Gov. Whitmer Signs Proclamation Marking May as Asian American and Pacific Islander Month
May 11, 2021
Today Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued a proclamation marking May as Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Month.
"Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are a diverse, inextricable part of our state's cultural tapestry and economic vibrancy," said Governor Whitmer. "During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen a horrific rise in hate crimes and bias targeting Asian Americans. Let me be clear: hate has no home here in Michigan. We must do more to put an end to these incidents and create a more inclusive society where all individuals are valued and respected."
"It is even more important this year than previous years to recognize Asian American/Pacific Islander Heritage Month. As the community continues to face rising hate incidents across the state and country, we must celebrate the history and heritage of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders who have contributed so much to our society and economy," said State Senator Stephanie Chang. "We must bring more light to issues affecting AAPIs and further our commitment to addressing the many inequities that continue to exist. We should start by appropriating more funds to our Department of Civil Rights and Hate Crimes Unit for know your rights outreach about discrimination and hate crimes."
"May is a wonderful time for all of us to celebrate our cultural heritage, and an equally important time to recognize the history and contributions of the AAPI community in Michigan and across America," said Ayesha Ghazi-Edwin, chair of Michigan Asian Pacific American Affairs Commission (MAPAAC). "MAPAAC is grateful for the leadership of Gov. Whitmer, elected officials and community leaders who continue to embrace and uplift our voices to ensure we expand inclusive and welcoming communities across Michigan."
The month of May celebrates Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese people to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869, where the majority of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants. Asian Americans are the fastest growing population in Michigan and the United States and make up 3.7% of the state's total population. Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have made many significant cultural and economic contributions to Michigan and the United States.