May is Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the many diverse contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans to the U.S.
New York City is home to the second-largest Asian American and Pacific Islander population in the U.S., and there are several museums and other institutions here specializing in AAPI art and culture. Why not see an exhibit at one these excellent cultural institutions this month? It’s also the perfect time of year to enjoy outdoor events, so check out these NYC Parks AAPI Heritage Month activities. On a related note, the highly anticipated romantic comedy “Fire Island,” starring Saturday Night Live’s Bowen Yang, will be released June 3 on Hulu and will have its world premiere during NewFest Pride.
Less celebratory but equally important, May 19 is National Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, which acknowledges the work that must be done to end stigma and discrimination, while increasing sexual health resources, PrEP access, and connection to care for AAPI communities (particularly young AAPI LGBTQ communities) in order end the HIV epidemic.
This is also a great time to recognize Amida Care’s partners at Apicha Community Health Center, a leading network provider in HIV advocacy, TGNC health services, linkage to PrEP, and more for New York’s AAPI community and beyond. In particular, we thank Apicha CEO Therese R. Rodriguez for her amazing decades-long leadership for AAPI and LGBTQ communities, especially for people of trans experience. As she noted in her opening statement for an Asian and Pacific Islander Ending the Epidemic Subcommittee meeting, our shared work “brings not only service to underserved members of our community but also brings strength…where we can determine and direct our healthy and just future.”
Unfortunately, we must also acknowledge ongoing violence against AAPI people and the damaging fear it has instilled. It’s critical to continue to speak out against discrimination and to stand up with AAPI communities against verbal harassment and physical violence. Let’s all do our part!