Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month (AAPI Heritage Month) is an annual celebration that recognizes the historical and cultural contributions of individuals and groups of Asian and Pacific Islander descent to the United States. AAPI Heritage Month 2022 will take place from Sunday, May 1 to Tuesday, May 31.

Why the Date of AAPI Heritage Month is Significant

The month of May was chosen for AAPI Heritage Month because it commemorates the immigration of the first Japanese people to the United States on May 7, 1843. May is also a significant month because it recognizes Golden Spike Day, May 10, 1869, which marks the completion of the transcontinental railroad that was built with significant contributions from Chinese workers.

Anti-Asian Racism

Since their immigration to the United States, Asians have been met with xenophobia, racism, bias and violence. Chinese workers were abused, robbed and murdered in San Francisco in the 1850s. In 1854, the California Supreme Court ruled in People v. Hall that people of Asian descent could not testify against a white person in court, meaning that white people could avoid punishment for anti-Asian crimes. 

During World War II, from 1942-1945, people of Japanese descent were incarcerated in internment camps across the nation. In 1982, Chinese American Vincent Chin was murdered by two white men in Detroit because they believed Asians were taking auto industry jobs from whites. In March 2021, a man shot and murdered six women of Asian descent at three spas in the Atlanta area.

At the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, racist and xenophobic rhetoric about the origins of the virus led to a spike in anti-Asian racism and violence, with AAPI people of all ages and cultures being verbally and physically harassed and murdered in cities across the United States. As a response to the rise in anti-Asian violence, the AAPI Equity Alliance, Chinese for Affirmative Action, and the Asian American Studies Department of San Francisco State University launched the Stop AAPI Hate coalition on March 19, 2020. The coalition tracks and responds to violence, hate, harassment, discrimination, shunning and bullying of AAPI people.

AAPI Heritage Month 2022 commemorates the victims of the 2021 spa shootings along with all other Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders who have been lost to anti-Asian violence during the pandemic and throughout history.

from history.com

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April showers bring May flowers.

What to do in Warm Weather in NYC?

In the United States we have a saying, “April showers bring May flowers.”

We have been stuck inside for the winter, but now it’s May! Are you ready to go outside to see the flowers? 

In May, many New Yorkers are so excited to finally go outside and enjoy themselves.

Here are some fun ideas to have fun and enjoy outdoor activities in New York City as it gets warmer.

Grab a CitiBike (or your own bike) and ride along the Westside Highway.

It is a great way to see the city and to get some exercise!

Go see a movie in the park! 

There are so many parks in New York City. Get a large blanket, some snacks, and your best friends and find a spot on the grass. Enjoy a movie on a big screen in the park.

Find a park near your home or school. 

https://www.nycgovparks.org/park-features/parks-list?boro=M

Finally, visit a botanical garden! 

Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, and Staten Island each have big beautiful gardens filled with flowers that bloom in May. Visiting a botanical garden can be an exciting and fun time for a family, a date, or alone.

Brooklyn Botanical Gardens

The Bronx: Home » New York Botanical Garden (nybg.org)

Queens: Queens Botanical Garden – Flushing, New York

Brooklyn: Brooklyn Botanic Garden – Brooklyn Botanic Garden (bbg.org)

Staten Island: Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden (snug-harbor.org)

For more fun ideas check the website below!

50 Fantastic Outdoor Activities in NYC | Frugal Frolicker

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Workshop!

On Monday, November 15th, classes 3A and 3P (daytime) were treated to a workshop on the three branches of government presented by the Chinese Progressive Association. Our language learners always get more than just an education of English. Our program also provides regular workshops, such as this one, on topics related to the community and American culture as these are relevant to students’ lives.

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The Harlem Renaissance

The Harlem Renaissance was an intellectual and cultural revival of African American music, dance, art, fashion, literature, theater and politics centered in Harlem in New York City in the 1920s and 1930s. 

Watch the video above to learn about the Harlem Renaissance and read a couple poems below by Langston Hughes, a poet who was part of it.

From Poetry.org:

Harlem

What happens to a dream deferred?

       Does it dry up
       like a raisin in the sun?
       Or fester like a sore—
       And then run?
       Does it stink like rotten meat?
       Or crust and sugar over—
       like a syrupy sweet?

       Maybe it just sags
       like a heavy load.

       Or does it explode?

I, Too

I, too, sing America.

I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.

Tomorrow,
I’ll be at the table
When company comes.
Nobody’ll dare
Say to me,
“Eat in the kitchen,”
Then.

Besides,
They’ll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed—

I, too, am America.

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Today is Memorial Day

American War Cemetery in Italy
Many veterans are buried abroad, near where they died during battle. Pictured is an American cemetery in Impruneta, Italy. – Atlantide Phototravel/Corbis

Memorial Day is an American holiday, observed on the last Monday of May, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Memorial Day 2020 occurs on Monday, May 25. 

Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades. Unofficially, it marks the beginning of the summer season.

from History.com

Click here to read more!

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New Year’s Resolutions

Here’s an article from Voice of America about what Americans want to do in 2016. Before you read, make a prediction about what you’re going to read. What do you think Americans will say they want to do in 2016? Will it be something about money, something about health, or something else?

voa 1

From Voice of America:

Americans don’t just want to work out more in 2016, they also want to firm up their savings accounts.

A  Nerdwallet survey conducted in December found that “increasing savings” was the top priority for 49 percent of Americans, followed by “working out” (44 percent).

“There’s definitely a connection between the two in the sense that both are about quality of life,” said Nerdwallet’s Sreekar Jasthi. “Both are about health: physical health and fiscal health.”

New Year’s Day is a federal holiday in the United States, which means most Americans have the day off from work to attend gatherings, eat special foods meant to ensure good fortune for the new year, and make a list of resolutions for 2016.

“Increasing savings” was the most popular answer on Nerdwallet’s New Year’s resolution poll. The average American only saves about 5 percent of their income, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

The other top priorities include losing weight (44 percent), spending more time with friends and family (37 percent), traveling more (35 percent) and getting organized (30 percent).

Paying off credit cards was most important to 29 percent of those surveyed. On average, Americans have about $15,000 in credit card debt.

“We actually thought that the percentage of the population polled that would mention credit card debt as a priority, would be higher,” said Jasthi. “This is a significant concern…a lot of people eventually have to file for bankruptcy because they can’t afford to pay it back. I think more education and more clarity around how to effectually manage use of your credit cards, and how to repay debt on your credit card, is something that’s absolutely needed.”

While 45 percent of Americans say they usually make New Year’s resolutions, only about 8 percent of those who make resolutions actually fulfill them. Making resolutions as specific as possible might help. For example, instead of just saying ‘increase savings’, determine an exact amount you’d like to save in 2016 and then set monthly milestones to help reach that goal.

“Solid, specific goals that you can actually visualize instead of just large umbrella terms always help,” Jasthi said. “Be realistic when you’re setting these resolutions or setting these milestones. Be as specific as possible but obviously be realistic about how you’re going to attain those goals.”

What about you? What do you want to do in 2016?

 

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