May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, established by Congress in 1992 in recognition of the nation’s Asians and Pacific Islanders. According to the U.S. Census, as of 2017, 6.1 percent of Chicago’s population was Asian, Native Hawaiian, or other Pacific Islander, making it the city’s fifth-largest demographic. And according to the U. of C.’s Center for Asian Health Equity, as of 2014, 80% of the Asian-Americans in Illinois resided in the Chicago metropolitan area.
Here are just a few photos from the many local celebrations of Asian- and Pacific-American heritage and culture this month. The category encompasses more than 50 ethnic groups, so this post doesn’t pretend to fully capture them; see Related Stories for more.