Recognized annually as a federal holiday on June 19th, Juneteenth represents an important day deeply rooted in American history. On behalf of SchellmanPRISM, we ask that you take a moment to celebrate this holiday that commemorates the end of slavery in the United States.
Serving as an important reminder of the fact that the AAPI community helped build this country, Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month also celebrates their history and many cultures, as well as those contributions to the United States. Asia is a massive continent that is home to diverse ethnicities and histories, and the innumerable customs of its many countries have intertwined with American society over the years. In fact, according to a Pew Research Center article, “a record 20 million Asian Americans trace their roots to more than 20 countries in East and Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent.” Learning about their fellows’ Asian norms and traditions should only serve to strengthen the bond Americans have with each other, but unfortunately, people tend to fear what they do not understand. With the recent uptick in hate crimes targeting the Asian community, recognizing and supporting Asian Americans is more important than ever before, and AAPI month presents the perfect opportunity. One of the most powerful things Asian Americans can do is to share their stories and experiences, so I decided to write about some of my AAPI family members—I wanted to give them a voice. My hope is that when people read these accounts, they will gain a new perspective or find ways to relate to the experiences.