Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month Ideas

Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month honors and commemorates the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, and the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. It was first introduced in 1977 as a week-long event, and it was later extended to a month-long celebration in 1990.

AAPI Heritage Month is an important time to celebrate the achievements of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States and educate others about AAPI culture and history.

When is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month?

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month is celebrated in May. This month is dedicated to celebrating the cultures, traditions, and histories of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. During this month, we reflect on the tremendous contributions that Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have made and also remember the challenges that they have faced and continue to face. We celebrate their resilience and strength, and we reaffirm our commitment to standing with them.

Free bonus: If your leadership team or key stakeholders need a bit of a nudge, this fact sheet showcases some of the most compelling D&I statistics around.

How do you celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month at work?

1   Educate coworkers and colleagues about AAPI culture and history. This can be done through lunch and learns or presentations.

2   Share your own AAPI culture with your coworkers. This can be done through food, music, dance, or art.

3   Recognize AAPI achievements in your workplace. This can be done through awards ceremonies, recognition programs, or articles in the company newsletter. This is a great way to promote inclusion and diversity in the workplace which will also increase AAPI employee satisfaction and retention.

4   Support AAPI charities or causes during AAPI Heritage Month. This can include donating money or time to organizations that support AAPI individuals and communities.

5   Attend AAPI cultural events in your community. This can be done as a group or as an individual.

What’s a better way to commemorate Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month than to participate in a charitable initiative that aims at stopping AAPI hate and promoting acceptance and tolerance? Check out the AAPI Amplify Box which contains delectable, authentic, and interesting snacks and items from AAPI brands.

With every box delivered, you’ll be supporting AAPI businesses, strengthening diversity, equity, and inclusion at work as well as donating to Feeding America.

We have compiled a list of 10 ideas and activities for celebrating AAPI Month in the workplace. These activities are engaging and fun, promote employee engagement and happiness, and also allow colleagues to learn more about the contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders throughout history.

So, let’s take a look at the 10 best ideas and activities for celebrating AAPI Heritage Month at work!

Want to improve your employee appreciation program this year?

5 Ideas for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

1) Learn about AAPI History & Culture with Trivia 

A fun way to learn about AAPI history and culture is through trivia games. Trivia can be used as a great icebreaker or a team-building activity for work. It can also be used to start a conversation about AAPI heritage and culture.

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How this idea supports AAPI Heritage Month: Whether it’s about the first Japanese immigrants, Chinese immigrants, or Pacific heritage in general, this game is a great opportunity to educate team members about the many different Asian American and Pacific Islander traditions, cultures, and prominent figures. It can be played in person or online.

How to get started: Enjoy this fun and interactive Virtual AAPI Trivia.

Pro-Tip: Back in the office? You can also print out these AAPI Trivia Activities to play in-person with your coworkers.

2) Virtual Museum Tour 

Looking for something different to do this AAPI heritage month? How about taking a virtual museum tour to learn about AAPI history? Several museums around the country offer online tours, and many of them have exhibits specifically devoted to AAPI history and culture. So take advantage of this unique opportunity to learn more about the AAPI experience.

How this idea supports AAPI Heritage Month: This is a great way to celebrate Asian Americans’ and Pacific Islanders’ heritage at work, or from home. You can learn about the contributions of AAPI Americans to the arts, sciences, politics, and more.

How to get started: Take advantage of this unique Virtual Museum Tour to celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.

3) Stock Your Kitchen With AAPI Founded Snack Brands

AAPI Month is the perfect time to celebrate AAPI-owned businesses – and what’s a better way to do that than by stocking your workplace kitchen with snacks from various AAPI snack brands? Not only will you be supporting Asian American and Pacific Islander-owned enterprises, but you’ll also be getting some delicious Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, and many other snacks and food that are inspired by Asian cultures.

How this idea supports AAPI Heritage Month: This gesture sends a message of inclusion to AAPI employees and colleagues, letting them know that they are valued and considered part of the company. In addition, by stocking the shelves with AAPI snacks, you are creating an opportunity for people of all backgrounds to try new things and learn more about different cultures.

How to get started: Promote inclusion, diversity, and wellness while enjoying delicious snacks with this Carol Snackbox.

4) Support AAPI Founded Businesses In Your Community

One way to support the AAPI community is by purchasing from AAPI-owned businesses. When you shop at or buy from AAPI businesses, you’re not only supporting the business owner, but also the employees and their families. This helps promote AAPI entrepreneurship and economic growth.

How this idea supports AAPI Heritage Month: When you encourage AAPI businesses, you show your support for the hard-working entrepreneurs who have committed to serving their community. You also send a message that diversity is important to you and that you value cultural experiences.

How to get started: Feel good about snacking while also giving back to AAPI-led businesses and non-profit organizations such as Stop AAPI Hate, Feeding America, The Trevor Project, Equal Justice Initiative, and Girls Who Code with this employee care package.

5) Promote any events happening in May for employees to attend 

There may be events in your area that are being hosted where you can attend and learn more about AAPI culture and heritage. Promote these events to your employees so they are aware of what is happening in the community. If you have any AAPI employees, see if they would be interested in leading a discussion or giving a presentation on their culture and heritage.

Pro-Tip: You can promote these events on your company’s Slack account or create a dedicated AAPI Heritage Month channel where employees can post about in-person or virtual events they are attending.

How this idea supports AAPI Heritage Month: This is a great way to get everyone involved and learn more about the AAPI community. Having AAPI employees, coworkers or colleagues lead discussions or give presentations about AAPI heritage month will educate others about AAPI contributions and influential figures who have made an impact in American history.’

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How to get started: Check out some of the events that are taking place in your city. Here’s how AAPI Heritage Month is being celebrated in Los Angeles this year.

5 Activities for Asian American and Pacific IslanderHeritage Month

6) Learn to cook a new cuisine 

One of the best ways to learn about a new culture is through its food. A great way to celebrate AAPI Heritage Month is by learning to cook a new cuisine. You can find recipes online or in cookbooks written by AAPI authors. If you have any AAPI friends or coworkers, ask them for their favorite recipes and cooking tips.

How this activity supports AAPI Heritage Month: This is a great way to promote cultural awareness and understanding through food. By learning to cook a new cuisine, you will be able to learn more about the culture and traditions behind it.

How to get started: Check out these interactive virtual Thai cooking and dumpling-making classes.

7) Celebrate AAPI Art 

During AAPI Heritage Month, take some time to celebrate Asian art and artists. You can visit your local museum or art gallery, or look online to find virtual museums or exhibitions of Asian art.

How this activity supports AAPI Heritage Month: In-person and online exhibitions showcase the beauty and diversity of Asian art, from ancient sculptures to contemporary installations. This is an excellent activity to celebrate AAPI Heritage month with colleagues, promote team engagement, boost AAPI employees’ morale and motivate them.

How to get started: Whether you’re looking for a quick cultural fix or a deeper dive into the history and meaning of AAP, the Virtual Museum Storytelling Tour about Asian art has got you covered.

8) Choose a book club book celebrating an author with AAPI Heritage 

This AAPI Heritage Month, why not select a book club book that celebrates an author with AAPI heritage? There are many great books written by AAPI authors that you can choose from. This is a great way to learn about new cultures and perspectives and to promote AAPI Heritage Month.

How this activity supports AAPI Heritage Month: Doing so is a great way to learn more about the AAPI experience and to show solidarity with the AAPI community. There are many fantastic AAPI authors out there, so you’re sure to find a book that everyone in your book club will enjoy.

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How to get started: These are just a few of the wonderful AAPI-themed books out there. So whether you’re looking for a heartwarming story or an insightful exploration of culture and identity, there’s sure to be a book to celebrate AAPI heritage month!

Here are some potential literary options you and your coworkers can choose from:

9) Listen to innovative Asian American podcasts

This AAPI Heritage Month, listen to some innovative Asian American podcasts. There are many great podcasts out there that feature AAPI voices and stories. This is a great way to expand your knowledge about the AAPI community.

How this activity supports AAPI Heritage Month: Listening to these podcasts can help you familiarize yourself with the AAPI community and its many perspectives. In addition, it’s a great way to support AAPI creators and amplify AAPI voices.

How to get started: Asian American podcasts

10) Donate to a community-enrichment organization to support Asian And Pacific Islander, People

One great way to support AAPI Heritage Month is to donate to a community-enrichment organization that supports Asian and Pacific Islander people. There are many great organizations out there that work to promote cultural understanding and appreciation.

How this activity supports AAPI Heritage Month: By donating to an organization that supports Asian American and Pacific Islander people, you are giving back and showing your support for this community. You’ll also be helping them preserve their culture by promoting it within society as well.

How to get started: These are just two of the many great organizations that you can support during AAPI Heritage Month.

EPIC is an organization that supports social justice through culture-based activism, leadership development, and research. It’s committed to promoting the voices of Pacific Islander leaders as well as anyone who is interested in social justice through culture-centered advocacy, leadership development, and research.

The Asian Mental Health Collective is a non-profit mental health organization that provides resources, support, and advocacy for the AAPI community. It aims to address the unique mental health needs of AAPI people and to break down the barriers that prevent them from seeking help.