2013 ASIAN AMERICAN AND PACIFIC ISLANDER HERITAGE MONTH
THEME: Moving Toward Health Equity: “I Want the Wide American Earth: An Asian Pacific American Story.”
The Florida Department of Health (DOH) Office of Minority Health (OMH) and a diverse group of Asian American joins advocates throughout Florida to recognize May as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.
Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) Heritage Month celebrates the contributions of millions of AAPIs to the American story and reminds us of the unique and emerging challenges facing AAPIs as they continue to embrace the American dream. This exhibition explores and celebrates how AAPIs have shaped and been shaped by the course of our nation’s history.
The theme of this year’s Heritage Month is “I Want the Wide American Earth,” chosen by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center to highlight the poem by acclaimed Filipino American writer Carlos Bulosan.
Like Bulosan’s poem, the AAPI community is aspirational, unwavering in its belief in the promise of America for all. As Bulosan so eloquently writes:
"Before the brave, before the proud builders and workers,
I say I want the wide American earth
For all the free.
I want the wide American earth for my people.
I want my beautiful land.
I want it with my rippling strength and tenderness
Of love and light and truth
For all the free."
Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month has been officially celebrated in the United States for more than a quarter century. It began when President Jimmy Carter signed a joint resolution to declare the first Asian Pacific Heritage Week as May 4 - 10, 1979. Then, 11 years later, an official extension made this week-long celebration into a month-long event. On October 23, 1992, May was officially designated as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.
To better help us understand the diversity of the populations we serve “Asian” and “Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander” categories include Asian Indian, Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese, as well as Native Hawaiian, Guamanian or Chamorro,and Samoan.
Please join us this month to recognize, appreciate, and celebrate all the contributions of our Asian and Pacific Islander Americans. Please take the opportunity this month to celebrate and learn more about the culture and history of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders who have helped fulfill the promise of the American dream.