At the start of May each year, the President of the United States issues a Proclamation officially declaring Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders month. The proclamation not only explains the significant role each community has played in American History, but also what struggles the community is currently facing and how the current administration plans to address them. Below is a link to the 2022 Proclamation by President Biden, and a link to the first Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander's month proclamation given by President Jimmy Carter in 1979, when it was still set at a week.
A Note on Diversity and Inclusivity of the term AANHPI
The title of Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders is very wide encompassing, and has been criticized by members of each community for not accurately representing these different identities. Some of the criticism comes from the lumping together of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, particularly in regards to Census Data; Breaking up the terms in the Census would allow for more comprehensive data gathering and better statistical representation for both communities. This guide recognizes that there are many different feelings on this subject, and would like to provide some educational resources on the issue, which you can find below.
"Every May during Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AA and NHPI) Heritage Month and throughout the year, we celebrate and focus on diversity, inclusion, and leadership to advance the AA and NHPI community. This year, our attention turns to better understanding the diversity of this portfolio. When we categorize AA and NHPIs as a single group, it masks the diversity of languages, cultures, and customs of the many countries and regions that are represented. In fact, this monolithic view of AA and NHPIs also makes it difficult to understand the disparities within the AA and NHPI communities from education level to socioeconomic status."
In the 2000 U.S. Census, the Federal Government defines “Asian American” to include persons having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent. “Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander” includes Native Hawaiian, Samoan, Guamanian or Chamorro, Fijian, Tongan, or Marshallese peoples and encompasses the people within the United States jurisdictions of Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia. The previous “Asian and Pacific Islander” (API) category was separated into “Asian Americans” and “Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders” (NHOPI).