The importance of Asian American Pacific Islander Month at WVHS

Anthea Goh

A post from the WVHS API club’s instagram to recognize AAPI month. For more information on upcoming activities they will be hosting, follow on instagram!

May is Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month; a month to celebrate Asian and Pacific Islanders in the United States. Asia and the Pacific include the Asian continent and the Pacific Islands: Micronesia, Melania, and Polynesia. 

Originally, Asian American Pacific Islander heritage was only celebrated within the first week of May through the House Joint Resolution 1007 in June of 1978. For the next twelve years, the first week of May was dedicated to celebrating Asian American Pacific Islander culture and heritage. In 1990, Congress passed Public Law 101-283 that would extend the week of celebration to a month. Then in 1992, Public Law 102-450 annually designated the month of May as Asian American Pacific Islander month. 

The reason why May was the month chosen for AAPI Heritage Month was to commemorate the day the first Japanese immigrants came to the United States on May 7th, 1843. It was also to acknowledge and commemorate the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10th, 1869. 

For many API students and teachers, this month is used to appreciate their heritage and spread information about their own cultures. 

An assistant principal at WVHS, Nollie Strohmeier, mentioned, “It is important for any student at our school to feel that they have a place in a group with shared cultural beliefs and experiences. Especially since there have been horrific things nationwide, it is important to celebrate all the positive aspects of being an Asian American and Pacific Islander.” She wants everyone to feel represented here at WVHS and is proud of all the students who stepped up and took on the role to spread their culture within this school.

To me, it probably has a different meaning than to the average administrator because I am also Asian. When I was in high school, there were no affinity groups or clubs for specific cultures, plus I was the only Asian in my whole high school.

— Nollie Strohmaier

Here at Wilsonville High School, our API club has been working on creating various activities to showcase the beauty of Asian culture. They have been selling nostalgic Asian snacks at the point while also working on an art project. The club is also holding a boba fundraiser! For more information about all the activities and events they will be holding, follow on Instagram. 

 Senior Anthea Goh is a Co-founder and Co-President of the API Club, she explained, “AAPI month highlights and brings attention to all of the wonderful cultures within the AAPI community and allows for a month where it is brought to the forefront and celebrated, although that is something that should happen throughout the year.” Goh and her fellow club members are working hard to spread awareness of Asian culture while also creating a safe space for other AAPI students.  

There are many ways to celebrate this month even if you are not AAPI yourself. To find more ideas about how to celebrate and appreciate the beautiful aspects of AAPI Culture in the Portland area, check out these recommendations!