17 Creative Virtual AAPI Heritage Month Activities for Work
As we approach Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, there is a great opportunity for employers to promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace. In the past years, virtual activities have not only become a unique employee benefit, but also a way to grow bonds and promote engagement within a remote team.
We’ve gathered a range of exciting Asian/Pacific American History Month activities that are designed to broaden your horizons, strengthen your team, and make your AAPI employees feel seen. From hosted cooking classes and workshops to DIY events, there is something here for every virtual workplace! So, whether you plan to promote cultural awareness, improve employee morale, or simply have some light-hearted fun, keep reading. You’re in for a treat!
- What is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month?
- How do I celebrate AAPI Heritage Month at work virtually?
- Hosted Virtual AAPI Heritage Month Activities for Work
- 1. AAPI Allyship Workshop
- 2.Team Trivia for AAPI Heritage Month
- 3. Thai Feast Cooking Class
- 4. Sichuan Style Cooking Class
- 5. Bespoke Online Yoga Class
- 6. Virtual Paint and Sip for AAPI
- 7. Virtual Bunting Making for AAPI
- 8. DEI Consulting
- Free Educational AAPI Heritage Month Activities
- 9. AAPI Recommendation Hub
- 10. AAPI Book Club
- 11. Virtual AAPI Month Film Festival
- 12. Virtual AAPI Tours
- 13. AAPI Cultural Presentations
- 14. Asian Tea Tasting
- 15. Asian and Pacific Islander Creative Party
- 16. AAPI Language Exchange
- 17. Virtual Lunch and Learn
- Bonus Suggestion
- 18. Boost Your AAPI Employees
- Final Points
- Why is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month held in May?
- Why is it important to celebrate Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month in the workplace?
- What are the most popular AAPI Heritage Month virtual activities?
- What are the benefits of celebrating AAPI Month virtually at work?
- How can I make my AAPI Heritage Month celebrations inclusive?
What is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month?
You might know this event under a few different names, including Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month, AAPI History Month, and even Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. No matter how you name it, the month of May is dedicated to celebrating and recognizing the contributions of Asian and Pacific Islander Americans to US history and culture.
This annual event was introduced in the 1970s, but it only lasted a week at first! In 1992, May was officially designated as a month dedicated to the AAPI population and it’s celebrated to this day.
AAPI people have contributed greatly to the achievements of the United States, but they still face many difficulties and harmful stereotypes. The unique history of Asian and Pacific Islander Americans, as well as the diversity within that demographic, means that AAPI History Month is a nuanced holiday that deserves a lot of recognition.
How do I celebrate AAPI Heritage Month at work virtually?
It’s important to carefully research your celebrations of AAPI Heritage Month at work. Make sure the activities are respectful and educational, avoid stereotypes and keep it inclusive. You can talk to your AAPI employees – perhaps they can give you some ideas, draw attention to topics that need to be addressed and tell you what to avoid. Remember you should not pressure them to participate or share their experiences though – cultural identity is a very personal matter.
You can celebrate AAPI Heritage Month with educational and cultural activities. Learning about the traditions and history of the population, supporting AAPI creators and hosting diversity and inclusion events are just some of the ways you can celebrate in a valuable, engaging way.
Hosted Virtual AAPI Heritage Month Activities for Work
Organizing virtual team activities for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month is a lot of work. Can’t afford to spend much time planning but still want to acknowledge the event? Good news! A remote team-building company like Tagvenue Virtual can do all the legwork for you. You just need to pick an activity, provide all the details, and make sure your employees are prepared!
Here are some of our favorite hosted AAPI activities for remote teams.
1. AAPI Allyship Workshop
- Pricing: Request a quote
- Group Size: 1-500
- Duration: 60 minutes
One of the most valuable things you can do for AAPI Heritage Month is to learn how to be a real ally and advocate for the community. The AAPI Allyship Workshop will teach your team about Asian and Pacific American history, notable figures, and nuances through trivia questions and reflective exercises. Once your employees learn how to address discrimination and be more inclusive in the workplace, the relationships within your team can become stronger and healthier!
2.Team Trivia for AAPI Heritage Month
- Pricing: from £16/$19 per person
- Group size: 6-400
- Duration: 60 minutes
We believe that knowing is caring. Awareness of AAPI culture, history and traditions is what allows us to stay respectful and show appreciation to this remarkable community! Our Team Quest Trivia has custom game sets made especially for Asian American and Pacific Islander History Month. Your remote team will compete in games that promote cooperation, communication and cooperation. The result? A more knowledgeable and strongly bonded team!
3. Thai Feast Cooking Class
- Pricing: from £29/$41 per person
- Group size: 10-1000
- Duration: 120 minutes
Bond with your team over an easy-going yet extremely informative cooking masterclass! You can craft (and then feast on, of course) three dishes inspired by Thai cuisine. A shopping list and in-depth recipe card are included. The Thai Feast Cooking Class is a great opportunity to learn more about one of the most popular Asian cuisines for AAPI Heritage Month. This activity is hosted by a professional chef, so you’ll be in good hands!
4. Sichuan Style Cooking Class
- Pricing: from £29 per person
- Group size: 10-1000
- Duration: 120 minutes
Sichuan food is one of the most loved cuisines originating in China. It’s known for its bold flavors, spices, and preserved dishes, and you’re about to learn how to make the most popular ones! Sichuan Style Cooking Class, hosted by a chef from Jamie Oliver’s Cookery School, is a culture-building event that’s fantastic for Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month. Afterwards, you can host a virtual lunch and learn to add an educational activity to your celebration.
5. Bespoke Online Yoga Class
- Pricing: Request a quote
- Group size: 1-500
- Duration: 30-60 minutes
Yoga originated in ancient India as a practice that promotes physical and mental well-being. If you want to celebrate an important part of India’s culture while also boosting your employees’ wellness, it’s a foolproof AAPI Month activity! The Bespoke Online Yoga Class, hosted by an experienced teacher, will also provide you with a deep understanding of this practice, so you can educate yourselves while relaxing.
6. Virtual Paint and Sip for AAPI
- Pricing: from £42/$40 per person
- Group size: 15-100
- Duration: 60/90 minutes
Get creative and create AAPI-inspired artworks! Your team will be sent a painting (or sculpting) kit and provided with a link to jump on a call with an enthusiastic art teacher. All you need to do is grab drinks of your choice (maybe a glass of Japanese Sake or a Mai Tai?) and immerse yourselves in the Paintvine experience. A virtual painting session is great for team-building and boosting creativity.
7. Virtual Bunting Making for AAPI
- Pricing: from £30/$36 per person
- Group size: 2-1000
- Duration: 3 hours
Our Virtual Bunting Making Class is a fun and customisable creative activity for teams during Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month. You can ask for custom materials, so your team can craft decorative buntings that celebrate AAPI cultures or their own heritage! This activity has a long-lasting effect, too: if your colleagues decorate their workspaces with the bunting, it’s an instant mood-booster!
8. DEI Consulting
- Pricing: £1383/$1699
- Group size: 2-300
- Duration: 60 minutes
If you want to put in an effort to improve the diversity, equity and inclusion at your workplace this AAPI Month, our DEI Consulting is for you! This activity will help you to implement better policies while your employees learn to be more empathetic and aware of cultural differences.
Free Educational AAPI Heritage Month Activities
We’ve got plenty of ideas for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month activities you can host by yourself. From immersing yourself in the cultures to insightful discussions, May brings a lot of opportunities for growth within your remote team.
9. AAPI Recommendation Hub
The easiest way to support the AAPI community is to promote Asian- and Pacific Islander-owned businesses and creators. Give your employees space to share and recommend their favorite AAPI companies, local services, artists, and online creators. It can be a series of short meetings or a dedicated channel on your messaging platform.
You can start off the discussion with a list of fantastic AAPI podcasts, brands, or music artists. Let the recommendations roll!
10. AAPI Book Club
Running a book club at your remote company is an excellent way to ensure constant team-building and development within the team. If there isn’t one yet, AAPI History Month is a great time to set it up! Start with a list of books from AAPI authors and let your employees decide which ones to read for the book club in a poll.
Our best tip? Don’t let the club die out once May ends! There’s always great literature to read and share, as well as cultures to celebrate. According to Harvard Business Review, book clubs hold plenty of benefits for businesses, so don’t hesitate!
11. Virtual AAPI Month Film Festival
Get inspired by the CAAMFest and host your own remote Asian and Pacific Islander film festival. Pick a selection of films and documentaries to watch for AAPI Heritage Month in 2023, set up streams on a dedicated platform, and let your employees soak in AAPI culture after work. Alternatively, you can create a list of recommended movies and ask your employees to watch them in their own time.
You can even organize a discussion at the end of the month, so that everyone can share their thoughts and observations!
12. Virtual AAPI Tours
You probably can’t take your team to a museum or art gallery in person, but you can visit these places online! Admire the exhibits at Hawaii State Art Museum, take a virtual stroll through New York’s Chinatown, and marvel at Vietnam’s heritage sites. All of this (and more!) is available to you and your remote team within a few clicks.
Taking a virtual tour of a museum or significant location is a great way to celebrate AAPI Heritage Month from home. It will provide a well-appreciated break from the workday routine for your employees, while also educating them on important matters.
13. AAPI Cultural Presentations
Encourage your employees to create their own cultural presentations about their AAPI heritage or the heritage of a loved one. This can be an opportunity for them to share their own stories, bond over shared experiences, and open their minds to different cultures. This kind of activity also allows them to understand each other better, which can lead to better collaboration and fewer conflicts.
14. Asian Tea Tasting
No, there’s no one ‘Asian tea’. Instead, this drink is found in many delicious forms across the whole continent! From classic Indian Darjeeling to the trendy Boba coming straight from Taiwan, your choice of Asian teas is extensive. You can send your remote employees packages with different varieties of this leafy drink or simply provide them with a shopping list.
As AAPI Heritage Month is a month-long, you can dedicate different days to different types of tea and even make a company-wide ‘favorite tea ranking’! Matcha Monday, anyone?
15. Asian and Pacific Islander Creative Party
Crafting activities are a fun and engaging way to immerse yourself in AAPI culture. AAPI cultures are diverse, so there’s no one craft that can be associated with all of them, but you can do your research and find something suitable, like origami or calligraphy! However, remember to stay respectful – some forms of artistic expression might be connected with religion and other sensitive areas of culture.
16. AAPI Language Exchange
A language exchange is a fantastic idea if a lot of your employees speak the languages of Asia and the Pacific Islands. Did you know there are over 2,000 languages in Asia alone? Surely, no one can master even one of them in just a month, but you can learn some basics!
The concept of language exchange is simple: each employee who speaks one of the AAPI languages, native or not, fills in the form with a range of the most common words and phrases. Afterwards, they’re all posted in one place, so everyone can browse and learn bits of different tongues! You can even encourage the team to hop on video calls throughout the month to go a step further and learn proper pronunciation.
17. Virtual Lunch and Learn
A lunch and learn is a simple way to celebrate any special occasion with thoughtful discussions while including elements of team-building. You can combine this idea with any of the previous activities to talk through your team’s takeaways and keep the conversation going. Alternatively, here are some good discussion topics for AAPI Heritage Month:
- Asian and Pacific Islander history in media
- AAPI figures who changed the world
- Asian business etiquette
- History of Asian/Pacific Americans
- Stereotypes of the AAPI population (and how to avoid them)
18. Boost Your AAPI Employees
In 2018, Asian Americans were the least likely US demographic to be promoted to management. The AAPI population still faces many challenges and stereotypes in the professional world, despite efforts to change this situation.
Think of your AAPI employees – are they given equal opportunities? It’s never a bad idea to give your team a small boost, especially through professional development activities! You can organize our Keynote and Workshops to help your virtual team enhance their skills or gift your female AAPI colleagues a Leadership Accelerator experience.
It’s important to ensure diversity and equity within your company. It’s easy to unintentionally exclude certain people and notice signs of inequality, especially when working from home. AAPI Month is just one of the opportunities to take action and make a difference, but you need to work on this all year long.
Don’t forget about events such as Black History Month, Women’s History Month, and Pride Month. These events are just opportunities to highlight and acknowledge the culture and struggles of a certain minority group, but your efforts to keep your remote workplace inclusive need to be broad and consistent.
Asian American and Pacific Islander History Month is a rather serious holiday, but it doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun with your team! Celebrating AAPI Month at work, virtually or not, is the perfect opportunity for team-building and education.
Why is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month held in May?
AAPI Heritage Month was first celebrated in the first 10 days of May, as these dates include two important milestones in AAPI history. On May 7, 1843, first Japanese immigrants arrived in the US. On May 10, 1869 the transcontinental railroad was completed. Chinese workers played a critical role in its construction.
Why is it important to celebrate Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month in the workplace?
Diversity in the workplace boosts creativity, improves productivity, and helps with employee engagement, among many other benefits! It’s crucial to nurture inclusion and openness within your virtual team. Celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month allows you to educate all of your employees on important cultural differences and issues. It also shows your AAPI colleagues that you care about their heritage.
What are the most popular AAPI Heritage Month virtual activities?
Virtual teams often celebrate AAPI Heritage Month through educational activities, which allow them to learn something new about AAPI cultures and raise awareness of social issues this demographic faces. DEI workshops and consulting are often booked in May to ensure a diverse and inclusive workplace. Companies who choose to celebrate in a more laid-back way often go for virtual cooking masterclasses or creative workshops.
What are the benefits of celebrating AAPI Month virtually at work?
AAPI History Month activities at work are an easy way to grow healthy work relationships, improve morale within your team, and provide a much needed break from regular work days. Regular team building events can also help you build trust between virtual colleagues, which translates into a more engaged and effective team!
How can I make my AAPI Heritage Month celebrations inclusive?
The best way to make your celebrations inclusive is to do thorough research on the topic, chat to AAPI individuals, and avoid stereotypes. A good rule of thumb is if you’re not 100% sure if something is non-offensive and can’t check, it’s best to skip it. Additionally, make sure not to exclude anyone (AAPI or not) from the activities, but also don’t pressure individuals to participate.