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Today, Asian Americans of diverse backgrounds make up about 6% of the U.S. population. Though that number may seem small, Asian and Pacific Islander immigrants and Americans have played a fundamental part of American history. AAPI individuals helped construct the transcontinental railroad, have generated hundreds of billions of dollars for the U.S. economy, and have fought for the U.S. in every major armed conflict since World War One.

Despite these contributions, AAPI communities have also been subject to discrimination and violence since they first arrived to this country. Forced internment, discriminatory laws and practices, and violent hate crimes are sadly inextricable from the Asian American experience.

May was initially chosen as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. Over 150 years later, we are proud to stand in solidarity with our AAPI family, friends, and neighbors.

Join KOOP and the Community Council throughout the month of May for specially-themed programming in honor of these communities.

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