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UFCW Commemorates Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

May 7, 2021

The month of May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage (AAPI) month. It provides us with an opportunity to honor Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and their countless contributions to our country and communities.

The origins of this celebration date back to 1977, when Representatives Frank Horton (R-NY) and Norman Y. Mineta (D-CA) introduced a resolution to proclaim the first ten days of May as Asian-Pacific Heritage Week. A similar bill was introduced in the Senate by Senators Daniel Inouye (D-HI) and Spark Matsunaga (D-HI). 

The month of May was chosen to commemorate two significant milestones: the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants to the U.S. on May 7, 1843, and the contributions of Chinese workers to the construction of the transcontinental railroad, which was completed on May 10, 1869.

President Jimmy Carter signed a joint resolution for the celebration in 1978, and President George H.W. Bush signed a bill to extend the celebration to the entire month of May in 1990.

With waves of anti-Asian racism in America filling headlines, celebration of this month has taken on more urgency than before. Asian American workers deserve to feel as safe, comfortable, and included as workers of any background. 

UFCW stands with leaders across the country to demand justice for the communities we serve, calling on elected officials at all levels of the government for immediate action to protect the AAPI community. 

As we remember the notable contributions of the AAPI community, we must also collectively fight and challenge any forms of racism and xenophobic harassment.