Celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month


For Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Month, the staff at The Fortune Society collaborated to create a community guide for celebrating and honoring Black history. The guide is filled with events, policy actions, resources, book recommendations and aAAPI Month Spotify playlist. 

Recognizing that Asian American and Pacific Islander history is American history—and American history is year-round—we will continuously update this list throughout the year.

Start off the month with some background: read the history of AAPI Month and learn how to best honor heritage and family throughout the month of May.

Read the Presidential Proclamation on Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month from 2021.

Asian American and Pacific Islander Month Spotify Playlist 

Listen to The Fortune Society’s AAPI Month Spotify playlist, with songs selected by staff members. Artists include Mitski, Hayley Kiyoko, Jhene Aiko, Eric Nam and BTS. 

Book Recommendations 

Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu 

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng 

The Incendiaries by R. O. Kwon 

Beautiful Country by Qian Julie Wang

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami 

Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls by T Kira Madden 

The Girl in the Moon Circle by Sia Figiel  

Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner

Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami 

My Year Abroad by Chang-Rae Lee 

Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri

Know My Name by Chanel Miller 

Days of Distraction by Alexandra Chang 

Burning by Megha Majumdar 

The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo 

Obasan by Joy Kogawa 

If You See Me, Don’t Say Hi by Neel Patel 

The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen 

Cerues Blooms at Night by Shani Mootoo 

The Bad Muslim Discount by Syed M. Masood

Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien 

Black Ice Matter by Gina Cole 

Jasmine by Bharati Mukherjee 

Mad Honey Symposium by Sally Wen Mao 

Translating Mo’um by Cathy Park Hong 

Floating Brilliant Gone by Franny Choi 

Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

The Same Different by Hannah Sanghee Park 

When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka 

The Farm by Joanne Ramos

All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka 

Kingdom of Characters by Jing Tsu 

Time is a Mother by Ocean Vuong  

Sisters of Mokoma by Jyoti Thottam  

Stay True by Hua Hsu  

Sari, Not Sari by Sonya Singh  

Scent of a Garden by Namrata Patel  

Fiona and Jane by Jean Chen Ho  

A Passage North by Anuk Arudpragasam  

Joan is Okay by Weike Wang  



Asian Creative Festival

Hear from several speakers, shop from AAPI artists and small businesses at the marketplace and watch an AAPI directed film screening by Mixed Asian Media and East Side Stories. RSVP for free tickets to the festival, taking place on May 20 and 21.

Asian American Pacific Islander Cultural Heritage Parade

The second annual AAPI Cultural Heritage Parade is open to all, and takes place on May 21 at 12 PM.  

Gu Shi: A Storytelling Show that Features AAPI Comedians

Yun Hai Shop is hosting a hilarious storytelling event detailing the experience of “growing up Asian, featuring NYC comedians such as Ann Chun and Dylan Adler. Tickets are available now for May 30.  

DIY Chinese Paper Lanterns

The New York Public Library is hosting a DIY crafting event, teaching families how to make Chinese Paper Lanterns. This free event takes place on May 22 at 2 PM.   

Let’s Talk Cooking with Mercedes: Vietnamese Cooking

Discuss recipes from Uyen Luu’s book, Vietnamese: Simple Vietnamese Food to Cook at Home, at this virtual event hosted by the NYPL on May 18.   

Taste of AAPI Sweets 

Support AAPI-led food businesses and local artists at this free outdoor event, taking place on May 20 at 1 PM. Enjoy desserts, complimentary food tastings and arts and crafts.   

Just Between Us: From the archives of Arlan Huang

This free exhibition, displaying works from Arlan Huang’s personal archive, is open throughout the month of May. It features work from artists including Tomie Arai, Ken Chu and Corky Lee. 

Sri Lankan Art and Cultural Museum

Opened in 2017 by 18-year-old Julia Wijesinghe, the museum highlights Sri Lankan history and heritage as the first cultural museum outside of Sri Lanka. The collection includes sculptures, instruments, textiles and other rich pieces of Sri Lankan culture to explore this month and all year long. 

Film and TV Recommendations 

Shoplifters directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda 

The Farewell directed by Lulu Wang  

Minari directed by Lee Isaac Chung 

The Half of It directed by Alice Wu 

Parasite directed by Bong Joon-ho 

My Neighbor Totoro directed by Hayao Miyazaki 

Kim’s Convenience written by Ins Choi 

Okja by Bong Joon-ho 

Train to Busan directed by Yeon Sang-ho 

Tigertail written and directed by Alan Yang

Burning directed by Lee Chang-dong 

Bitter Melon directed and written by H.P. Mendoza

Hard Knock Wife performed by Ali Wong 

Jojo Rabbit directed by Taika Waititi

The Namesake directed by Mira Nair

Everything Everywhere All at Once written and directed by Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert  

Turning Red  directed by Domee Shi    

Umma directed by Iris K. Shim 

Beef created by Lee Sung Jin  

Pachinko written by Soo Hugh   

Nomadland directed by Chloe Zhao

Crazy Rich Asians directed by John M. Chu 

Always Be My Maybe directed by Nahnatchka Khan 

Fresh off the Boat created by Nahnatchka Khan 

Never Have I Ever created by Mindy Kaling 

Battle Royale directed by Kinji Fukasaku

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