One important theme that we want to focus on in the month of May is Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month! For this month, everyone will be celebrating and recognizing how AAPI individuals have changed and shaped USA’s culture and history. This celebratory time allows everyone to learn about the importance of the country’s diversity.
If you are looking for ways to celebrate virtually or in-person with your entire team, we have put together a few ideas for you and even included some kid-friendly activities.
TLDR: Start off celebrating this month by taking the time to educate yourself and others by learning the history and supporting organizations that help the Asian community. Dive into the culture by making Asian-inspired dishes or by practicing the art of Origami. There is also an excellent docu-series called Asian Americans by PBS that you can have a virtual screening of.
Learn the History ⏰
- In May, it is important to recognize the contributions of AAPI individuals to the history and culture of the USA. The month of May was selected to first commemorate the arrival of the first known Japanese immigrant to the U.S. in May of 1843. Secondly, it also honors the completion of the transcontinental railroad in May of 1869 in which 20,000 Chinese workers participated.
- Not only is it important to understand the past, but it’s also equally important to recognize what is happening in the present. We all need to address the injustice of Asian hate that is happening in the world right now. Hate crimes towards Asian Americans are on the rise and we all need to come together to support the community and help local organizations combat this issue.
Help Organizations that Support the Asian Community ❤️
- After learning about what is happening towards the Asian community, it may be difficult to know where to start to help this issue. For starters, many organizations are taking action to stop this injustice and protect vulnerable communities. You can support these organizations by donating, volunteering your time, or helping to educate others and spread awareness.
- As a team, you can run a fundraiser to help raise money to donate to a local organization or you can find a volunteering opportunity that employees can participate in to give back to their community. Any small effort counts and will contribute to helping this issue and creating an inclusive community.
- You can also consider registering you and a group of you to bystander training. Here is an organization that helps conduct these.
‘Turning Red’ Viewing Party 🎬
- ‘Turning Red’ is a new Pixar film which tells the story of a 13-year-old Chinese Canadian girl, Meilin Lee, who would transform into a red panda once her emotions get out of control. Although this movie outlines the basics of puberty changes, Pixar was able to deliver this message through a family who holds a mix of Chinese ancient mythology and a modern twist.
- Introduce your team to how a typical traditional Chinese household lives by hosting a virtual or in-person streaming party to watch ‘Turning Red’! It's an event that is perfect for kids too! Turning red can be accessed through a paid subscription on Disney+.
Virtual Asian Art Galleries 🎨
- In today’s world, there are many artists that illustrate their history and experiences as an Asian American. A great way to develop a better understanding of AAPI month is to appreciate and acknowledge the experiences these members have faced to help shape our world’s culture and history.
- Here are a few sources that display Asian American art: Virtual Asian American Art Museum, Arts of Asia, and Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
AAPI History & Culture Trivia
- A great way to reflect on you and your team's AAPI learnings or current knowledge is to host an AAPI History and Culture Trivia. This trivia can be personalized with questions related to Asian American culture, history, famous figures, movies, etc.
- Break up your team into mini groups and test their knowledge with your trivia questions. The group with the most correct answers can then be rewarded with any gift of your choice!
Chinese Tea Tasting 🍵
- Chinese tea culture comes with many interesting factors. These factors include how every tea is rated based on their taste, color, and fragrance, how the type of environment is evaluated for tea drinking, and Chinese tea lore; the philosophy and morality blended into tea activities.
- Learn more in depth about the different factors behind Chinese tea culture with a Chinese Tea Tasting event! This hybrid-friendly event includes participants tasting a variety of Chinese herbal teas while learning about the history and culture behind each flavor.
Dumpling Making Class 🥟
- This traditional Chinese dish symbolizes wealth and longevity. This dish also originated from the purpose of helping people survive through cold winters as steaming nutritious ingredients wrapped in dough provided them a warm and healthy meal.
- Host a hybrid-friendly Dumpling Making Class with your family or team by providing participants the needed ingredients. This event can also be extremely flexible with everyone's food preferences as participants can customize what they would like to put into their dumplings!
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