HARRISBURG, Pa., May 1, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Governor Tom Corbett today issued a proclamation recognizing May 2014 as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in Pennsylvania. The governor also officially kicked-off Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month by attending a multi-agency celebration in Harrisburg.
"America's success, and certainly Pennsylvania's, comes from the ability to enrich itself from the talents and dreams that came here from every continent on the globe," said Corbett. "Every aspect of American life - from business and science to art and literature to entertainment and sports – has been enriched by the arrival of new citizens from Asia and the Pacific Islands, and the generations of Asians and Pacific Island Americans born here."
The national theme for this year's AAPI Heritage Month is, "Diverse Leadership + Expanding Opportunity: An Imperative for America."
Nick Shenoy, Founder and current President/CEO of the Asian American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia, was the keynote speaker for this year's event. Performances by the Chinese Cultural & Arts Institute and Asian Indian Americans of Central Pennsylvania (AIACPA) were also held. Following the celebration, a sampling of Asian cuisine from local restaurants was provided.
AAPI Heritage Month was first established as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week during the first week of May in 1978 when Congress passed a joint Congressional Resolution. This date was chosen because of two important anniversaries which occurred during this time: the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants in American on May 7, 1843 and the completion of the transcontinental railroad (by many Chinese laborers) on May 10, 1869.
In 1990, Congress voted to expand it from a week to a month-long celebration. In May of 1992, the month of May was permanently designated as "Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month" to recognize and honor the rich history and innumerable contributions that Asian American and Pacific Islanders have made – and continue to make to our country. It is now officially proclaimed as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.
The Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month kick-off celebration is being sponsored by the Governor's Advisory Commission on Asian American Affairs, the departments of Conservation & Natural Resources, Environmental Protection, General Services, Health, Public Welfare and the Public Utilities Commission.
Media contact: Valerie Caras, 717-783-1116
Editor's Note: The text of the proclamation is included below.
ASIAN AMERICAN AND PACIFIC ISLANDER HERITAGE MONTH
WHEREAS, Pennsylvania is home to more than 300,000 citizens who trace their roots to Asia and the Pacific Islands; and
WHEREAS, the Asian Pacific American community represents a vital dimension of our Commonwealth's diverse ethnic and social community. The Asian Pacific American community's many contributions throughout the history of our Commonwealth have enriched our society through its diverse languages, cultures and religious beliefs; and
WHEREAS, through Asian Pacific Americans' love of family, community and hard work, they have helped to uphold the founding principles of our Commonwealth for generations. Asian Pacific American entrepreneurs help to strengthen our economy and our communities through their hard work and ingenuity, and they inspire a new generation of American innovation through their example; and
WHEREAS, Pennsylvania, through representatives from all of the major Asian Pacific
American communities, continues to address the needs and concerns of its citizens and remains committed to a proactive stance that seeks solutions to problems such as prejudice, discrimination and violence.
THEREFORE, In recognition of the many contributions and achievements of our
Commonwealth's Asian Pacific Americans, I, Tom Corbett, Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, do hereby proclaim May 2014 as ASIAN AMERICAN AND PACIFIC ISLANDER HERITAGE MONTH in Pennsylvania.
SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor