Celebrate Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage
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May is Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage (AAPI) Month, and while we celebrate during these four weeks, it’s essential to uplift AAPI histories, diverse identities and stories year-round. 

This collection of LFJ resources provides opportunities to dig deep into AAPI experiences and aims to help young people, educators and families explore the expansive impact of AAPI communities on the United States.

[Updated May 2024]

History and Culture

Teaching Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage
In this webinar Sarah-SoonLing Blackburn, Ed.D., LFJ’s deputy director for Learning & Engagement, and Jon Tobin, LFJ Curriculum & Training specialist, unpack the origins, meaning and contemporary impact of the term “Asian American Pacific Islander.” They break down the “model minority” myth and provide educators with resources to effectively teach AAPI history.

Teachers, Check Your Texts
LGBTQ+ Asian identities need to be amplified in the school curriculum—and not just during a heritage month.

Humanizing Asian Americans in the Classroom Through Childrens Literature
Asian American stories are often absent from classroom libraries. In this article, one educator explains why this gap is so harmful—and recommends ways to fix it.

A Remote Control for Learning
Artist, author and educator Gene Luen Yang speaks with LFJ (formerly Teaching Tolerance) about teaching, comics and the importance of diverse characters.

I Am Asian American
Uncover the true diversity beneath the Asian American label.

Teaching Tolerance illustration of person beside 2 outlines of bodies

Toolkit for ‘I Am Asian American’
This toolkit accompanies the article “I Am Asian American” and provides professional development resources to help teachers reflect on their own assumptions and knowledge gaps about Asian Americans and include a variety of Asian American voices in their curricula.

Madam Vice President Is a Woman of Color
The election of a biracial, Black, South Asian daughter of immigrant parents to the vice presidency is a historic moment for all of us—especially girls and women of color.

The House on Lemon Street
Like immigrants from Europe, people from Asia came to America seeking economic opportunities. But they soon found that there were limits placed on what they could achieve in the United States.

We Still Haven’t Learned From This
Japanese American incarceration stories are American stories that need to be told.

Addressing Anti-Asian Bias

Understanding and Countering Antisemitism and Islamophobia in Schools
This LFJ article provides essential overviews of Islamophobia and antisemitism and the accompanying toolkit shares strategies and resources for countering bigotry and fostering safer and more inclusive culture in schools and communities.

After Atlanta: Teaching About Asian American Identity and History 
One LFJ award winner shares the conversation she started with students the day after the attacks in Atlanta and recommends resources anyone can use to teach about Asian American history and identity. 

Speaking Up Against Racism Around Coronavirus
The coronavirus became racialized, so it’s critical that educators understand the historical context and confront racist tropes and xenophobia from students and colleagues.

How To Respond To Coronavirus Racism 
As COVID-19 infections increase, so too does racism and xenophobia. Use our “Speak Up” strategies to let people know you’re not OK with racist or xenophobic comments about coronavirus or anything else.

What Is the ‘Model Minority’ Myth?
The myth of the “model minority” is pervasive. It does real damage. And Asian American students aren’t the only ones it harms.

(In)Visible Identity
Sikhs have been in the United States for more than 125 years, but our collective lack of knowledge about this religious group leaves Sikh students vulnerable.

Stories for Young Readers

Min Jees Lunch
When a classmate says Min Jee’s Korean lunch is “how everyone got sick,” will her friends speak up? 

Illustration of stylized food and people.

A Place Where Sunflowers Grow
Mari and her family have been sent to an internment camp in Utah. She does not understand what they have done to deserve their internment and longs for her backyard in California where she used to grow sunflowers.

The Fighting Mynahs 
A story from Hawaii about how it's better to share and cooperate than to squabble and fight. 

Book Reviews

In each issue of our magazine, we feature a “What We'’re Reading" page where we highlight recent books that affirm identities, celebrate diversity and highlight justice. Here are some of our favorite book recommendations highlighting AAPI characters and voices. 

Cover of "Juna and Appa."

In Juna and Appa, a heartwarming book by Jane Park with illustrations by Felicia Hoshino, Juna helps her father, Appa, at their dry-cleaning shop. When a customer berates Appa for losing a fancy jacket, Juna uses her imagination to search for the jacket, running into different fathers in the animal kingdom. These animals help Juna remember the special relationship she has with Appa, including the sacrifices they make for each other.

Book cover of 'Obie is Man Enough.'

Obie Is Man Enough—a debut novel by acclaimed advocate Schuyler Bailar, the first trans man to compete on an NCAA Division I men’s team—follows Obie Chang as he navigates middle school, swimming competitions and relationships post-transition. This endearingly honest account of Obie’s life—and how his inherited cultures intertwine to inform his resilience—offers a timely own-voices text exploring what it means to be a trans athlete, to be a kid and to be a friend. Note: This book presents the opportunity for discussions of restorative practices in schools.


Cover of "Eyes That Kiss in the Corners."

In Eyes That Kiss in the Corners, written by Joanna Ho and illustrated by Dung Ho, we learn about a child from an East Asian family who recognizes that her eyes are different from the eyes of the other children around her—and those differences are just fine! Unlike her peers, the protagonist’s eyes “kiss in the corners and glow like warm tea,” just like the eyes of her mama, amah and sister. With a sweet departure from identity-affirming books rooted in struggle, this one simply celebrates, and that’s a beautiful thing.

Cover of "There Must Be More Than That!"

Shinsuke Yoshitake’s relatable story follows a girl whose brother tells her the future is doomed in There Must Be More Than That!  Fearing the destruction of Earth, she is comforted by her grandmother, who assures her that there are always more possibilities than we are aware of at any given movement. Gentle, lighthearted and honest, this story is sure to captivate young readers and provide ample space to discuss the future that we want to be a part of and steps we should take to get there.

Cover of "Everything Sad Is Untrue (A True Story)."

In Daniel Nayeri’s Everything Sad Is Untrue (A True Story), narrator Khosrou presents himself as a middle-school avatar of Scheherazade—a figure of Persian legend who told stories to spare her life. For Khosrou, a refugee born in Iran and now living in Oklahoma, sparing his life means holding onto his culture and memories. Khosrou interweaves legends, family histories and often painful, present realities. These stories poignantly illustrate the importance of reclaiming hidden histories and the hurt experienced by young people whose truth is discarded—or worse, erased. A gorgeously written book that prizes imagination, reclaims truth and rightly demands love for students who feel far from home or forgotten.

Related External Resources

Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center
The Smithsonian offers a variety of resources for educators and families to learn about the experiences and history of AAPI communities. 

The Asian American Education Project
This resource provides lesson plans, professional development workshops for educators and student activities about Asian American history.

The Asian Art Museum
This museum page offers educational activities—including  projects, lessons and videos—by grade level and topic.

Asian Americans in the People’s History of the United States
The Zinn Education Project offers profiles of people and events in Asian and Pacific Islander people’s history.  

Uplift AAPI Voices With These One World Posters

Malala Yousafzai

"Let us remember: one book, one pen and one teacher can change the world."

Kay Ulanday Barrett

"We have to harness and cultivate our own stories, not just to feel valid, but to feel rejoiced."

Tehyi Hsieh

"The schools of a country are its future in miniature."
A map of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi with overlaid images of key state symbols and of people in community

Learning for Justice in the South

When it comes to investing in racial justice in education, we believe that the South is the best place to start. If you’re an educator, parent or caregiver, or community member living and working in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana or Mississippi, we’ll mail you a free introductory package of our resources when you join our community and subscribe to our magazine.

Learn More