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Seven Things to Try this AAPI Heritage Month

Prairie landscape with a long barracks-type building on the left, a water tower in the distance, and a guard tower in the near right.
Amache National Historic Site, a newly designated national park unit, was an incarceration site established by the War Relocation Authority during World War II to unjustly incarcerate Japanese Americans. Credit: US National Park Service.

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month serves as an allegory for many Asian Americans as they ascertain their identities. Officially designated as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month, public law 102-450 finally passed in 1992 after nearly 15 years of failed resolutions. Congress selected May as the official heritage month for Asian and Pacific Islanders to mark the anniversary of completing the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. This tribute also stands as a reminder to many Asian Americans that, with the completion of the railroad, many of our predecessors weren’t met with thanks or applause but with dismissal, anti-Asian sentiment, and segregation. It wasn’t until 2014 that work began on a memorial in honor of the Chinese railroad workers, which was finally completed in 2018.


A Husky on the Spectrum

In April 2011, the Autism Society celebrated the first Autism Acceptance Month. Throughout the decades, Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) have received negative attention, and individuals with autism were portrayed as deficits to society. Thankfully, it’s become more accepted as one’s identity. In honor of April’s heritage month and the spirit of autism acceptance, I would like to share my journey as someone on the spectrum.


Exploring Deaf Culture and Community

Deaf History Month, observed March 13 to April 15, is a celebration of the accomplishments of D/deaf* and hard-of-hearing individuals and Deaf culture. The month begins on March 13 with the anniversary of the founding of America’s first Deaf college, Gallaudet University. April 15 closes the month by honoring Gaulldet’s first Deaf president, King Jordan.


A History of Black Health

Welcome to Black History Month! You may not be aware that Black History Month grew out of “Negro History Week,” a celebration launched and created in 1926 by Harvard-graduate Dr. Carter G. Woodson. Dr. Woodson, also referred to as the “father of black history,” was an American historian, author, and scholar who studied the history of the African diaspora. Since its founding, this celebration has evolved from “Negro History Week” into a celebratory month used to highlight and honor the contributions and legacy of African Americans throughout US history—from abolitionists and civil rights pioneers to scientists, educators, and athletes.


Traditions of Service

November is National American Indian Heritage Month. Nationwide, there are 372 treaties and 13 supplements ratified between Native Americans nations and the US, which highlight the unique government-to-government relationship that has existed for centuries.

In 1915, Dr. Arthur C. Parker, a member of the Seneca Nation and director of the Museum of Arts and Science in Rochester, NY, advocated to set aside a day for the “First Americans.” Also in 1915, the annual Congress of the American Indian Association formally approved a plan concerning American Indian Day. We look back on these single days as the laying the groundwork for the heritage month of today. A number of presidents from Calvin Coolidge to Barack Obama have made proclamations regarding Native American heritage celebrations. And in 1990, President George H. W. Bush approved a joint resolution designating November as National American Indian Heritage Month.


America’s Recovery: Powered by Inclusion

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) and all members of the Michigan Tech community are encouraged to participate. The purpose of NDEAM is to educate about disability employment issues and celebrate the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities. This year’s theme, “America’s Recovery: Powered by Inclusion,” reflects the importance of ensuring that people with disabilities have full access to employment and community involvement during the national recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.


‘Copper Planted Seeds’ Artists to speak at Michigan Tech

Ashanté Kindle and Khari Turner will come to Michigan Tech next week to discuss their joint exhibit, Copper Planted Seeds, currently on display at Finlandia University. With “Seeds”, Kindle and Turner seek common ground between the history of the Keweenaw Peninsula and their life experiences as Black American artists. The theme of their exhibit is “sisu,” or human grit and determination, in the face of daunting circumstances.


Los Angeles, 1963

I was born in Los Angeles, and in 1963 I experienced the greatest moment of my childhood when the Dodgers won the World Series in a four game sweep over the New York Yankees. The city was euphoric. Little did I know at the time that this joy was built on the pain of a once-vibrant Latinx community. Chavez Ravine would be the eventual site of Dodger Stadium. Through eminent domain and other coercive means, most of the ravine’s residents were dislocated for a housing project that eventually stalled. The land was later conveyed to the Dodgers in 1958. As a result, the authorities forcibly removed families from the homes built by their grandparents.