May is Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month. It is a month to commemorate and pay tribute to the many contributions that 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 and Pacific Islander experience today.
Indisputably, the rise in anti-Asian sentiment, harassment and hate crimes have risen during the coronavirus pandemic. These attitudes and actions run counter to AARP values. AARP’s vision is a society in which all people live with dignity and purpose and fulfill their goals and dreams. AARP continues to fight for social justice and to end age discrimination, embrace a culture of innovation, and advocate for health care, financial resilience and personal fulfillment for all.
A Message from Joe Garbanzos, AARP California State President & Nancy McPherson, AARP California State Director on Asian American & Pacific Islander Hate:
“California has seen an alarming and growing wave of racially motivated violence and harassment directed at Asian American and Pacific Islander communities in the past year. Particularly disturbing and despicable is the fact that some of our most vulnerable, elders, have been targeted in these racist attacks and harassment,” stated Joe Garbanzos, AARP California State President. “AARP stands with the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. No one, especially older adults, should live in fear – fear of discrimination, harassment, or violence.”
“AARP strongly condemns all racially motivated violence and harassment,” stated Nancy McPherson, AARP California State Director. “We must come together as a community to empower and uplift one another, especially during these trying times. This May, let us recognize and celebrate Asian and Pacific Islander Americans’ integral contributions to the United States’ past, presence and future.”
Read Nancy McPherson’s full statement against Asian and Pacific Islander American hate crimes HERE. To learn more about how to fight racism and how to report racist violence and harassment, visit the California Attorney General’s website, www.oag.ca.gov/hatecrimes.
Celebrate the Culture and Contributions of Asian and Pacific Islander Americans with Virtual Events:
AARP is offering an array of events during the month of May to celebrate the culture and contributions of Asian American and Pacific Islanders to our community. Read on to learn more!
AARP Stop Asian Hate Panel | May 6th
Join us Thursday, May 6th at 12 p.m. PT for a panel focused on stopping Asian hate crimes and discrimination. AARP condemns social injustice in all forms and aims to continuously educate people about racial inequity. As part of AARP’s goal to inform the public about AARP is providing a platform for key AAPI organizations advocating in the areas of policy and planning to racial equity and communications, to bring visibility of their work and how to support elders in addressing this issue and provide resources. Learn more and register HERE. This virtual event is free and open to the public.
Tour San Diego’s Japanese Friendship Garden | May 12th
Join us on Wednesday, May 12th from Noon – 1 p.m. PT as we celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month with the Japanese Friendship Garden located in San Diego, California. This virtual event will include a private docent led tour of the 12-acre garden, located San Diego's beautiful Balboa Park. The tour takes you along the path of a traditional Japanese garden and highlights how culture is integrated into every detail of architecture and garden design. The Japanese Friendship Garden has a long-established friendship with sister-city, Yokohama with a mission to educate, engage, and inspire people of diverse backgrounds about Japanese culture and community legacy. The virtual tour will be followed up with a Q&A session with the docents. Learn more and register HERE. This virtual event is free and open to the public.
Cook Traditional Filipino Savory Dishes with Chef Roline | May 18th
Join us on Tuesday, May 18th, 2021 from 2:30-3:30 p.m. PT as we cook pancit and lumpia with Chef Roline! Chef Roline is the spunky owner of Roline’s Uniquely Filipino located in Vacaville, California. The dishes are reminiscent of her travels around the world and her Filipino culture. This event is free and open to the public. Learn more and register HERE. This virtual event is free and open to the public.
Chinatown Rising Film Screening – A Powerful Documentary that Follows the Transition of San Francisco’s Chinatown: May 26th
Join us on Wednesday, May 26th from 6:30 – 8 p.m. PT for a special film screening of the documentary Chinatown Rising. Chinatown Rising, a Harry Chuck and Josh Chuck film, is about the Asian-American Movement that took place in San Francisco, California’s Chinatown during the 1960’s-1980’s. This powerful film captures live footage of the historical protests, as well as intimate current-day interviews with the activists forty-five years later. During this screening, you will have an opportunity to hear opening remarks from the producers and gain 3-hour access to watch this 85-minute film, allowing you to take short breaks as needed. You won’t want to miss this informative, empowering and timely screening! Learn more and register HERE. This virtual event is free and open to the public.
AARP Virtual Hatha Yoga | Every Thursday in May
Join us every Thursday in May at 3:00 p.m. PT as we practice Hatha Yoga. In India, haṭha yoga is associated in popular tradition with the Yogis of the Natha Sampradaya through its traditional founder Matsyendranath, who is celebrated as a saint in both Hindu and Buddhist tantric and haṭha yoga schools. Hatha yoga is an alignment-based, full-body, active movement event, with standing, bending, reaching the floor, kneeling, sitting, and lying both prone and supine. This class helps to increase strength through mobility, improve range of motion and endurance. Focus is mind-body connection for full somatic experience. This event is free and open to the public. Learn more and register HERE.
PBS Documentary Series “Asian America” | On Demand
What on your own time, the PBS Series “Asian America” which highlights the history of identity, contributions and challenges experienced by Asian Americans. PBS is now offering this AARP supported series online for free in response to hate violence. The documentary series is a moving tool to create empathy and debunk dangerous myths. Learn more and watch HERE.
AAPI Heroes – An AARP California Social Media Campaign | On Demand
In honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, AARP California is sharing a series of social media videos that recognizes AARP California volunteers’ favorite Asian American and Pacific Islander American heroes and why their contributions are important to them. 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 aarp.org/aapi.