Each May, the United States celebrates Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month to honor the many Asian Pacific Americans and their contributions to our culture.

There is still a lot of work to be done to address the racial bias and equity issues in our country. Since the pandemic began, there’s been a large increase in racism and violence against the AAPI community. But racism against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders is not new. Together, we believe it’s our responsibility to join and amplify the #StopAsianHate movement, condemn this behavior, and celebrate what makes each of our differing backgrounds special and unique.

AAPI encompasses heritages across Asia and the Pacific Islands. In 1997, The United States began recognizing these racial groups individually to further acknowledge and appreciate the ethnic backgrounds that comprise Americans. Today, Asian Americans have origins in Eastern, South Central, Southeastern, and Western Asia. Pacific Islanders have origins from
Polynesia, Micronesia, and Melanesia.

Congress established AAPI Heritage Month in May to recognize the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants to the United States on May 7, 1843, and the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. The majority of workers who laid the tracks for our nation’s railroad were Chinese Immigrants.

This May and beyond, VIDA is proud to recognize and highlight the entire AAPI community! As one of the fastest-growing demographics in America, there is a breadth of information to learn about AAPI culture.

  • Read about different community histories, folklore, and traditions.
  • Learn the history behind an AAPI recipe and make a traditional dish. Or try a few! In DC, The Wharf is presenting Everything, Everyone, All the Food at Once Fest where the community is invited to experience dinner on the dock, a night market, and live music connecting people together through the power of food.
  • Watch a documentary about AAPI culture or a movie with lead AAPI representation.
  • Find inspiration and motivation with group fitness classes powered by AAPI artists, music, and culture.
  • Support an AAPI-owned business.
  • Explore new artists or musicians.
  • Visit a museum – in person or online!
  • Attend community events, sign petitions, or, if you can, donate to an organization you know is trying to make a positive social impact in an AAPI community. This month, VIDA is proud to highlight the National Council of Asian-Pacific Americans (NCAPA) and will be donating $5 from every limited-edition AAPI Month t-shirt purchased at the Gear Shop.

At VIDA, we celebrate our differences and want all people to feel safe, welcomed, and valued. We encourage our community members to share their experiences, small and large, continually educate themselves on racial bias, speak out against hate, and celebrate diversity.

Defend & Heal

In celebration of Asian American & Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, join VIDA favorites, George & Lauri, for a special group fitness class in support of the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans. After class, enjoy light bites and refreshments courtesy of Purple Patch.

The cost to participate in this special-themed class is $30, and registration is limited to 40 people. All proceeds from this event will be donated to the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans, a nonprofit representing the interests of the greater Asian American (AA) and Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander (NHPI) communities, and to providing a national voice for AA and NHPI issues.