What does API Heritage Month mean to us?

May is Asian Pacific Island American Heritage Month, a month to celebrate, preserve, and promote the culture, heritage, and contributions of Asian Pacific Americans!

In honor of API Heritage Month, some of our Asian and Pacific Island American staff members share thoughts and comments about their experiences below:

“Kumusta, ako si Edsel Blanche. As a proud first generation Filipino-American, I find Asian Pacific Heritage month as a time to recognize how far we came as a community and to celebrate various cultures, traditions and histories. I stand here today because of my family’s resiliency of overcoming many adversities within the Philippines. This month is to also to honor the ones who paved the way for us and to continuously embrace our dual identity and cultures.” – Edsel Blanche, Family Resource Center Manager

“When I was younger, I struggled a lot with the different cultural values, but now I really appreciate that I had the chance to grow up exposed to different views. I think it’s helped me become a more tolerant and open-minded person and to see how we tend to skew very Western-centric.” – Cassius Kim, Database & Office Coordinator

“API Heritage Month is an opportunity to honor the generations of Asian and Pacific Americans who came before me and the people in my life (in history, my family, etc.) who have inspired me since childhood. As a fourth-generation, mixed race Japanese American, celebrating my heritage is about family and learning, about recognizing my proximity to whiteness and privilege and reclaiming bits of my culture I may have lost.” – Kirby Lochner, Communications Coordinator

Check out our May E-Newsletter for some awesome resources from the Seattle Public Library to learn more about our API neighbors and their history in our communities!