What We’re Chattering: Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

At EP, our team is spread across the country. One of the tools we use to connect to each other daily is Salesforce Chatter. There, we give updates on our work, ask questions of each other, and share what we’re reading.

This May, to honor Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month, we at Education Pioneers have read articles and resources that talk about the educational experiences of Asian American and Pacific Islander students.

Today is the last day of May, but let’s keep the conversations going year-round. With calls to abolish the “model minority” stereotype, disaggregate AAPI student data, and boost the number of AAPI teachers in the U.S., we have a lot of work to do.

Read on and share (and don’t forget to share your reactions and/or what you’re reading in the comments):

  • LAST WEEK ON THE EP BLOG we shared a Q&A with EP Alumna Erica Mosca, a teacher and nonprofit leader in Las Vegas, Nevada, who reflected on advocacy, stereotypes, and banding together to create change.

“The more I got into the work, the more I really did want to support AAPI students. Here in Nevada, AAPI children are the number one growing demographic of kids living in poverty. We have the third largest AAPI population in the west outside of California. But there’s a lack of representation. There’s a need for role models so people will understand, empathize, and be an ear to a community that doesn’t have a voice.

“Accurate, disaggregated data, not false, outdated narratives and stereotypes should inform public opinion and state policy. Let’s celebrate this month by abolishing the model minority myth and spend the next fifty years recognizing the rich diversity of the AAPI community.

  • IN THE NEW  YORK TIMES' VIDEO “A Conversation with Asian-Americans on Race,” “Asian-Americans talk about how stereotypes unfairly confine them — particularly the one that brands them a ‘model minority.’ As the subjects of our film explain, this perception not only devalues the experiences of other racial minorities, but it also renders the diverse experiences of Asian-Americans invisible.
  • Earlier this year, EDUCATION WEEK published “In Efforts to Boost Teacher Diversity, Asians and Pacific Islanders Seek Inclusion,” which shows the lack of Asian American and Pacific Islander teachers across the country, who make up less than 2% of 3.4 million teachers:

“Although Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders make up 5.1 percent of the U.S. population, census data show that the AAPI community is the fastest-growing ethnic group in the country.

“Yet between 2000 and 2012, there was virtually no change in the percentage of AAPIs in the teaching profession. In 2012, the year for which the most recent information is available, the National Center for Education Statistics found that there were just under 66,000 U.S. public and private school teachers from the Asian community—about 1.8 percent of the country's nearly 3.4 million teachers. In 2000, the percentage was around 1.6.”


What are your reactions and reflections to these articles and stories? And what are you sharing for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month? Tell us in the comments.


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