Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month

Our movement is rooted in the ongoing shared struggle for equal rights and full equality. And, our work will never be complete until we create an anti-racist healthcare system that fully supports caregivers and patients of color and provides all patients with culturally-responsive care.

NUHW would not exist without the hard work and sacrifices of members from the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities and the inspiration that we all draw from the civil rights leaders of the past and present. We honor the lives and the legacies of those who came before us and stand out among us, and we welcome you to support and get to know their work.

Phil Ting Phil Ting is a member of the California State Assembly and chair of the Assembly Budget Committee. Born in Portland, Oregon, Ting earned an undergraduate degree in political science from UC Berkeley, and an MBA from Harvard Business School before getting into politics. Ting began his political career in 2005, when he was appointed to […]
Janice Mirikitani Janice Mirikitani (1941-2021) was a Japanese-American poet, activist, and community leader. Born in Stockton, California. She and her family were forcibly relocated to Japanese internment camps during World War II, after which she settled in San Francisco. Mirikitani began writing poetry at a young age as a way to cope with the trauma of her family’s […]
Betty Yee Betty Yee is an American politician with a long and distinguished career in public service. Yee grew up in the Bay Area and attended UC Berkeley, where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and a Master’s degree in Public Administration. After college she served as a staff member for several California legislators, including Willie […]
Fiona Ma Throughout her political career, California State Treasurer Fiona Ma has been a strong advocate for small businesses, working families, and communities of color. Born in New York City, Ma grew up in San Francisco and earned degrees in accounting and taxation from UC Berkeley and Golden Gate University before embarking on her political career. She […]
Yuri Kochiyama Yuri Kochiyama (1921-2014) was a Japanese-American activist known for her work in the civil rights movement and her advocacy for social justice. She was born in San Pedro, California, and was raised in a predominantly white community. During World War II, Kochiyama and her family were forcibly relocated to an internment camp in Arkansas, along […]
Dalip Singh Sound Dalip Singh Saund (1899-1973) was an Indian-American politician and civil rights activist who became the first Asian American to serve in the United States Congress. Born in Chhajulwadi, Punjab, India (now part of Pakistan), Saund immigrated to the United States to attend college and earned a Ph.D. in mathematics from UC Berkeley. Before becoming involved […]
Ai-Jen Poo Ai-jen Poo is an American labor organizer and activist known for advocating for the rights of often overlooked domestic workers and caregivers. Through her advocacy and activism, she has helped to bring attention to the important but often overlooked work of domestic workers and caregivers, and has worked to ensure that they are treated with the […]
Polynesian Panthers The Polynesian Panther Party (PPP) (founded in 1971) was a social justice and civil rights movement established in New Zealand in response to systemic racism and discrimination against Pacific Islanders, who were often subjected to police brutality and other forms of discrimination. Founded by Will ‘Ilolahia, a Tongan community leader, the group was heavily influenced […]
Larry Itliong Larry Itliong (1913-1977) was a Filipino-American labor leader and activist who played a key role in the American labor movement. Itliong’s contributions to the labor movement have often been overlooked. In recent years, there has been a renewed effort to honor his legacy with schools and public spaces being named in his honor. Itliong migrated […]
Yuji Ishioka Yuji Ichioka (1936-2002) was a Japanese American historian and activist deeply committed to social justice and the struggle for civil rights. He was a leading figure in the development of Asian American studies, co-founding the Asian American Political Alliance (AAPA) at UC Berkeley, one of the first student organizations to advocate for Asian American rights […]
Grace Lee Boggs Grace Lee Boggs (1915-2015) was a Chinese-American author, philosopher, and civil rights activist who played a significant role in the Black Power movement and the broader struggle for social justice and human rights. Boggs worked closely with her husband, James Boggs, a Black activist and writer, to promote revolutionary change in America. Together, they co-founded […]
May Ying Chen Chinese-American immigrant rights activist May Ying was born in Hong Kong and grew up in San Francisco, California. Ying’s activism began in the early 1980s, when she worked with refugees and immigrants from Southeast Asia who were settling in the Bay Area. She became a leader in the movement to support these communities and advocate for […]
Philip Vera Cruz Philip Vera Cruz (1904-1994) was a Filipino American whose impact on the labor movement paved the way for generations of organizers to come. After emigrating to the United States in his early 20s, Cruz worked a variety of labor jobs in California from a box factory to a restaurant to doing farm work as a […]
George Takei George Takei is a Japanese American actor and activist best known for his role as Hikaru Sulu in the original Star Trek series. Informed by his experience of being forcibly relocated to a Japanese internment camp during World War II, Takei has been a prominent voice in advocating for social justice and civil rights, particularly […]
Velma Veloria Velma Veloria is a Filipino-American politician and labor organizer. She was born in the Philippines and moved to the United States in the early 1960s, settling in Seattle. She became involved in politics as a young woman and has been a tireless advocate for workers’ rights, human rights, and social justice. Veloria served in the Washington […]
Tammy Duckworth Illinois Senator and Iraq War combat veteran Tammy Duckworth has used her platform to advocate for veterans' issues.
David Chiu David Chiu San Francisco’s first Asian city attorney of San Francisco, is a strong advocate for social justice and environmental sustainability. A Harvard Law graduate, Chiu has worked as a corporate attorney for several top law firms and is the founder of a small business that provides affordable housing to San Francisco residents. Prior to […]
Kamala Harris United States Vice President Kamala Harris is the first woman, the first African American, and the first Indian American to serve in that role. Born in Oakland and raised in the Bay Area, Harris began her career as a prosecutor, working as a Deputy District Attorney in Alameda County and San Francisco before being elected as […]