Asian Desi Pacific Island American Heritage Month

Graphic of different Asian foods and flowers


Asian Pacific American Heritage Month is celebrated each May to pay tribute to the achievements and contributions generations of Asian, Desi and Pacific Island Americans have made in the United States. According to a Pew Research Center study, between 2000 and 2015, "The U.S. Asian population had the fastest growth rate of any major racial or ethnic group." 

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month was first designated as Asian-Pacific Heritage Week by Representatives Frank Horton of New York and Norman Y. Mineta of California. It was celebrated the first ten days of May. In 1978, a bill was passed and signed by President Jimmy Carter to designate the annual celebration. In 1990, President George H. W. Bush signed a bill to extend the week-long celebration into the full month of May.

May was chosen to commemorate the date, May 7, 1843, which marked the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States. The month also marks the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad, May 10,1869, in which the majority of the workers were Chinese immigrants.

The University of Oregon celebrates Asian Pacific American Heritage Month each year with a wide variety of events that celebrate, honor and highlight the work and culture of Asian, Desi, & Pacific Islander communities.

Bridging Histories and Shaping our Future: In Celebration of Asian, Desi, Pacific Islander American Heritage Month by Vice President for Equity and Inclusion, Yvette Alex-Assensoh The origin of the celebration of what we now describe as Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Heritage dates back to the 95th Congress (1978-79) and a set of joint resolutions for a week-long celebration instituted by the Administration of then President Jimmy Carter in 1978. President George H.W. Bush expanded the celebration to a full month in 1990. On May 1, 2009, President Barack Obama signed Proclamation 8369, earmarking the month of May of each year as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Subsequently – on April 30, 2021 – President Joe Biden signed Proclamation 10189 to reconstitute the month of May as Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Read more 

Previous Asian Pacific Island Heritage Month Events and Activities

ADPI Month 2022 list of events green with yellow and white and tropical flowers

2022 Events

May 1 | Ascending to New Heights: VSA Cultural Night

May 5 | Ducks After Dark: Spirited Away

May 7 | Bayanihan: "Feels Like Home" Pilipino Culture Night

May ​​​​​​9 | Korean Cultural Night

May 12 | Ducks After Dark: Minari

May 13 | APASU Night Market

May 19 | Longevity: The Archaeology of a Chinese Business in Eugene's Market District

May 20 | Asian Night Market

May 21 | UO Hui'O Hawai'i Lu'au

May- August | Remember This: Hung Lui at Trillium



ADPI Poster with list of events 2021


Asian Desi Pacific Island American heritage Month 2020
2020 Events
  • Minute Exhibits, Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art
  • Online Webinar, hosted by the Graduate School Registration, Addressing Anti-Asian microaggressions and hatred during the pandemic
  • Lasting Impact of the Internment of Japanese AmericansCity Club of Eugene Facebook broadcast


Watch videos from Asian Desi Pacific Island Heritage Month here


Anti-Asian Discrimination

 Denouncement of Anti-Asian Discrimination & Covid 19

A statement by the UO Asian Desi Pacific Islander) Strategies Group (ADPI), UO Division of Equity & Inclusion, Black Strategies Group, Native American Strategies Group, Latinx Strategies Group and Sexual Orientation Gender Identity and Expression (SOAGIE) Strategies Group 


Yvette Alex-Assensoh

ADPI Heritage Month in the Midst of COVID-19 by Yvette Alex-Assensoh, VP for Equity and Inclusion. As the world continues to feel the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are seeing an emboldened anti-Asian sentiment sweep throughout the country, despite the fact that Asian Americans are overrepresented on the front lines fighting COVID-19. This story, unfortunately, isn’t new, but it’s a reminder of the importance of learning about and celebrating the historical contributions of ADPI communities, both this month and all throughout the year... Read More


Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Awards Banquet Event Collage of photos
APAHM 2019


 2018 Asian Pacific Island Heritage Month 

Asian Pacific Heritage Month Banquet and Awards 2018 photo collage
2018 Award Winners 
Award Winners
Faculty/Staff – Kris Galago 
Students – Kezia Setyawan; Yasi Milani-Baladi; Kristy Lu; Polani Mo’okini; 
Community – Jason Mak

2017 Award Winners 
Award Winners
Faculty/Staff – James Chang, Krista Chronister, Gordon Hall 
 Students – Undergraduates: Srushti Kamat, Coua Xiong, Elirissa Hui, Alex Tang, Jasmine Alik, Diana Nguyen
Graduates: Alexandra Lau, Keisha Janney
Community – Melissa ‘Mimi’ Nolledo - Photographer/Documentarian, Immigrant Stories of America, Ardyn Wolfe & David Tam (shared) - Co-Chairs, Asian Celebration
Story Teller Award – Kylie Juggert