What’s Informing Us

Throughout May, Talent Citizen honored and celebrated Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month and Jewish American Heritage Month.

Our goal was to gain a deeper appreciation for Jewish American and AANHPI diversity, heritage, and complexity in the U.S. and to learn about the issues affecting individuals with these identities. We explored various organizations, influencers, and resources that are helping to inform our work deeper, drive conversations internally, and prompt more reflection and action.

Below are some of the resources we found especially relevant and insightful this month:


MoveOn | Exploring the Rich History of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Through this article, we learned that AANHPI Heritage Month was initially a week-long celebration that started in 1978 under President Jimmy Carter, and it became a month-long observance in the 1990s. The month of May was chosen to commemorate the arrival of Japanese immigrants in 1843 and the completion of the transcontinental railroad in 1869 in which Chinese, Japanese, and Korean workers played a crucial role. We were reminded of the importance of extending recognition beyond May to avoid tokenism and to address the diverse and unique challenges faced by the diverse AANHPI community by advocating for AANHPI rights and supporting AANHPI creators and business owners.

Jewish Journal | Celebrating Jewish Heritage Month: Recognizing Service, Solidarity, and Diversity

Los Angeles City Hall celebrated Jewish American Heritage Month by honoring 13 Jewish organizations for their dedication and service to the community. In a very special act, the ceremony also marked Holocaust Remembrance Day. Councilmember Bob Blumenfield emphasized the need for education to prevent future atrocities, and Councilwoman Katy Yaroslavsky highlighted the resilience and cultural contributions of the Jewish community. The nonprofit organizations honored are doing important work with historically underserved and marginalized populations, such as Our Big Kitchen LA and Bet Tzedek Legal Services.

New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) | NYSBA Calls for More Offenses To Be Added to Hate Crime Statute in Face of Rising Antisemitic, Anti-Asian Hate

Policy is a critical avenue to pursue justice for these two communities due to rising antisemitic and anti-Asian hate crimes, and the NYSBA is advocating for the expansion of hate crime statutes to include more offenses. The association’s Task Force on Combating Antisemitism and Anti-Asian Hate recommended improved hate crime reporting and prosecution and measures to prevent online hate speech. They also proposed new legislation, like the Stop Hiding Hate Act which would require social media transparency. Most important, the task force urged the New York Legislature to enact these changes to better protect communities from hate crimes motivated by racism, discrimination, and prejudice.

The Conversation | Asian Jewish Americans Have a Double Reason to Celebrate Their Heritage in May

Religion and religious affiliation are diverse in both the AANHPI and Jewish communities, but Asian Jewish Americans, specifically, have a unique opportunity to celebrate their heritage during May. Some Asian American Jews trace their roots to ancient Jewish communities in places like China and India, and contemporary Asian Jewish Americans often blend their cultural traditions. We found this article very insightful and unique in its highlight of the diverse and intersecting identities within this overlapping segment of the AANHPI and Jewish American communities, which showcased Asian American Jews’ rich tapestry of customs and experiences that reflect their heritage.