Asian American and Pacific Islander Month 2024

Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month is celebrated from May 1-31. The month of May commemorates the many contributions and achievements made by Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

AAPI Heritage Month first began in 1977, according to Rep. Frank Horton of New York introduced House Joint Resolution 540 to proclaim the first 10 days in May as Pacific/Asian American Heritage Week. Senator Daniel Inouye introduced a similar resolution in the U.S. Senate.

Since neither of these resolutions passed, in June 1978, Rep. Horton introduced House Joint Resolution 1007. The resolution was a proposal to President Jimmy Carter to proclaim the first 10 days of May 1979 as Asian/Pacific Islander Heritage Week. This resolution was passed by the U.S. House and then U.S. Senate, and finally signed by President Carter on Oct. 5, 1978.

For several years, presidents passed annual proclamations for Asian/Pacific Islander Heritage Week. In 1990, Congress passed Public Law 101-283, which expanded the week to a month. In 1992, Congress passed Public Law 102-450 recognizing the entire month of May as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

The month of May was chosen for AAPI Heritage Month due to two events. On May 7, 1843, the first Japanese immigrants arrived in the United States and on May 10, 1869, the transcontinental railroad was completed. This honor recognizes that most of the workers who laid the tracks for the transcontinental railroad were Chinese immigrants.

The Triton College Library Will Be Celebrating AAPI Month

Please visit the Triton College Library on May 1 to view their “Celebrating Diversity” book display! The display will feature recipe books and cuisines by AAPI authors from around the globe. Take a look at the Library's Virtual Display for AAPI.

PDC May Calendar of Events

The American Bar Association (ABA) offers a complimentary, online resource related to AAPI Heritage Month. Feel free to take advantage of this robust and valuable learning opportunity.  Click here to view, courtesy of the Professional Development Center.

Asian American Alumni Spotlight

Chef Bill Kim

Chef Bill Kim is an award-winning Chicago chef and restauranteur. Born in Seoul, South Korea, Kim immigrated to the United States at the age of 7. He graduated from Triton College in 1989 and then graduated from Kendall College in Chicago with a degree in culinary arts.

After he graduated, he worked with industry greats such as Pierre Pollin at Le Titi de Paris in Arlington Heights, Ill., and Jean Banchet at Ciboulette in Atlanta. After gaining experience, Chef Kim worked as a sous chef at notable kitchens around the country.

After moving back to Chicago, Chef Kim opened urbanbelly, a noodle, dumpling and rice restaurant in Chicago’s Avondale neighborhood in 2008. He also opened bellyQ, an Asian barbeque restaurant, on Randolph Street in 2012. After many successful years, Chef Kim decided to move urbanbelly next to bellyQ in the West Loop. In 2016, he opened a second urbanbelly in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood.

Chef Kim is the author of the cookbook Korean BBQ: Master Your Grill in Seven Sauces, which was a James Beard Award Finalist.

Follow Chef Kim on Instagram at

In-District AAPI History Month Gatherings

Idea Box: A Celebration of Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) Heritage Month
Friday, May 3 - Wednesday, May 15; All Day, Ongoing Event

Oak Park Public Library
834 Lake St.
Oak Park

International Poetry Series: Asian Poetry
Saturday, May 18, 12:30-2:00 p.m.

Oak Park Public Library
834 Lake St.
Oak Park

A Chicago Family History of Japanese-American Incarceration During World War II
Sunday, May 19, 2-3:30 p.m.

River Forest Public Library
735 Lathrop Ave.
River Forest

Other AAPI History Month Gatherings

Chicago Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Kickoff & Business Expo
Wednesday, May 1, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

PNC Centre
1 North Franklin St.
Suit 2700

AANHPI Celebration at Pacifica Square
Saturday, May 18, 1-4 p.m.

A Vibrant Celebration of AANHPI (Asian American Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander)
Pacifica Square
4309 E. New York St.

National Association of Asian American Professionals (Chicago) Book Club
Sunday, May 26, Noon

Mano Modern Café
851 North Ashland Ave.

Support AAPI-Owned Restaurants

New Star Restaurant
7444 W. North Ave.
Elmwood Park
(708) 453-8242

Inari Sushi
7428 W. North Ave.
Elmwood Park
(708) 583-2300

White Crane Creative Thai & Sushi
819 S. Harlem Ave.
Forest Park
(708) 689-0969

New Pot Restaurant
727 Lake St. #1406
Oak Park
(708) 383-1625

Mantra by Indian Garden
9438 W. Irving Park Rd.
Schiller Park
(847) 260-5777

Support AAPI Owned Businesses

Lee Spa Nails
8907 Grand Ave.
River Grove
(708) 583-3020

Divine Beauty Salon
10106 Grand Ave.
Franklin Park
(224) 781-2993

AAPI Books and Authors

  • The Making of Asian America: A History by Erika Lee.
  • Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning by Cathy Park Hong.
  • Asian American Dreams: The Emergence of An American People by Helen Zia.
  • The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen.
  • How to Pronounce Knife by Souvankham Thammavongsa.
  • Time is a Mother by Ocean Vuong.
  • Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng.

AAPI in Careers

Other AAPI Links