Celebrating Diversity During Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month
“May commemorates Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month (AAPI), which acknowledges and celebrates the diversity of Asian American and Pacific Islander communities across our country.
The term AAPI asserts a “community” across various ethnicities and nationalities with very little in common. Each part of Asia is unique, with its own rich and complicated history, religion, language, and complexion. What we carry with us as immigrants, some new and some through generations, is special and worthy of celebration. In fact, without this focused attention, each ethnic group within the AAPI community risks getting their identity lost or combined with another or lost in the paradigm of a racial binary.
I am of mixed race, a small part of the AAPI “community” that measures less than 5% of public school enrollment in DC. My mother is Chinese, and my father is Caucasian. Though interracial households are nothing new, I am often confused with members of different racial and ethnic groups, even in DC. The more experiences I have, I feel accepted, seen, and included in the diverse AAPI community, despite my multiracial heritage. After all, so much of our experience navigating the world is how we are perceived.
This year, I invite us to look more deeply at the broad range of diversity in our neighborhoods and school communities. Students and families having two or more racial backgrounds abound throughout our city, many of whom are - like me - part AAPI. Join me in celebrating the value and unique AAPI contributors that make up our city’s rich tapestry of talent and potential."