In celebration of American Asian Native Hawaiian Pasifika (AANHP) Heritage month, I would like to take a moment to acknowledge and honor the history, culture and contributions of our AANHP community.
Recognizing heritage months provides an opportunity for us to celebrate the diverse communities that make up our region and to better understand how systemic racism has impacted these communities, both past and present, and the work we can do together to help dismantle it.
Over 20 percent of the population in King County identifies as American Asian, Native Hawaiian, and/or Pasifika—one of the largest in the country. AANHP immigrants played a significant role in building Washington state’s infrastructure, including railroads, mines and fisheries. Yet, for generations, the AANHP community has faced legalized discrimination and racial hostility.
This was exemplified by the Chinese Exclusion Act (passed in 1882) and subsequent anti-Chinese riots in Seattle and Tacoma, and Alien land laws, which limited rights of American Asians to own property and work in certain industries. During World War II, thousands of Japanese Americans in Washington state were forcibly removed from their homes and incarcerated at the Puyallup Fairgrounds.
Today, the AANHP communities still face overt racism and discrimination.
Metro stands with our AANHP community against hate and discrimination and commits to fighting structural and institutional racism.
I encourage you to spend time exploring the numerous AANHP community hubs, businesses and restaurants throughout our County and region. Providing access to them is one way Metro honors and celebrates these communities in our everyday work.
.Below are a few suggestions:
- Chinatown-International District (CID) in Seattle. The CID is the collective of three distinct neighborhoods: Chinatown, Nihonmachi (Japantown), and Little Saigon. The area also historically included Filipino Town. You can learn more by reading this brief history or by visiting the acclaimed local Wing Luke Museum (Link light rail, Seattle Streetcar, Routes 36, 106).
- White Center, a central location for a growing Cambodian community (RapidRide H Line).
- South Asian community hubs in the Crossroads/Overlake neighborhoods on the Eastside (Routes 221, 226, 245, 249, and RapidRide B Line).
- Korean community hubs in Federal Way (Routes 181 182, 187 and RapidRide A Line) and North Seattle/Shoreline (Routes 301, 330, 348, and RapidRide E Line).
- There are also many Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander establishments to frequent, which are more dispersed throughout the County. If you need help finding one, the Intentionalist has compiled useful search guides.
- Tacoma Chinese Reconciliation Park – Promoting peace, harmony and understanding in our multi-cultural community (tacomachinesepark.org)