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May 2022: Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

WHEREAS, the month of May was chosen for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) 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, in which the majority of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants; and,

WHEREAS, Asian Americans are the fastest growing population in the nation and in Michigan, with approximately 377,181 Asian Americans in Michigan, making up 3.7% of the state’s total population; and,

WHEREAS, members of the AAPI community have shared their resilient family values, strong work ethic, dedication to education, and diversity in faith and creed, which have strengthened our great democracy; and,

WHEREAS, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders living in Michigan are a vital and valued part of our state, making significant contributions to academia, business, medicine, law, technology, government, science, and social justice and making our state a better place to live; and,

WHEREAS, despite the strength shown and successes achieved by Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, we have seen a staggering rise in bullying, discrimination, and hate crimes against the AAPI community during the COVID-19 pandemic; and,

WHEREAS, during this month, we should recommit ourselves to promoting equity and acceptance for the AAPI community, stand up against discrimination and hatred, and ensure that our state is a welcoming and inclusive place for all; and,

WHEREAS, we should also recognize and celebrate the many significant cultural, historical, and economic contributions Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have made to Michigan and the United States;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim May 2022 as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in Michigan.