Hirono, Grassley Resolution Recognizes Asia-Pacific American Heritage Month

WASHINGTON — Senators Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) introduced a bipartisan resolution marking the month of May as Asia-Pacific American Heritage Month. The resolution recognizes the significant contributions Asian Pacific Islander Americans (APIAs), which include Native Hawaiians, have made to this country and also highlights the racism and discrimination that APIAs have faced and continue to struggle with, including the recent increase in anti-Asian hatred. crimes and incidents resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, which Senator Hirono has worked to combat.

The full text of the resolution is available here.

“Asia-Pacific American Heritage Month is a time to celebrate the significant contributions of Asian Pacific Islanders communities, which include Native Hawaiians,have done 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 World War II, decades of racist laws, the rise of anti-Asian hate crimes and incidents throughout the pandemic, and more so, 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. Jhis bipartisan
resolution reaffirms the need for continued collaboration as we work on building 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 time to commemorate those contributions and recognize the challenges Asian Pacific Islander Americans face. in our history in recent years and decades past,” said Senator Grassley. “I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work with Senator Hirono and others to pass the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act to establish better protections for our fellow Americans who have faced a discrimination and senseless violence during the pandemic. Recognizing Asia-Pacific American Heritage Month is another opportunity to reflect on how we can all continue to weave American communities together and build a better future.

“We thank Ranking Member Grassley and Senator Hirono for celebrating this year’s Asia-Pacific American Heritage Month by presenting this thoughtful resolution and their solidarity with our community over the years,” said Wonseok Song, executive director of the Korean American Grassroots Conference, the largest national network of Korean American voters. “Our community certainly echoes the senators’ recognition that discrimination against Asian Americans is not limited to the pandemic era. We look forward to working together to ensure Americans and people of Asian descent have access to needed resources and further build visibility beyond cultural means.

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).

Hirono and Grassley last year worked to pass, the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act—bipartisan and bicameral legislation that has been signed signed into law by President Biden on May 20, 2021 – to combat a growing wave of anti-Asian hate crimes during the pandemic.

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