Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage

Celebrating the achievements and contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
May 3, 2021
AAPI heritageCelebrate and honor the diverse cultures from Asian American and Pacific Islander communities

“As a mixed Filipinx-CHamoru person growing up very separated from my heritage in the United States I wish there was more representation and access to literature about Pacific Islanders. As an adolescent it felt that the only option was representations of East Asians and even then that was rare. Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are not all the same and we all deserve varied stories written by and for us…I’m excited about the list of books that have been put together for Asian Pacific Heritage Month, I haven’t read most of them and look forward to being able to read a few.”
-Cara, community member

“I was shelving in children non-fiction and one of the books was titled "Filipino Celebrations: a Treasury of Feast and Festivals."... I was very elated and curious. I immediately took time to flip through the pages to see how my ethnic background was being represented. This book is very special to me because it describes the importance of family and celebration which is something that is very prominent in my culture. It was also very comforting to see the illustration of the foods and decorations in the book because of its familiarity especially being away from home.”
 -Rachel, shelver

Pacific Islander is an umbrella term for the Indigenous peoples of Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia and their descendants. Sub-groups have their own names for this umbrella term such as Pacific, Pasifika, Pasefika, and Pasifiku (and many more). It is important to note that for both Asians and Pacific Islanders, there are hundreds of different cultures, languages, and traditions encompassed by the broad term. Each group has had its own historical struggles that should be remembered and its own successes to be celebrated.

The library continues to build our collection and has added more Pacific representation and authors over the past year. We hope you check them out!

Join our Library AF Book Club on May 17 featuring Everything Here is Beautiful by Asian American author Mira T. Lee!

Community Languages Collection 

Sacramento Public Library collection includes books in Chinese, Hindi, Hmong, Korean, Panjabi, Tagalog, and Vietnamese. Learn more about our community languages collection.

Reading Recommendations

Explore works created by Asian American authors and Pacific Islander authors. The following lists were developed by the Library’s Equity Committee, which feature titles by Pacific Islander authors and titles by Asian American authors.


Local Asian and Pacific Islander organizations

Asian Resources, Inc

Asian Resources is a non-profit community-based organization established in 1980 dedicated to providing multiple social services needed in the community, empowering everyone they serve to become a vital part of our changing, diverse society.

Chinese American Council of Sacramento

The Chinese American Council of Sacramento continues to be the voice of the Chinese American Community; they also support other APIA (Asian Pacific Islander American) groups who may be underserved and need support and representation.

Federation of Philippine American Chambers of Commerce

The Federation of Philippine American Chambers of Commerce, Inc. continues to set the standard of building business excellence and responsible business leadership for Filipino Americans. The Federation of Philippine American Chambers of Commerce is a strong advocate of business ownership among Filipino-Americans and provides a well-established network of trade and commerce resources for its member chapters in the United States.

Filipino American Chamber of Commerce Sacramento

The Filipino American Chamber of Commerce Sacramento promotes business ownership among Filipino-Americans and supports the community.

Hmong Organizing for Progress and Empowerment (HOPE) Center

The HOPE Center is a social benefit cultural center providing a creative platform for arts, culture, education programming and services.

Hui O Hawaii of Sacramento

The purpose of Hui O Hawaii is to preserve and promote a unique quality of life commonly referred to by the Hawaiian Community as the Aloha Spirit and Hawaiiana; which is to accept all individuals who embrace the Hawaiian culture regardless of their physical appearance, sexual preference, race or religion; to share their Aloha (love, affection, lineage, and traditional Hawaiian lifestyle) with them. The organization provides opportunities that will enhance the culture, history, folklore, art, music, dance and lifestyle of the Hawaiian people and those "Hawaiian at Heart", and to practice those ideals and principles by developing programs that are focused on improving the overall educational growth of their people and the community in which they live.

Indian Association of Sacramento

The Indian Association of Sacramento (IAS) is a non-profit organization that serves as the single platform to preserve the rich cultural heritage of India. IAS aims to share and showcase the cultural beauty with their fellow citizens in the greater Sacramento area and keep the culture alive for future generations.

Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) Sacramento Chapter

The Florin Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) is one of the oldest and most active local community organizations involved in teaching cross-cultural understanding and promoting civil rights of all people. Established in 1935, the Florin JACL is run entirely by volunteers, and is sustained from community donations and membership dues.

My Sister’s House

My Sister’s House serves Asian and Pacific Islander and other underserved women and children impacted by domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking by providing a culturally appropriate and responsive safe haven, job training, and community services.

NorCal Chamorro Club

The Northern California Chamorro Club was formed to create unity, and to offer social, and recreational activities for members of the Chamorro community. To provide comfort, and assistance to members of the Chamorro community in times of misfortune: foster, advance, and maintain a spirit of family, and comradeship among its members, and to generally encourage better citizenship, and finer living. To offer an avenue for children of the Chamorro community to learn, and retain the cultural elements, and customs of The Marianas Islands.

OCA Sacramento-Asian Pacific American Advocates

OCA represents Asian Pacific American Advocates, a national organization dedicated to advancing the social, political and economic well-being of Asian Pacific Islander Americans in the United States.

Pacific Islander/Southeast-Asian American Resilience Integrity and Self-Determination through Education (PRISE) at American River College

PRISE is a Pacific Islander and Southeast Asian learning community that aims to create a home/family atmosphere for students on campus and is one of the core programs in APISC. PRISErs receive assistance in reaching their academic goals at ARC through dedicated courses, academic counseling, peer mentoring, cultural enrichment, and book assistance. 

Sacramento Valley Korean American Community

The Korean American Association of Sacramento, which started in 1962 and is now in its 26th generation, has a history of over 50 years.

To’utupu’o e ‘Otu Felenite Association (TOFA)

The mission of TOFA is to preserve and enhance the overall Health and Wellness of the Pacific Islander community in the Greater Sacramento Area by providing resources that support and promote higher education, community leadership opportunities, civil rights awareness, and cultural arts.

United Territories Of Pacific Islanders Alliance (UTOPIA) Sacramento

UTOPIA Sacramento’s primary focus is to provide an advocacy platform for the City of and County of Sacramento’s LGBTQI Pacific Islander’s population as well as the greater Pacific Islander community. The COVID crisis has disproportionately impacted Pacific Islanders so their focus has pivoted entirely to responding to the pandemic. UTOPIA Sacramento’s current objective is to provide Pacific Islanders with education, support and access to information about Health and Human Services programs available to them for testing and vaccination.

Wonoti Program/Native American and Pacific Islander Resource Room/Native American and Pacific Islander Club at Sierra College

The Wonoti Program at Sierra College is open to all students and is specifically designed to increase the retention and success rates of Native American and Pacific Islander/Polynesian students. Wonoti (a Southern Maidu word meaning “to cause to grow”) is a community dedicated to enhancing the cultural and educational experiences and opportunities of Native American and Pacific Islander/Polynesian students. The Wonoti Program is informed by an indigenous worldview that seeks to emphasize tribal/village values and ethics. Wonoti was designed to educate the students in the program holistically (mentally, physically, and spiritually) while also educating the campus community about the aboriginal peoples of this land.