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AAPI Heritage Month

Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month is observed in the United States during the month of May and recognizes the contributions and influence of Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans to the history, culture, and achievements of the United States. In Old Pasadena, we continue to look for ways to honor all the diversity in our commUNITY and to support equity and inclusion for all people.  We stand against violence and in support of tolerance and understanding.  Please join us in celebrating AAPI Month!

Nearly 30% of all businesses in Old Pasadena are Asian-owned and many provide uniquely Asian goods and services.  This month we are highlighting many of these businesses on our Instagram account, so follow us at @oldpasadena. Scroll down for related events, places to visit, and more resources.

"Learning about the past can change our future..."

- Susie Ling, Associate Professor of History and Asian American Studies at Pasadena City College

Pasadena Heritage is currently working on the placement of an additional plaque on Mills Place in Old Pasadena to include information about a violent incident 137 years ago that destroyed portions of the city’s Chinese district. The City of Pasadena's Human Relations Commission unanimously approved the new language and is in the process of garnering more approvals so that the new plaque can be fabricated and placed. Read more on Pasadena Now: Commission Approves Plaque’s New Language Marking Spot Where Pasadena Mob Destroyed Chinese Business in 1885


The Huntington Chinese Garden 2732x1200px

The Huntington Chinese Garden Lake View

(more to be added - check back shortly)

BeHere / 1942: A New Lens on the Japanese American Incarceration
Exhibition opening May 7, 2022
Japanese American National Museum

[email protected]: Ikebana
Sunday, May 8, 2022 - 2 sessions offered 12:00pm and 2:00pm
USC Pacific Asia Museum (PAM)
Create your own Ikebana, participate in an origami-inspired card-making activity, and enjoy free museum admission all day. RSVP to reserve your spot in the workshop!

Untold Stories of Post-Camp Pasadena
Densho Webinar presented by historians Bryan Takeda, Naomi Hirahara, and Brian Niiya
Tuesday, May 10, 2022 - 12:00pm
Virtual program on Zoom register 

Archival Intimacies: Queering South/East Asian Diasporas
Now through Sunday, May 29, 2022
USC Pacific Asia Museum (PAM closes May 8)
A multi-site project curated by Aziz Sohail and Alexis Bard Johnson, this exhibit will highlight intersectionality amongst Asian-Americans and draw from family narratives and stories of immigration. PAM will host a selection of previously produced works by Prima and Vinhay that are in dialogue with their new works. 

Susan H. Kamei: When Can We Go Back to America
Wednesday, May 11, 2022 - 5:00-6:00 pm
Pasadena resident and USC teacher, Susan Kamei discusses her book in a virtual talk presented by the Pasadena Public Library. Sign up here

Manzanar Day Trip
Saturday, May 14, 2022 - Waitlisted
Presented by Pasadena Heritage and Kansha Pasadena
On the 80th Anniversary of Executive Order 9066, Kansha Pasadena is planning a Manzanar Living History Project to take members of the greater Pasadena community on a day-long bus tour to Manzanar.

Tōyō Miyatake, presented by Alan Miyatake
Monday, May 16, 2022 - 5:00-6:00 pm - Zoom
Alan Miyatake presents his grandfather Tōyō Miyatake’s photos and experiences at Manzanar. Tōyō Miyatake is a Japanese American photographer best known for his photographs documenting the Japanese American people at Manzanar during World War II, where he was incarcerated. The pictures he secretly took at the camp are among the relatively few that show the plight of the U.S. citizen inmates. 
To attend, sign up here

From Life After Manzanar to Clark and Division: A Conversation between Naomi Hirahara and Heather C. Lindquist
Tuesday, May 24, 2022 - 7:00pm
Pasadena Museum of History
Join Naomi and Heather for this one-on-one conversation as they discuss the research behind both books, and how non-fiction leads to fiction – Life After Manzanar to the captivating fiction/mystery, Clark and Division. Tickets

Discover The Huntington’s Japanese and Chinese Gardens
Wednesday, May 25, 2022 - 5:00-6:00 pm - Zoom
Historian Dave Nufer shares little-known details about The Huntington’s Japanese and Chinese gardens. To attend, sign up here

53rd Manzanar Pilgrimage held on Saturday, April 30, is available for viewing on the Manzanar Committee's YouTube Channel.


The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens
Chinese Garden and Japanese Garden
Ongoing and temporary related exhibitions and events 

Norton Simon Museum
South and Southeast Asian Paintings and Sculpture Collection

USC Pacific Asia Museum (PAM)

Storrier Stearns Japanese Garden



Asian Pacific Heritage
Official page paying tribute to the generations of Asian and Pacific Islanders who have enriched America's history and are instrumental in its future success. Check for virtual events and resources.

California Japantowns
Exploring the preservation of history, culture, and community

Preserving stories of the past for the generations of tomorrow

Old Pasadena Japanese American Businesses 1940
Maps of communities in California where Japanese Americans lived and worked prior to World War II

Naomi Hirahara
Pasadena-born Edgar Award-winning author of multiple traditional mystery series and noir short stories

Susie Ling's Blog "Thinking Aloud"
Associate Professor of History and Asian American Studies at Pasadena City College

Stop AAPI Hate
Tracks and responds to incidents of hate, violence, harassment, discrimination, shunning, and child bullying against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States.


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