In June 1977, Representatives Frank Horton of New York and Norman Y. Mineta of California introduced a House resolution that called upon the president to proclaim the first ten days of May as Asian/Pacific Heritage Week. In May 1990, the holiday was expanded further when President George H. W. Bush designated May to be Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. May was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese immigrants to the United States in 1843.
The Asian/Pacific American Heritage Association (APAHA) was formed in 1992 to “promote awareness and increase understanding of the Asian/Pacific American culture and its diversity through education and celebration, focusing on May, Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM), and continuing throughout the year.” To make a difference in our community, Asian/Pacific American Heritage Association (APAHA) has collaborated with various community and educational entities to provide ongoing educational, cultural and scholarship programs to the Asian/Pacific and Greater Houston communities.
As a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization, APAHA’s main objectives include enhancing racial harmony in our city, promoting cross-cultural awareness, education and appreciation between and among Asian/Pacific Americans and other ethnic groups by outreaching to schools, businesses, and other institutions.
The APAHA is currently overseen by a board of twenty-eight and employs a full-time paid Executive Director. Volunteer committees are responsible for planning and implementing organizational activities.
Asian Pacific American Communities in Houston
The US Census Bureau lists over twenty-five Asian and Pacific Islander groups. Some of the largest groups in Houston are: Vietnamese, Chinese, Filipinos, Indian, Pakistani, Korean, Japanese, Cambodian, Laotian, Indonesian, Thai, Burmese, Malaysian, Taiwanese, Sri Lanka, Bangladeshi, and a variety of Pacific Islanders from the Hawaiian Islands, Polynesian Islands, and New Zealand. Recent estimates of Asian Pacific Americans in the Houston area range from 300,000 to 500,000.
Through the assistance and dedication of our volunteers and sponsors, APAHA strives to outreach to the Houston neighborhoods to build a stronger understanding of Asian and Pacific Island groups throughout this city.