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AANHPI Month: Celebrating Women's Champion Patsy Mink

In 1992, the US Congress designated May as Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Communities and Schools around the country have begun celebrating the achievements and contributions of Asian, Hawaiian, and Pacific Island Americans with festivals and events throughout the month. Here in Hawai’i, with more than 50% of our population identifying as such, we proudly recognize AANHPI accomplishments and cultures year round.


While there are many AANHPI women to celebrate, one woman’s lifetime work and achievements align perfectly with our mission at AAUW Honolulu - a local and national hero, who passionately advocated for women’s rights, when it was not popular - Patsy Takemoto Mink. A few weeks ago, on April 17, 2024, the US Mint celebrated the Honorable Patsy Takemoto Mink Quarter during an event in Washington, DC. Mink, a Japanese American, born in Hawai’i, was the first woman of color to serve in Congress. She fought for gender and racial equality, affordable childcare, and environmental protection. She is best known for championing Title IX, legislation which opened new opportunities to women in education and school sports. We have yet to see a woman or Asian American US President, but back in 1972, she became the first Asian American to run for the Democratic nomination for president.


The film, Patsy Mink: Ahead of the Majority, directed and produced by Kimberlee Bassford, can be seen HERE for free, with a Public Library card. Bassford, also an Asian American woman from Hawai’i, has been showcasing the girls and women of Hawai’i in her films since 2003. Find out more about her films here.

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