“We are at a time in our lives that requires us to speak up and act up for what is in our best interest, and to refuse to be apologetic in demanding positive change to our current political, governmental, and educational environments.” These are the words of Ibrahim Ali, president of Asian Pacific Americans in Higher Education (APAHE), which, for the past 35 years, has been bringing together faculty, staff and students from across the country who are engaged in efforts to educate, advance and advocate for Asian Pacific Americans in higher education. Last month, hundreds of folks gathered in Long Beach, California, for APAHE's annual conference.

The APAHE conference in April is followed each year by Asian Pacific American Heritage Month in May. We understand there’s a lot going on right now. Reproductive rights are at risk. Nations are in conflict. Viruses are spreading and mutating. And everyone is running headlong into the end of the semester. It may be that more of us are feeling exhausted than triumphant. But as we prepare for final exams and grading, and lean into institutional transitions, and prepare to celebrate our graduates at Commencement, we may want to pause.

Pause to appreciate the outstanding contributions of Asian Pacific Americans throughout history.

Pause to recognize the continuing injustices faced by the Asian Pacific American community.

Pause to reflect on the diversity, complexity, and abundance of Asian Pacific American culture.

Pause and consider President Ali’s words, and remember that May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.