AAPI Heritage Month: AAPI includes hundreds of distinct groups

To honor Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month 2023, we asked AAPI members of the UC Berkeley School of Public Health community what the month means to them. We will be posting the responses throughout the month.

Today, we feature MPH graduate Shelby Rorabaugh.

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are diverse, says Shelby Rorabaugh, a recent MPH graduate in Health Policy & Management, even though American culture sees them as one homogenous group.

“There are hundreds of different diverse ethnic, cultural, and racial groups under the larger umbrella of ‘Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders,’” Rorabaugh says. “In an ideal world, we would have much more time than just 31 days out of a calendar year to properly recognize each one.”

As a person of Chinese heritage who grew up with white parents, Rorabaugh says her lived experience may be different from someone who grew up with Chinese parents. But AAPI Heritage Month helps her take time to reflect on her own heritage.

Read Rorabaugh’s full response here.