Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month Events

May is Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month, a month to celebrate Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States. 

Asian/Pacific American (AAPI) is an umbrella term including cultures from the entire Asian Continent and the Pacific Island of Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia. The idea of AAPI Month was first started by Frank Hurton in 1977, when he proposed a Pacific/Asian American Heritage Week. Senators Daniel Inouqe and Spark Matsunaga proposed similar ideas. However, the resolutions did not pass until 1979 when President Jimmy Carter signed to make the week of May 4 “Asian/ Pacific American Heritage Week.” In 1992, George H.W. Bush expanded the week celebration into a month, making May Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.

May was chosen to commemorate the very first immigration of a Japanese man to the United Statesa 14-year-old fisherman named Manjiro, on May 7, 1869. May also marks the completion of the transcontinental railroad, May 10, 1969, where the majority of the railroad workers were Chinese immigrants.

The Glass City has several events throughout the month of May to celebrate Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month. You can also find resources to learn more about AAPI Heritage Month on UToledo’s website. Find all the AAPI Heritage Month events in the Glass City here:

Toledo Lucas County Public Library Events:

Kimono Culture

Learn about Kimono Culture with this special event offered at several of Toledo Lucas County Public Library branches throughout the month of May. The event will include discussions about yukata basics, kimono accessories, tools for getting dressed, seasonality and more tips regarding kimono wearing. Program is for teens 11-17 years old.

  • Main Library: Monday, May 13, 4 to 4pm in the Teen Space
  • South: Tuesday, May 14, 5 to 6pm in the Meeting Room
  • Maumee: Tuesday, May 16, 6 to 7pm in the Auditorium
  • West Toledo: Monday, May 20, 4 to 5pm in Meeting Room A
  • Waterville: Wednesday, May 22, 6 to 7pm in Meeting Room A 

Sound Bath with Singing Bowls

Relax and immerse yourself in the sounds of singing bowls, a Southeast Asian traditional instrument, performed by local artist Jennifer Bak. Singing Bowls have been used in Tibet, Nepal and India for over 2,000 years and are often associated with Buddhism. Attendees will learn how singing bowls are used in a one-on-one focused sound bath session, followed by a concert and Q&A. Bring your yoga mat and wear comfortable clothes for this unique sound experience offered by J. Bak Studios at various Toledo Lucas County Public Library branches.

  • Oregon: Monday, May 13, 5:30 to 6:30pm in Meeting Room A & B
  • Waterville: Monday, May 20, 4 to 5pm in Meeting Room B

Meet Children’s Author A Kidd

Join local Author, Angela Shinozaki to celebrate AAPI Heritage Month with a special reading of Yasuko and the Dream Eater. Special activities follow the reading. For children 0-10 years old.

  • King Road: Saturday, May 18, 10 to 11am in Meeting Room A & B
  • Heatherdowns: Saturday, May 19, 2 to 3pm in Meeting Room B

BIG IDEA Book Club

Tuesday, May 28, 5:30 to 6:30pm
Online via Zoom

This month the BIG IDEA Book Club will be reading Biting the Hand: Growing Up Asian in Black and White America by Julia Lee in honor of AAPI Month. The autobiographical story follows Lee’s life as an Asian American growing up in “a nation defined by racial stratification.” Meetings take place via Zoom. Join for a meaningful discussion about anti-racism and embracing diversity in Toledo.

Rice Around The World

Friday, May 31, 4 to 5pm
Lagrange, Meeting Room

Every month the group meets to create a different culture’s way of cooking rice. This month will be geared towards Asian and Pacific Islander cuisine. For children and teens 6 to 17 years old.

Women of Toledo Events:

AAPI Month Special: Young Women of Toledo Social

Friday, May 10, 5pm to 7:30pm
Kung Fu Tea Toledo, 4308 Talmadge Road #106

This month, the Young Women of Toledo will be celebrating AAPI Heritage Month with an outing to Kung Fu Tea for a Bubble Tea Social. Register to receive a free coupon for bubble tea. Contact Nina or Julia at [email protected] for questions. Circles are open to women aged 12 to 24 years old.

HerHub Luncheon – May 2024

Thursday, May 16, 11am to 1pm
Glass City Pavilion, 1001 Riverside Dr.

This month’s HerHub Luncheon will celebrate AAPI Heritage Month, with a delicious lunch and roundtable discussion with several women of Asian and Pacific Islander descent, including Xianschuang Zhang, National Gender Specialist, Asian Devlopment Bank, China, Dr. Soon-Young Yoon, UN Rep. International Alliance of Women, WHO, NCD Lab on Women and Girls, Steering Group Member and Amy Chang, Associate Principal Cello for the Toledo Symphony Orchestra. Kathy Tucker will moderate the luncheon. Tickets can be purchased online, $15 for members and $30 for non-members.

AAPI M.o.M: Speed Mentoring May

Thursday, May 23, 5:30 to 8pm
Bombay Kitchen, 5228 Monroe St.

Celebrate AAPI Heritage Month with Women of Toledo with a special event at an AAPI woman-owned business, Bombay Kitchen. The night will feature and highlight 10 AAPI women leaders in our community as they offer their mentorship. RSVP to the event here.

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