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SXU Celebrates Asian Pacific American Heritage Month


Saint Xavier University (SXU) is celebrating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM) this May. It's a time to honor the beautiful achievements of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and the significant contributions they have made to the sciences, arts, government, commerce and more.

The Robert and Mary Rita Murphy Stump Library offers the community a beautiful display of books, films and performance art collected in recognition of APAHM. The rich heritage of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders has shaped the history of the United States for thousands of years, and they continue to improve our society each day.

As a broad term, "Asian Pacific" encompasses all of the Asian continent and the Pacific islands of Melanesia (New Guinea, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji and Solomon Islands), Micronesia (Marianas, Guam, Wake Island, Palau, Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Nauru and the Federated States of Micronesia) and Polynesia (New Zealand, Hawaiian Islands, Rotuma, Midway Islands, Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Cook Islands, French Polynesia and Easter Island), as well as the Indian subcontinent and South Asia, including Bangladesh, India and Pakistan.

May was chosen to commemorate Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders because of two important anniversaries: the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants to the United States on May 7, 1843, and the completion of the transcontinental railroad by Chinese laborers on May 10, 1869. More than 1 million immigrants journeyed across the Pacific and arrived on Angel Island. Chinese American laborers risked their lives to link our coasts by rail. The determination of this vibrant community represents the best of our national character.

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have challenged our nation to be better. The May commemoration pays tribute to all those in the community who have worked for a brighter future for the next generation and all those who continue to do so daily.

SXU community members are encouraged to engage in social advocacy, educate one another, and be compassionate and empathetic in support of its diverse community. The SXU community can also peruse exhibits and collections from the Asian Pacific American national archives; check out a series of events and activities  going on in Chicago and visit museums, Asian-owned restaurants and businesses and cultural neighborhoods; and join book discussions, film screenings, music performances and more with the Chicago Public Library.

We are grateful for and in awe of the many contributions made by Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and will continue to celebrate their achievements every day.