Celebrating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
Michele Mirman | Firm News | May 31, 2017
Since 1990, the month of May has been designated by Congress to be Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month (previously designated for one week in May from 1979 to 1990). May was chosen specifically to commemorate the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants in May 1843 and the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad in May 1869 (the majority of the work was completed by Chinese immigrants). However, the celebration itself aims to appreciate all Americans with roots in the Asian continent or Pacific islands.
Our attorney Michele Mirman celebrated this annual heritage month in Brooklyn this past week, and we support celebrations of this kind for all heritages and backgrounds.
Because New York City (and America at large) derives its power from the incredible diversity and intersections of humanity found in our communities. For centuries, America was built by those who came to our shores looking for opportunity—looking for home.
Asians and Pacific Islanders are among the most diverse people groups on Earth, speaking hundreds of languages across thousands of cultures. By making the U.S. their home, countless Asian-Americans have contributed a great deal to our national identity and our collective good.
Some of the powerful contributions Asians and Asian Americans have made to the world include:
- Saving thousands of Jews in the Holocaust
- Discoveries that led to atomic clocks, gravity measurement, and high-precision tools
- Staggering achievements in orchestral music
- Designing the groundbreaking Vietnam Memorial
- Designing the Civil Rights Memorial in Alabama
- Co-founding the Yahoo! Company, one of the most-frequented sites in the world
- The most achievements of any skater in U.S. figure skating
- The creation of surfing and the first surf boards
- …and many, many unreported or overlooked achievements
It’s worth noting that many Asian immigrants faced incredible odds and brutal discrimination upon their arrival here, but did (and continue to do) what immigrants always do: made America better than it was before.
As May closes out, we are proud to have been able to celebrate Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month with our colleagues and friends, commemorating the important achievements of our forebears and fellow Americans.