AANHPI Heritage Month, but Make it Outdoorsy

This May, we’re celebrating Asian American and Native Hawaiian / Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month and we want to use this opportunity to highlight the issues, work, and joy within the community in hopes to educate and move towards a more loving and welcoming future. 

The AANHPI community has been targeted and attacked in a string of violent, hate crimes across many cities, and the outdoors are no exception. The community has experienced racism like many communities of color in America and have endured years and years of internal and intergenerational trauma. Finally, they’re being seen and heard, and taking up space for themselves. 

Dive in below to get started with articles, films, books, podcasts, social media and more spotlighting Asian outdoorists and how we can be better community allies. Resources curated by Vivian Wang: 

AANHPI HISTORY AND CULTURE ARTICLES:

BOOKS TO READ:

WATCH + LISTEN: 

ORGS TO KNOW:

Just like our Black History Month article, these resources are a mere starting point for learning and unlearning the past, present, and future of the AANHPI community in the outdoors and beyond. If you’ve got a AANHPI History Month resource we’re missing, send it to us and we’ll add it to the growing list!

To Our AAPI Community

Hey everyone, it’s Vivian here as part of the OAP team. Lately, you may have heard the news of the violent hate crimes against the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community and I wanted to share a few of my thoughts. As I learned more about them, I couldn’t help but think ‘why’ – why are these people doing this? why are they targeting elders? why are these stories not in mainstream media? – just why. 

In these last couple of years, I’ve struggled with my identity as an Asian American woman and where I belonged. I feel like an “in-between”,  juggling growing up in a western society while being taught with eastern values. Trying to be “Asian enough” for my community, but also “white enough” for the white community. I’ve had my fair share of falling victim to racist remarks and microaggressions like always being seen as foreign, being called “chink” or “open your eyes”, the classic “where are you from” question, folks not taking my struggles seriously because they believe in the model minority myth, assuming my cultural identity, mocking my language, being fetishized, and the list goes on.

Like many communities of color, Asian American history has been largely erased in America. With stereotypes and the model minority myth, Asians have been silenced and forgotten among media and even in anti-racism and DEI talks. Our struggles have taken a backseat. As @steveyeun recently said, “Sometimes I wonder if the Asian American experience is what it’s like when you’re thinking about everyone else, but nobody else is thinking about you.”

I feel like there’s always this battle among communities of color of who have struggled “the most” or “the worst”. The model minority myth was created to falsely paint a picture that an ethnic group can “overcome” racism and further create a divide among people of color. As 2020 has shown us, what we need to do is listen, learn, unlearn, speak up, and stand together with our BIPOC brothers and sisters against systems of oppression and supremacy that America is. 

So on behalf of the OAP team, we hear you, we see you, and we stand in solidarity with the AAPI community 💛