in part made by us.” Let us begin our tribute to Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage month, recognizing the many contributions made by the Asian-American and Pacific Islander community in creating the rich and vibrant culture that helps define California and the nation. Let us also continue the work of building a more just and inclusive future, embracing cultural diversity and understanding for all.

No one should be a victim or live in fear. For more information on understanding hate incidences and crimes, as well as your rights, visit the California Office of the Attorney General’s website: To report a hate-crime, call your local police or sheriff’s department.

To learn more about AARP's efforts and resources to support older adults and caregivers during the coronavirus health crisis, visit


Philippine festival group lined up

Bystander Intervention – to stop anti-Asian/American and xenophobic harassment
Participate in a FREE one-hour, interactive training, hosted by Asian Americans Advancing Justice and Hollaback!. During this training you’ll learn what kind of harassments to look for and the positive impact that bystander intervention has on individuals and communities. Video hosts will talk through five strategies for intervention: distract, delegate, document, delay, and direct; and how to prioritize your own safety while intervening. Learn more and register for a FREE online training HERE.

Tour the San Francisco Asian Art Museum
Celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander culture from home with free interactive art tours and learning videos offered by the San Francisco Asian Art Museum. You can view meditative art videos, take a virtual tour of exhibitions, celebrate the joys of Asian cooking, access kid-friendly educational activities and much more. Learn more and access online experiences HERE.

Connect with the University of Southern California’s Pacific Asia Museum (PAM)
PAM is offering ongoing special initiatives, events, and programs tailored to this moment that help find community connectivity, social courage and joy, to renew inner life, outer life, and life. Learn more and access online experiences HERE.

View Free PBS Documentary Screenings – Live Event on May 7th
PBS is offering an array of documentaries and films that celebrate Asian American & Pacific Islander culture and contributions. View a short video documentary of Anna May Wong, the first Asian American Movie Star, HERE or consider signing up for a live screening. PBS will host a virtual screening and panel discussion on May 7th as a kick-off to its four-hour documentary series Asian Americans that will premier over two nights starting on Monday, May 11th. The May 7th live virtual screening and discussion will focus on the impact AAPI’s have on American culture, history and the economy – past present and future. Learn more and register for this free event HERE.

Take Part in a Film Festival From Home
From May 13-22, 2020, CAAMFest Online: Heritage at Home will be providing an online alternative in celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage month. Learn more HERE.

Learn about Government Offered Celebrations
The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment of the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum are joining together in paying tribute to the generations of Asian and Pacific Islanders who have enriched America by offering free online learnings and activities. Learn more and access online experiences HERE.

Follow AARP California’s Social Media Stories
AARP is proud to celebrate ALL Asian American and Pacific Islanders. In honor of AAPI Heritage Month, AARP California is sharing a series of social media videos that recognize a few outstanding individuals who are volunteer leaders with AARP California and are making a positive impact in the AAPI community. We hope that you enjoy hearing their stories and wise words on how they are managing the COVID-19 environment. These videos will post throughout the month of May on AARP California’s social media accounts. Find AARP California on Facebook at “/AARPCalifornia” and on Twitter and Instagram at “@AARPCA”.

To learn more about AARP’s AAPI work, visit

About AARP California
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