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Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month


WHEREAS, Asian and Pacific Islander American Heritage Month is observed during the month of May to recognize the contributions and influence of Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans to the history, culture, and achievements of the United States; and

WHEREAS, Virginia is proud to be home to a large Asian American and Pacific Islander population that contributes greatly to the prosperity and enrichment of our Commonwealth; and

WHEREAS, for more than a century, Asian American and Pacific Islander men and women have made valuable contributions to all areas of life in Virginia, including government, business, arts and sciences, medicine, education, law enforcement, and the military; and

WHEREAS, Asian American and Pacific Islander communities are deeply-rooted in both the United States and Virginia, reminding us of both proud and painful chapters of our history; and

WHEREAS, Asian American and Pacific Islander communities in Virginia have shared their rich culture and traditions while representing their communities through public service and advocacy; and

WHEREAS, diversity represents one of our greatest strengths, and by recognizing the contributions and accomplishments of Asian American and Pacific Islander men and women, our Commonwealth celebrates the importance of inclusion to building a brighter future for all of our citizens; and 

WHEREAS, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a rise in inflammatory and xenophobic rhetoric, harassment, and violence against Asian American communities; and

WHEREAS, in response to the rise in anti-Asian hate, Governor Northam and his administration have traveled around the Commonwealth for a series of conversations with a diverse group of Asian American and Pacific Islander community advocates, faith leaders, business owners, students, educators, and frontline workers; and

WHEREAS, the Commonwealth is committed to providing comprehensive support to ensure that Virginia is equitable and welcoming to all people; and

WHEREAS, the Commonwealth of Virginia is proud to celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, and commemorate the essential contributions, sacrifices, and accomplishments that Asian American and Pacific Islanders have made to Virginia;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize May 2021 as ASIAN AMERICAN AND PACIFIC ISLANDER HERITAGE MONTH in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.