Hill celebrates 2017 Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month

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The month of May was selected as a way to commemorate arrival of the first Japanese immigrants to the U.S. on May 7, 1843. May also marks the anniversary of the transcontinental railroad, which was completed in May 1869 largely using with the labor of Chinese immigrants. 

Congress established Asian-Pacific American Heritage Week in 1978 to recognize the contributions to U.S. history and culture by Asian and Pacific-Islander Americans. In 1990, President George H.W. Bush extended the celebration to the entire month.

On Oct. 23, 1992, Congress officially designated May of each year as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

A rather broad term, Asian/Pacific encompasses all of the Asian continent and the Pacific Islands of Melanesia (New Guinea, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji and the Solomon Islands), Micronesia (Marianas, Guam, Wake Island, Palau, Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Nauru and the Federated States of Micronesia) and Polynesia (New Zealand, Hawaiian Islands, Rotuma, Midway Islands, Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Cook Islands, French Polynesia and Easter Island). 

We celebrate the cultural traditions, ancestry, native languages, and unique experiences represented among more than 56 ethnic groups (speaking over 100 languages) from Asia and the Pacific Islands who live in the United States.

This year, Team Hill will recognize Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month by hosting a festival Friday, May 19, from 4-7 p.m., at the Hill Air Force Base softball fields next to the Warrior Fitness Center. The theme for 2017 is “Unite Our Voices by Speaking Together,” with special keynote speaker Roland Alforque, who grew up on the island of Guam and enlisted in the Army on June, 4, 1980. Currently, Alforque works as a civilian police officer/patrolman assigned to the 75th Security Forces Squadron. 

Come and join us for cultural awareness, information booths, entertainment and food. It is FREE to attend the event and food tickets will be sold in advance and the day of the event.

For more information, please contact Master Sgt. Richard Jones at richard.jones.46@us.af.mil or 801-777-4114; Airman 1st Class Marcus Guzman at marcus.guzman.1@us.af.mil or 801-586-9543; or Irene Jones at irene.jones.1@us.af.mil or 801-777-9035.