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Senate Passes Bill to Recognize Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Event
Photo by USAG Weisbaden PAO

The U.S. Senate unanimously passed a bipartisan resolution to recognize the month of May as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Thursday.

Senators Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawai‘i), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) led the bill to celebrate the contributions of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community.

Sen. Hirono said they have this celebration month to reflect on the substantial contributions the AAPI community has made to this country.

“It’s also a reminder to us all that although the AAPI community has made tremendous progress, there is much work to do,” Hirono said. “Mahalo to Senators Duckworth, Harris and our colleagues from both sides of the aisle for celebrating pioneers like Hawai‘i’s own Daniel K. Inouye, Daniel K. Akaka, Patsy Mink, and Hiram Fong, and for recognizing the contributions that Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders make to our country every day.”

Sen. Duckworth said the month of May is a time to take pride in the numerous contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders throughout the nation’s history and of the continued contributions of their descendants.

“I’m proud to work with Senators Hirono and Harris as we celebrate the rich history of the AAPI community today and for years to come,” Duckworth said.

Sen. Harris said she is also proud to collaborate with her Senate colleagues to celebrate the changes that the AAPI community has brought to media, education, public service and beyond.

“I remain committed to representing and fighting for the 6.5 million Asian American and Pacific Islanders in California, and for those living across the country,” Harris said. “During Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, let us recognize and celebrate the immense contributions of the AAPI community and remember the strength that comes from having such diversity in our country.”

The measure was co-sponsored by Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Cory A. Booker (D-N.J.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Benjamin L. Cardin (D-Md.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Christopher A. Coons (D-Del.), Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.), Jeffrey A. Merkley (D-Ore.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Robert P. Casey, Jr (D-Pa.), and Dean Heller (R-Nev.).

Christopher Kang, the director of National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA), said Asian Pacific American Heritage Month is a time to reflect on the communities’ resilience and the challenges they face as a nation today. He also expressed gratitude to Senators Hirono, Duckworth, Harris and Senate leadership for this resolution recognizing the contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

“As the fastest-growing racial group in the United States, it is our opportunity to unite and mobilize more than ever before to advance our future,” Kang said.

 

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