When “Asian Cast Member” Bowen Yang took a seat at the Weekend Update desk on Saturday Night Live and implored people to “do more” in the face of anti-Asian hate crimes, he didn’t just mean donate money to the Asian Community Assistance Association gofundme campaign. (Though do so by all means, if you’re able to and feel so inclined.)
There are a lot of ways to “do more,” and in honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we’ve compiled some suggestions here.
You can learn more about Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) history. Time Magazine has compiled a collection of milestones; and https://asianpacificheritage.gov/ has curated a wealth of resources from collections at The Library of Congress, National Archives, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and more.
If you’re looking to tackle the subject of the AAPI experience with children, there’s a lesson plan for that.
If you like your education to be less formal, you can check out the StoryCorps collection of AAPI voices, or Vanity Fair’s list of podcasts by AAPI creators.
Would you rather just immerse yourself in tales spun by AAPI authors? The LA Times has a list for you; so does Mental Floss. Strictly a sci-fi fan? There’s a list for you, too!
Looking to do something in our local community? Baltimore Magazine has some ideas (some events have already passed, but the list of AAPI-owned restaurants is worth a look). You could check out Baltimore’s own Asian Pasifika Arts Collective; tour the Walters’ Asian Art collection; learn about the Jhu Yong Han Lion Dance troupe at JHU; or check out Towson University’s Asian Arts & Culture Center.
And make sure to keep an eye on the Chinatown Collective!
However you want to do it, it’s important to acknowledge the history and contributions of AAPI communities this month, especially considering the current social climate.