This Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, I have been reflecting on the lessons we can learn from our history. These lessons feel especially urgent now, as we witness continued attacks on our Asian friends and elders, more Black lives lost to police violence, and countless children whose lives will be affected by the trauma of incarceration. Understanding our own history, from the anti-Asian hate that met our immigrant ancestors to WWII incarceration and beyond, can help us connect the deep foundation of racism and xenophobia in this country — and give us the tools to root them out.
As daunting as this task might be, I feel grounded in the knowledge of our history, the wisdom of our parents and grandparents’ lived experience, and the blueprints for resilience and resistance passed down between generations. This month and every month, let’s celebrate this inspiring AAPI heritage and do our best to honor it with continued action and engagement.