Stanford CARE AAPI Heritage Month Special Events

 Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month (AAPI Heritage Month) is an annual celebration that recognizes the historical and cultural contributions of individuals and groups of Asian and Pacific Islander descent to the United States. Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are the fastest growing racial group in the United States. 

The effort to officially recognize Asian American and Pacific Islander contributions to the United States began in the late 1970s, and took over 10 years to make it a permanent month-long celebration.

In 1977, New York representative Frank Horton introduced House Joint Resolution 540, which proposed proclaiming the first 10 days of May as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week. Hawaii Senator Daniel Inouye introduced a similar joint resolution the same year. When the resolutions did not pass, representative Horton introduced House Joint Resolution 1007 the following year, which requested the president to proclaim a week during the first 10 days of May starting in 1979, including May 7 and 10, as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week.

After the House and the Senate passed the Resolution, President Jimmy Carter signed it into Public Law 95-419 on October 5, 1978. From 1980 to 1990, each president passed annual proclamations for Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week. In 1990, Congress expanded the observance from a week to a month. May was annually designated as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month in 1992 under the George H. W. Bush administration with the passing of Public Law 102-540. Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month was renamed as AAPI Heritage Month in 2009.

Each year, AAPI Heritage Month is celebrated with community festivals, government sponsored activities, and educational activities for community. Come celebrate Stanford CARE 2023 AAPI Heritage Month and AAPI Health Awareness Month events:

May of 2023

Hybrid Film Screening and Discussion: Engaging Asian American Youth and Their Families in Quality Mental Health Services

Part I: Documentary Movie Screening “Try Harder!”

The kids are stressed out at Lowell High School, San Francisco’s academic pressure cooker. With a majority Asian American student body, high-achieving seniors share their dreams and anxieties about getting into a top university. But is college worth the grind?

Part II: Panel Discussion: Engaging Asian American Youth and Their Families in Quality Mental Health Services

Research indicates that Asian American youth have similar community rates of mental health problems in comparison to non-Hispanic White youth in the United States. However, Asian Americans are among the least to utilize mental health services, and Asian American youth have a higher level of unmet mental health needs than White youth. For example, Yeh and colleagues (2003) found that 72% of Asian/Pacific Islander at-risk youth had unmet mental health needs compared to 31% of their Non-Hispanic White counterparts. Please join us in examining the reasons for the lack of engagement in mental health services of Asian American youth and their families and explore strategies to enhance their treatment engagement.


  • Debbie Lum, Director/ Producer of Try Harder!
  • Dr. Rona Hu, Stanford CARE Director of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
  • Kian Mojabi, A Lowell high school graduate featured in Try Harder!
  • Cathy Zhao, Chief Laughing Officer, Laugh It Out Hub


  • Lisa Kim, Senior Manager, Media Relations, Stanford Health Care, School of Medicine

This event is sponsored by Stanford Center for Asian Health Research and Education in partnership with Stanford Heath Library, the American Medical Women’s Association, and Asian Health Services. We extend our thanks to our community partners Laugh it Out Hub, Stanford Asian Pacific American Alumni Club, and Asian Leaders Alliance.

May of 2022

About the AANHPI Birth Equity Conference:

In California, 16% of births are among Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) families, with significant disparities in quality of care for mothers and babies. Some AANHPI mothers experience higher rates of low risk-cesarean birth and episiotomies compared to other populations, and AANHPI infants have disparate rates of receiving any breastmilk on hospital discharge. AANHPI mothers have reported concerning experiences of discrimination based on their race/ethnicity and language, reported symptoms of depression and anxiety during and after pregnancy, and gaps in practical and emotional support postpartum. However, little is known regarding the care and outcomes affecting individual groups of AANHPI.

 Stanford CARE  sponsored AANHPI Birth Equity conference will provide a platform to engage with AANHPI families, their caregivers and key stakeholders in maternal and neonatal quality to identify key drivers of inequitable care and outcomes and provide directions for improvement.