Celebrating Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month: A Message from President and CEO Loria Yeadon

Last updated: May 6, 2021, at 7:46 p.m. PT

Originally published: May 6, 2021, at 1:05 p.m. PT

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Dear Y Community,

Welcome to Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month, a time when we stand in Solidarity, Community, and Celebration with the Asian Pacific Islander Communities.

The United States Congress began recognizing heritage months to intentionally dedicate time to celebrate and learn about marginalized groups who contribute to the rich fabric of our nation. It has become apparent this year that the history, nuances, and cultures of Asian and Pacific Islander Americans are still not fully appreciated and recognized. This year, let’s take  a personal assignment to learn the rich culture and historical contributions of the Asian Pacific Islander Communities Standing in solidarity, honoring community and engaging in celebration begin with knowledge and understanding of how  Asian Pacific Islanders have contributed to our  country. and make our communities better every day.

The month of May was selected as Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month for two reasons: First, to commemorate the arrival of the first known Japanese immigrant to the U.S. on May 7, 1843; secondly, to honor the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869, which ~20,000 Chinese workers helped to construct.

Thank you for joining me in solidarity, community, and celebration with the Asian Pacific Islander Communities. Please join the Equity & Justice Center of Excellence for events all month long. 

In community and gratitude,

Loria B. Yeadon
President & CEO, YMCA of Greater Seattle