It's Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month

May 10, 2021

Though the university celebrates AAPI Heritage a month early, during the winter semester, there's still a wealth of community and online resources about the contributions generations of Asian and Pacific Islander Americans have made to American history, society and culture.

Exhibits and stories from the Library of Congress

A Library of Congress web portal explains the origins and history of AAPI Heritage Month, and offers links to resources from the National Archives and to exhibits and stories from the National Park Service about notable people and places, including Detroit activist Grace Lee Boggs and labor organizer Sue Ko Lee.

Library resources 

Among the library's many specialists, you'll find information experts in Asian Pacific Islander American Studies, Asian Languages and Cultures, and Asian Studies.

If you're out to discover more information about AAPI representation across the United States, Catherine Morse, librarian for government information, law, and political science, suggests you start with the resources in our Census Research Guide. She especially recommends a tool called Social Explorer (it's a subscription, so U-M affiliates only), which is "great for making maps and tables."

Using Social Explorer, you can define a set of criteria and create a zoomable map — for example, one showing 2019 population estimates of people who claim Asian heritage alone or in combination with another identity.

The Census Bureau portal,, is another good resource and is available to everyone.

There's also an uncountable number of new and popular books, articles, and other materials within our collection created by members of our AAPI community. You'll find a selection of titles available to check out online in our blog Lost in the Stacks. An internet search will also yield many other recommendations for newer fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, including this list from Pen America that features writers such as Ocean Vuong, Amitava Kumar, and Alexander Chee.

Campus and community resources

The Ann Arbor District Library has a series, "Quote of the Day," depicting the creation of hand-lettered cards each featuring a quote by prominent activists, representatives, artists, and creators in the community. 

The AAPI Task Force, part of the U-M Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, offers resources and support to the university's AAPI community. You can contact them at

The Asian Pacific Islander Desi/American (APID/A) Knowledge Community within the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts created a list of resources that includes online events and webinars, many of them aimed at addressing and redressing bias, harassment, and violence against people of color.

A March 2021 Michigan News interview with Assistant Professor Ian Shin, who teaches Asian American history, focused on the pandemic-related rise in verbal assaults and physical attacks against Asian Americans, the related media coverage, and the effectiveness of public campaigns to stop the hate.

Selection from a map created with the Social Explorer tool


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