May is Asian-Pacific Americans month – set out to be a celebration of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the U.S. Asian-Pacific encompasses all of the Asian continent and the Pacific islands of Melanesia (New Guinea, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji and the Solomon Islands), Micronesia (Marianas, Guam, Wake Island, Palau, Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Nauru and the Federated States of Micronesia) and Polynesia (New Zealand, Hawaiian Islands, Rotuma, Midway Islands, Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Cook Islands, French Polynesia and Easter Island).
Asian-Pacific Heritage Month began through a congressional initiative as a House resolution to proclaim the first ten days of May as Asian-Pacific Heritage Week. A similar bill was passed shortly thereafter by the Senate. President Jimmy Carter signed a Joint Resolution designating the annual celebration on October 5, 1978. President George H.W. Bush signed an extension making the week-long celebration into a month-long celebration in 1990. The official designation of May as Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month was signed into law in 1992.
There is a terrific website that a variety of government agencies have put together to help celebrate the month. These include resources from the Library of Congress, National Archives, National Endowment for the Humanities, the Smithsonian Institution, National Gallery of Art, National Parks Service, and the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. You can find it here.
We have many resources on Asian Americans and religion. Here are just a few items from our collections that might be helpful as we honor this month:
Bretzke, James T., compiler & annotator.
Bibliography on East Asian Religion and Philosophy
Edwin Mellen, 2001.
England, John C., ed.
Asian Christian Theologies:
A Research Guide to Authors, Movements, Sources.
Orbis Books, 2002-2004.
Hertig, Young Lee and Chloe Sun, eds.
Mirrored Reflections: Reframing Biblical Characters
Wipf & Stock Publishers, 2010.
(This book is edited and has several chapters by APU authors).
Faithful Generations: Race and New Asian American Churches
Rutgers University Press, 2005.
Kitagawa, Joseph M.
The Religious Traditions of Asia:Religion, History and Culture
Routledge Curzon, 2002.
Min, Pyong Gap and Jung Ha Kim, eds.
Religions in Asian America: Building Faith Communities
Yoo, David K., ed.
New Spiritual Homes: Religion and Asian Americans
University of Hawaii Press, 1999.
Image from the San Mateo County http://www.ShapetheFuture.org site.
Information about the celebration is primarily from http://www.asianpacificheritage.gov