OASW Celebrates Asian Heritage Month

This May marks the 20th anniversary of the official declaration of Asian Heritage Month in Canada. Championed by the Honourable Dr. Vivienne Poy, the first Canadian of Asian descent appointed to the Senate, Asian Heritage Month honours the significant achievements and contributions of people of Asian descent to Canada’s past, present and future prosperity. 

This month also offers the opportunity to celebrate and learn about the rich cultural history of Canadians who trace their heritage back to over 30 countries making up East Asia, South Asia, Central Asia, and Southeast Asia. Now more than ever, it is critical to combat the ongoing racism and discrimination experienced by those of Asian descent. 

Asian Canadians have experienced anti-Asian racism within Canada for decades, including through the development of xenophobic and systemically racist laws and practices. Disturbingly, acts of anti-Asian racism have continued to increase during the pandemic, with reports from women, children, and youth of East, Southeast, and South Asian descent climbing in 2021. 

OASW recognizes the traumatic impacts of these acts and denounces anti-Asian racism, hate and violence in all forms. We stand with social workers of Asian descent, many of whom are at the forefront of addressing anti-Asian racism and supporting their communities. As an Association, we call upon all social workers to disrupt and address anti-Asian racism and we remain committed to providing opportunities for joint discussion, learning, and action to support the mental health and well-being of Asian Canadian communities. 

Together let’s celebrate the extraordinary diversity that is our strength and stand against all forms of anti-Asian racism and discrimination. We wish you a joyful Asian Heritage Month!

Celebrate, Learn and Reflect

Who Are You? A Talk with The Honourable Dr. Vivienne Poy
: Presented by OASW Peel Region and Area (available on demand).

Anti-Asian Racism in Canada: Then and Now
: Presented by Kennes Lin, MSW, RSW and the OASW Learning Centre (available on demand).

May 6, 2022 | Asian Heritage Month 2022: Celebrating Innovation and Perseverance
: Anti-Racism Event Series presented by the Government of Canada in collaboration with the Network of Asian Federal Employees.

Fight COVID Racism
: A joint initiative of the Chinese Canadian National Council, Toronto Chapter; Chinese Canadian National Council Social Justice; Chinese and Southeast Asian Legal Clinic; and Civic Engagement Network, Society of Canada.

Resources for Combatting Anti-Asian Racism and Learning About Canadians of Asian Descent
: Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada.

Canadian Heritage: Asian Heritage Month
: Resources including posters to celebrate, noteworthy Canadians of Asian descent, events in Asian Canadian History, and tools to address ant-Asian racism.

CBC’s Asian Heritage Month Collection
: A collection of documentaries, films and shows that honour the rich culture of Asian Canadians.

About OASW
OASW is the voice of social work in Ontario. It is a voluntary, bilingual, non-profit association representing 8,000+ social workers. All members have a university degree in social work at the bachelor, master or doctoral level. OASW works to actively speak on behalf of social workers on issues of interest to the profession and advocates for the improvement of social policies and programs directly affecting social work practice and client groups served.