Support These Organizations for AAPI Heritage Month!

Every year during the month of May, we celebrate Asians and Pacific Islanders and their contributions to American culture. This month was specifically chosen to commemorate the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants to the United States on May 7, 1843, and the completion of the transcontinental railroad, which was built by mostly Chinese immigrants, on May 10, 1869.

These 31 days acknowledge the accomplishments and contributions of the AAPI communities. Be it through their voices, skills, activism, food, fashion or music. You too can contribute to or visit these Portland AAPI organizations listed below.

APANO is a volunteer-led, statewide organization advocating for the interests of Asians and Pacific Islanders. They strive to unite communities across ethnicity, language, and age, and to address critical social justice issues in Oregon.

Learn how to volunteer or donate to APANO here.

Located right in Southeast Portland, the Asian Health & Service Center‘s mission is “to be the bridge between Asian and American cultures and build a harmonious community” and “reduce health inequity and improve health care quality for all Asians.” Not only does the center have a plethora of multilingual staff, but they offer a variety of health and community- based services. From mental health clinics to wellness groups, and even weekly clubs.

You can donate or sign up to volunteer here.


Project Lotus

In the early days of the pandemic, four Portland high school students founded Project Lotus to raise awareness about mental health in the Asian American community. Asian Americans are three times less likely to seek mental health assistance than other Americans. In particular, it has culturally been a taboo topic among families. Project Lotus seeks to bridge that gap with webinars, community blogs, and a podcast entitled “The Root Problem.”

You can donate or sign up to volunteer here.


Founded by members of the Portland Asian American dance rock band The Slants, the eponymous foundation believes in amplifying underrepresented voices that challenge conventional thinking. They continually work at the intersection of arts and activism while partnering creators with grassroots organizations to ultimately “transform systems.” They even give out grants and scholarships to artists who “counter hate with art,” and tackle social issues through non-traditional artistic approaches.

You can donate here, and listen to our interview with The Slants here.


Lan Su Chinese Garden

Image via City of Portland, Oregon.

An absolute icon in the Old Town Portland community, the Lan Su Chinese Garden was founded in 2000 to “cultivate an oasis of tranquil beauty and harmony.” Lan Su was built by Chinese artisans from Suzhou (our sister city) and is one the most authentic Chinese gardens outside of China.

You can learn how to volunteer here or donate here.


Portland Japanese Garden

All images via Portland Japanese Garden.

Said to be one of the most authentic Japanese gardens outside of Japan by former Japanese ambassador to the United States, Nobuo Matsunaga, the 12-acre space includes an authentic Japanese tea house, streams, a koi pond, a gorgeous view of Mount Hood, and much more. It is also a nonprofit, created specifically to cultivate inner peace as well as harmony between people and cultures.

Support the garden by visiting or by donating here.


Japanese American Museum of Oregon

Image via JAMO.

Image via James Rodgers for nichibei.org

Image via JAMO.


Located in downtown Portland, JAMO works to preserve and share the history and culture of the Nikkei community (Japanese immigrants and their descendants). A specific focus for the museum is World War II, when Japanese-Americans were forcibly sent to internment camps following the Pearl Harbor attack in 1941. Simultaneously, Japanese American soldiers, who were some of the most decorated in military history, fought and died for the United States while their own family members were imprisoned.

To support the museum, you can visit, volunteer, or donate online.

You can also check out our interview with the Minidoka Swing Band, whose members actively remember and honor the Japanese Americans who were interned during WWII.


Portland Chinatown Museum

Image via Portland Chinatown Museum.

Image via Beth Nakamura & Oregon Live.

Image via Portland Chinatown Museum.

Oregon’s first museum about Chinese American history, art, and culture opened to the public in 2018. Despite anti-Chinese legislation and racial discrimination, Chinese merchants and workers were the earliest and largest non-European immigrant group to settle in Oregon. By 1900, Portland’s Chinatown ranked as the second largest in America. This museum provides not only a cultural attraction, but contributes to the preservation and revitalization of Old Town Chinatown.

To reserve a time to visit the museum and buy tickets, visit here. To donate, visit here. To volunteer, visit here.



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