Wisconsin Democrats Celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

May 01, 2024

Wisconsin Democrats Celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

MADISON, Wis. — In honor of the beginning of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Democratic Party of Wisconsin AAPI Caucus Co-Chairs Caitlin Lee and Angela Jenkins and Chair Ben Wikler released the following statements:

AAPI Caucus Co-Chair Angela Jenkins:

“Today, as we mark the beginning of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we also honor the rich diversity of Wisconsin’s AAPI communities, cultures, and histories. Our AAPI community is multifaceted, a tapestry of culture and tradition spanning continents and generations, and this month we honor every individual who makes up the fabric of our community.

“Soon, AAPI history will be known statewide. Just last month, Governor Evers signed Representative Francesca Hong’s bill to require schools statewide to teach students Asian and Hmong American history so that all Wisconsinites can learn and understand Hmong and Asian American history and culture. This victory would not have been possible without the leadership of Rep. Hong who fought to make sure that every AAPI Wisconsinite knows that they belong in our state, and Rep. Katrina Shankland and the community organizers who have been fighting to include AAPI history in Wisconsin school curricula for over a decade. Without their tireless work to recognize and share AAPI history, we would not be where we are today.”

AAPI Caucus Co-Chair Caitlin Lee:

“During Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we take pride in recognizing not only the vibrant cultures that form the AAPI community nationwide but also the AAPI leaders and advocates in Wisconsin who are propelling our state forward.

“From statewide leaders like Attorney General Josh Kaul and Representative Francesca Hong to local leaders like Dane County Supervisor Brenda Yang and Milwaukee Public School District Director Jilly Gokalgandhi, AAPI Wisconsinites are leading with their values, and our state is better for it. But even as we commemorate the progress of our Wisconsin AAPI community in recent years, we acknowledge that our journey toward progress remains ongoing. It must continue to unite against AAPI hate to ensure that Wisconsin remains a safe and inclusive haven for all members of the AAPI community.”

Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Ben Wikler:

“Every May, the Democratic Party of Wisconsin is proud to honor Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, and to stand in solidarity and respect with the AAPI community.

“For far too long, many aspects of our country’s and state’s AAPI histories have been overlooked. Wisconsin is proudly home to the third-largest population of Hmong Americans nationwide, alongside a growing number of Asian Americans hailing from diverse cultural backgrounds and nations, each deserving of recognition. And now, thanks to Representative Hong and Representative Shankland’s leadership, the history and contributions of our AAPI community will be taught and celebrated in schools all across Wisconsin. 

“I am honored every day to work alongside the Democratic Party of Wisconsin’s AAPI Caucus, our AAPI partners in elected office, and AAPI-led community organizations throughout Wisconsin. Their leadership makes our state stronger, and I am grateful that we can learn from one another as we strive to make Wisconsin a better and more inclusive place for everyone who calls our state home.”