From July 24 -July 29, the Asian and Pacific Islander American population in Tacoma, Washington, celebrates its heritage and legacy. Mosaic: Tacoma's Arts And Culture Festival is a great way to support and learn about a community that changed the world. The Transcontinental Railroad was built primarily by Chinese laborers. With the railroad's completion, the west coast connected and traded food with the east coast, making diverse food from all over the states available to people who could afford the cost.
Travel became less expensive as it took less time to arrive at a destination. Citizens no longer needed to feed horses or maintenance wagons. Destinations that ordinarily took once took days to reach, now took only a matter of hours.
The completion of the railroad also created the first version of time zones. People needed to be on the same page regarding time. Most towns use the sun to track the time of day. People coming from different towns had a distinct sense of time.
Although Asian and Pacific Islanders built the railroad that changed the world, they were denied access to the United States—the creation of the Chinese Exclusion Act allowed a ten-year absolute ban from hiring Chinese people. It became increasingly difficult to return to the U.S. once they had left.
In 1992, Congress passed a law that annually designated May Asian/Pacific American Islander Heritage Month. Here is your invitation to discover and research this beautiful culture. An excellent place to start is Asian Pacific American Heritage. In addition to the recognition of May as AAPI Heritage Month, May 19th is dedicated to National Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NAPIHAAD). According to the CDC, there were an estimated of 470 new HIV infections in 2021. To learn more about HIV Prevention and Resource, please visit our AHAT Homecare Resource Page.
Coming Out: Living Authentically as LGBTQ Asian and Pacific Islander Americans (PDF)