Statement from Ambassador Katherine Tai Celebrating Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

May 01, 2024

Heritage is a culmination of stories—written by those that came before us, those that we are writing today, and those that will be written by generations to come.  Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month is our way of celebrating the narratives that have shaped our communities and reflecting on how we can move forward, together, in light of ongoing challenges.
We remember and honor our past champions who fought for justice and equality.  Those like Philip Vera Cruz, the Filipino American labor organizer and farmworker.  Wilhelmina Kekelaokalaninui Widemann Dowsett, founder of the National Women’s Equal Suffrage Association of Hawai’i.  Representatives Dalip Singh Saund and Patsy Mink, the first Asian American man and woman, respectively, elected to serve in Congress.  Secretary Norm Mineta, the first Asian American to serve in the President’s Cabinet.
The Biden-Harris Administration is carrying their spirit and work forward in a number of ways.  We are pursuing an inclusive, worker-centered trade policy to deliver more equitable outcomes for our communities.  We are connecting AANHPI workers, small business owners and community-based organizations to Federal resources, addressing hate and violence, and improving language access.
As our communities have painfully experienced firsthand throughout the pandemic, there is much work to be done.  Economic justice still feels out of reach for too many, and anti-AANHPI violence has not abated.  But the deeply held convictions and devotion of past generations have not evaporated—they connect us to a collective resolve that lifted us before and will do so again today and tomorrow.
Our names may one day be forgotten, but our pursuit of the common good will endure.  This is our legacy and our heritage, and I am proud to be a part of an Administration that has been dedicated to this cause since Day One.  As we celebrate this important month, may we stand together and build on our rich foundation.