May 31, 2022

Hirono, Grassley Introduce Bipartisan Resolution Recognizing May as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senators Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) introduced a bipartisan resolution marking May as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. The resolution recognizes the significant contributions Asian Pacific Islander Americans (APIAs), which includes Native Hawaiians, have made to this country. It also highlights the racism and discrimination APIAs have faced and continue to struggle with, including the recent rise in anti-Asian hate crimes and incidents as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which Senator Hirono has worked to combat.

The full text of the resolution can be found here.

“Asian Pacific American Heritage Month is an opportunity to celebrate the significant contributions Asian Pacific Islander American communities, which includes Native Hawaiians, have made to this country, but also a reminder of the many challenges our communities have faced and must continue to overcome,” said Senator Hirono. “From the Chinese Exclusion Act, to the internment of Japanese-Americans during WWII, decades of racist laws, the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes an incidents throughout the pandemic, and more, members of the APIA community have long been the target of discriminatory treatment in this country. This history of racism and discrimination shapes the APIA experience today.  I thank Senator Grassley for his partnership on this bipartisan resolution, which reaffirms the need for continued collaboration as we work to build an inclusive future where everyone is treated with respect and dignity.”

“The Asian Pacific Islander American community has contributed so much to the country we have and cherish today. We take this moment to commemorate those contributions, and recognize the challenges faced by Asian Pacific Islander Americans in our history both in recent years and decades past,” Senator Grassley said. “I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to work with Senator Hirono and others to pass the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act to establish greater protections for our fellow Americans who’ve faced senseless discrimination and violence during the pandemic. Recognizing Asian Pacific American Heritage Month is another opportunity to reflect on how we all can continue weaving American communities together and build a better future.”

In addition to Senators Hirono and Grassley, the resolution is co-sponsored by Senators Baldwin (D-WI), Collins (R-ME), Blumenthal (D-CT), Crapo (R-ID), Booker (D-NJ), Wicker (R-MS), Brown (D-OH), Cantwell (D-WA), Cardin (D-MD), Carper (D-DE), Casey (D-PA), Cortez Masto (D-NV), Duckworth (D-IL), Durbin (D-IL), Hassan (D-NH), Markey (D-MA), Menendez (D-NJ), Merkley (D-OR), Padilla (D-CA), Rosen (D-NV), Schatz (D-HI), Shaheen (D-NH), Smith (D-MN), Warner (D-VA), Warren (D-MA), and Wyden (D-OR).

Senator Hirono has long advocated on behalf of APIA communities in Hawaii and the U.S. Last year, amid a rise in anti-Asian hate crimes and incidents, Senator Hirono introduced, and worked with Senators Grassley and Collins to pass, the COVID-19 Hates Crimes Act—bipartisan, bicameral legislation that was signed into law by President Biden on May 20, 2021. Earlier this month, she introduced the Teaching APA History Act to encourage the teaching of APIA history in K-12 Public Schools. She also brought legislation to the Senator floor, that passed with unanimous consent, establishing a commission to study the creation of a National Museum of Asian Pacific American History and Culture.