MIAMI – The Asian-American Advisory Board (AAAB) under the Office of Community Advocacy will kick-off the Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month celebrations on Tuesday, May 7 from noon to 1 p.m. at the lobby of the Stephen P. Clark Center, 111 NW 1st Street in Miami.
The hour-long celebration will include a Japanese and Chinese martial arts demonstration, an Iranian and Korean musical selection, Chinese Erhu performance, and a Thai and Indian dance performance. After the presentation, guests will be invited to visit the food trucks parked outside the building as a scholarship fundraising effort.
Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month originated in 1978 when Congress passed Public Law 95-419. This law directed the President to issue a proclamation designating the week beginning on May 4, 1979 as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week. On March 28, 1979, President Carter issued Presidential Proclamation 4650, which highlighted the significant role Asian/Pacific Americans have played in American society and their contributions to the sciences, arts, industry, government and commerce. In 1992, Congress permanently designated May of each year as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month. The month of May marks two significant dates for this community; May 7, 1843 marking the date on which the first Japanese immigrants arrived in the United States and May 10, 1869 which marks the completion of the first transcontinental railroad, completed with significant contributions from Chinese immigrants.
Asian/Pacific American Heritage month celebrates their accomplishments and the many ways they have contributed to enriching our nation. Despite a long history of injustice and opportunity limiting laws, such as the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and Immigration Act of 1924 and the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, Asian/Pacific Americans helped to build, defend and strengthen the nation. Notably, Asian/Pacific Americans have made lasting contributions to America’s wartime efforts in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and Iraq. Special recognition is given to the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, an outfit of Japanese-Americans, who fought valiantly in Europe during World War II. Many of these men put their lives on the line for their country while their families were confined to internment camps back in the United States.
Asian/Pacific Americans have helped to develop the economic backbone of the country through their labor and efforts, from the Chinese railroad workers who built the transcontinental railroad to today’s Asian software engineers building software and programming to enhance our quality of life. In all areas and walks of life, their traditions, customs and culture have contributed to enriching our community and country.
For more information, please contact Asian-American Advisory Board Director Joshua Ho at 305-375-1570. The Office of Community Advocacy is charged with making Miami-Dade County "One Community" that embraces our diverse and unique population. Follow @AdvocacyMDC on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and follow @mdcaaab on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.