More than 30 years after President George H.W. Bush signed a law dedicating May 1990 the first national Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Asian American history remains relatively untaught. Asian American history lessons are usually limited to a few major historical milestones, with less of a focus on the influential Asian Americans that contributed to our country’s history. In a recent academic study conducted by the nonprofit Leading Asian Americans to Unite for Change (LAAUNCH), researchers found that 42% of respondents couldn’t name a single influential Asian American.
However, for an Asian American Adoptee, seeing a successful figure who is also a “racial mirror” (someone who looks like the Adoptee) is an important part of building a healthy racial and Adoptee identity. By giving them people to look up to who share their same race and/or ethnicity, racial mirrors allow children to develop positive feelings about their race. Learning about influential Asian Americans who have accomplished great things in history can help our adopted children dream big about their futures.
Learn more about some of the influential Asian American figures, past and present, who come from the countries where we work!