In 1992, May was officially designated as Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM) by the federal government. This proclamation, signed by President George H.W. Bush, came after several decades of persistent advocacy from Congressmen Frank Horton of New York and Norman Mineta of California, Senators Daniel Inouye and Spark Matsunaga and others. Nationally, APAHM encompasses the Asian Continent and the Pacific Islands.
The George Washington University (GW) presented its first annual Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Celebration (APIHC) in 2004. To allow members of the GW community to participate in the celebration before the end of the academic school year, April was designated as the official GW APIHC. Promoting the values and traditions of East Asian, Southeast Asian and Pacific Island cultures, APIHC programs include culture shows, distinguished guest lectures and other educational events.
The Multicultural Student Services Center (MSSC) provides logistical support for Asian and Pacific Islander organizations to collaborate and promote cultural awareness throughout APIHC. Students, faculty and staff with varying leadership experience and skill sets are encouraged to participate in APIHC. All activities related to APIHC are facilitated by MSSC senior staff and graduate student coordinators. The minimum requirement for involvement is to have a commitment to and passion for Asian and Pacific Island culture. For more information, call 202-994-MSSC (6772).