Notable faces you should recognize this Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

We’re celebrating the AAPI community all throughout May

Rep. Patsy Takemoto Mink, D-Hawaii, puts a homemade name plate on the door of her new office. The only woman at the time to be elected to the 89th Congress, Mink, then 37, was also the first woman of AAPI ancestry (she's Japanese) to serve in Congress. (Bettmann, Getty Images)

May marks Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, a time in which we pay tribute to the generations of people who have enriched our country’s history -- and the ones who are still growing up, who will be instrumental in future successes.

Just in the past few weeks, efforts to create a national Asian Pacific American museum in Washington, D.C., pushed ahead.

The House passed legislation that would create a commission to study the feasibility of a new National Museum of Asian Pacific American History and Culture. The commission would study the costs involved, possible locations in Washington and whether it should be part of the Smithsonian Institution. The bill was approved overwhelmingly, and now heads to the Senate.

Also, people of Japanese descent are gearing up for their first-ever parade in New York City, set for Saturday on Manhattan’s Central Park West.

Organizers initially aimed to coincide with the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic postponed their plans.

Ambassador Mikio Mori, the Japanese consul-general in New York, said the delay created momentum to make the event even better.

The parade stands to boost visibility for the New York metropolitan area’s Japanese and Japanese American community. A Pew Research Center analysis of Census Bureau data says the New York area has the nation’s fourth-largest Japanese population at roughly 56,000.

Below are some notable names and faces showing people of Asian and Pacific Islander decent. These are athletes, celebrities, scientists, musicians and more.

Kristi Yamaguchi of the USA celebrates her gold medal during the awards ceremony for the Women's Individual figure skating event of the 1990 Goodwill Games held July 20 through Aug. 5, 1990, in Seattle, Washington. (Getty Images)
Hines Ward, formerly of the Pittsburgh Steelers, is shown in action during a Pinnacle NFL Rookie Shoot at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Florida. (Allsport/Getty Images)
Major Sammy Lee, of the Army Medical Corps, is shown after he was named winner of the 1953 James E. Sullivan Memorial Trophy by the National A.A.U. The 33-year-old two-time Olympic platform diving champ was chosen as the "amateur athlete who, by performance, example, and good influence, did most to advance the cause of good sportsmanship during the year." Lee, who was the runner-up for the trophy the year before, was the first diver and also the oldest athlete ever (at the time) chosen for the honor. (Bettman Archive/Getty Images)
American tennis player Michael Chang competes at the French Open in Paris in 1989. He won the tournament, becoming at the time the youngest male winner of a Grand Slam singles event at the age of 17. (Getty Images)
In this 1997 photo, Tiger Woods, at left, is seen smiling with his mother, Kultida Woods, at the Motorola Western Open at the Cog Hill Country Club in Lemont, Illinois. (Allsport/Getty Images)
The Chinese-American flight pilot Katherine Sui Fun Cheung is photographed in the 1930s. (Austrian Archives/Getty Images)
Chinese-American martial artist, actor, director, martial arts instructor and philosopher Bruce Lee, circa 1970. (Getty Images)
In this 1985 photo, Dr. Haing S. Ngor holds up the Oscar that he won for Best Supporting Actor at the 1984 Academy Awards Ceremony for his work in "The Killing Fields." (Getty Images)
American NASA astronaut Ellison Onizuka is shown wearing a blue NASA jumpsuit and smiling, in a studio portrait between the NASA flag and a model of a space shuttle at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, on Jan. 31, 1978. On Jan. 28, 1986, Onizuka was among the seven crew members killed when the Space Shuttle Challenger broke apart shortly after the launch of mission STS-51-L. (Getty Images/Archive Photos/Hulton Archive)
Actress Nancy Kwan poses for a portrait in 1961. (Getty Images)
Physics professor Dr. Chien-Shiung Wu in a laboratory at Columbia University. Dr. Wu became the first woman to win the Research Corporation Award after providing the first experimental proof, along with scientists from the National Bureau of Standards, that the principle of parity conservation does not hold in weak subatomic interactions. (Getty Images)
Comedian Margaret Cho poses for a portrait on Jan. 28, 1994 in New York City. (Getty Images)
American musician Kim Thayil of Soundgarden, at Lollapalooza 1992 in Waterloo Village. (WireImage/Getty Images)
A portrait of American actor Pat Morita standing against a tapestry in 1988. (Getty Images)
American actress, voice actress, singer and former model Tia Carrere in 1992. (Corbis/VCG via Getty Images)
A portrait of American fashion designer Anna Sui as she poses, dressed in a white suit, against a white background in a studio in New York City in 1991. (Getty Images)
In this 1995 photo, Mohini Bhardwaj, of the U.S., competes in the vault competition at a gymnastics invitational in Atlanta. Bhardwaj won gold. (Getty Images)
U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth, D-Illinois, arrives for a town hall meeting on April 11, 2017 in Palatine, Illinois. (Getty Images)
American astronaut Leroy Chiao performs extra-vehicular activity during NASA's Space Shuttle Endeavour mission STS-72, in January 1996. (Getty Images)
Padma Lakshmi and Vikram Chatwal are shown during the cookbook launch for Lakshmi's "Easy Exotic" book at Chez es Saada in New York City in 1999. (Getty Images)
Offensive lineman Eugene Chung, No. 34 of the Jacksonville Jaguars, was the first player of Asian descent to be selected in the first round of the NFL draft, as he's shown standing on the field during the final regular-season game against the Cleveland Browns at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium on Dec. 24, 1995. (Getty Images)
Smashing Pumpkins' James Iha is shown at the Rock Torhout Festival in Belgium in May 1997. (Getty Images)
Leading AIDS researcher Dr. David Ho poses for a portrait in his lab at the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center on May 27, 1998 in New York City. (Getty Images)

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


About the Author:

Michelle is the Managing Editor of Graham Media Group's Digital Content Team, which writes for all of the company's news websites.