May 2023

This May, First 5 LA is proud to observe Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month! Over the course of May, First 5 LA will join along in celebrating the contributions made to U.S. history by the broad range of Asian nationalities that make up AAPI – including populations from East, Southeast, and South Asia and the Pacific Island of Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia – by uplifting the ways in which AAPI immigrants have, and continue to, advance progress in the U.S. and enrich the culture and history of the nation. 

Dating back to 1977, AAPI Heritage Month began when New York Representative Frank Horton introduced a joint resolution to proclaim the first 10 days of May as Asian/Pacific Islander Heritage Week, according to History.com. While the resolution did not pass, Horton’s efforts later became successful on the federal level when in 1979, a House joint resolution introduced by Horton requested that the president proclaim the first 10 days of May as Asian/Pacific Islander Heritage Week. That year, President Jimmy Carter became the first president to formally acknowledge Asian/Pacific Islander Heritage Week, with each president from 1980 to 1990 subsequently passing formal declarations recognizing the week. In 1990, Congress expanded the recognition into a month-long celebration, which was written into law by President George H.W. Bush in 1992. 

The month of May was chosen as AAPI Heritage Month because it aligns with a historical time in AAPI history, including the anniversary of when Japanese immigrants first arrived in the U.S. on May 7, 1843. Additionally, Golden Spike Day, celebrated annually on May 10, commemorates the day the transcontinental railroad, a critical piece of U.S. infrastructure that was built primarily by Chinese workers, was completed. 

This year’s theme – chosen by the Federal Asian Pacific American Council (FAPAC) – is “Advancing Leaders Through Opportunity.” According to FAPAC, the theme was chosen in recognition that intentional efforts to build leaders – particularly within immigrant populations – helps advance innovation, close disparities, and drive progress.  

To join along in the AAPI Heritage Month celebrations, check out the resource bank below that includes educational information for kids and families, as well as local and virtual events happening all month long!  

Learning Resources

Events/Activities




Pride Month 2024: Empowering Change in Los Angeles

Pride Month 2024: Empowering Change in Los Angeles

June 2024 Summer kicks off with Pride Month! This month-long event is held in June to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York City and to celebrate the history and achievements of the LGBTQ+ community. At the same time, Pride Month is an opportunity to...

May 9, 2024, Board of Commission Meeting Summary

May 9, 2024, Board of Commission Meeting Summary

First 5 LA's Board of Commissioners convened in person on May 9, 2024. Vice Chair Summer McBride presided over the meeting, which included votes on the Revised Records Management Policy and Records Retention Schedule and an amendment to an existing strategic...

Honoring AANHPI Innovators and Leaders, Past and Future

Honoring AANHPI Innovators and Leaders, Past and Future

As We Celebrate Asian American, Native Hawaíian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month  This May, First 5 LA joins Los Angeles County in celebrating Asian American, Native Hawaíian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month. Originally designated as a week-long...

Media Campaign to Promote Bilingualism Adds Four New Languages

Media Campaign to Promote Bilingualism Adds Four New Languages

Christina Hoag | Freelance Writer April 25, 2024 Last year, Spanish and Chinese. This year, Vietnamese, Khmer, Korean and Armenian. The Dual Language Learner Initiative has launched a new media campaign in four additional languages to encourage increased bilingualism...

Home Visiting Garners Increasing Official Recognition

Home Visiting Garners Increasing Official Recognition

  Christina Hoag | Freelance Writer April 25, 2024 In April, four of Los Angeles County’s biggest cities officially recognized Home Visiting Day for the first time, a sign of home visiting’s expanding public awareness and the region’s leading role in the programs...

March 14, 2024, Board of Commission Meeting Summary

March 14, 2024, Board of Commission Meeting Summary

Ruel Nolledo | Freelance Writer March 27, 2024 The First 5 LA Board of Commissioners convened in person and virtually on March 14, 2024. The agenda included the approval of a new Early Care & Education agreement, an authorization for First 5 LA staff to receive...

New Study Examines Developmental Concerns of Families in WIC

New Study Examines Developmental Concerns of Families in WIC

 Ann Isbell | First 5 LA Health Systems Program Officer March 27, 2024 Because parents are deeply attuned to their children, they are often the first to notice a developmental concern. But when they have questions about their child’s developmental progress, many...

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