Not In Our Schools AAPI Month Resources | Not in Our Town

Not In Our Schools AAPI Month Resources


Not In Our Town is a movement to stop hate, racism, and bullying, and build safe, inclusive communities for all. Across the country, students and teachers are sharing stories, joining together, and taking action to create safe schools, free from stereotypes, intolerance, and hate. They’re part of a movement called Not In Our School (NIOS). For more than a decade, Not In Our School has inspired students of all ages to develop and share innovative ways to resist bullying and promote an atmosphere of inclusion and belonging. 


“Asian American” describes about 22 million people living in the United States who trace their roots to more than 20 countries in East and Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent. 


Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month recognizes the rich contributions of AAPI communities to the fabric of American society. Not in Our Schools supports the opportunity for education, fostering understanding, and promoting inclusivity by acknowledging the significance of AAPI experiences, achievements, and challenges. 


Tips for including AAPI History in the classroom 

Do not stop the “regular” curriculum to do a separate lesson for Asian Americans or only teach them during AAPI History Month in May. Doing so sends a message that Asian Americans and their experiences do not matter in the “regular” curriculum. Instead, meaningfully, weave in Asian American history throughout the year. Be conscientious that curricular choices and activities do not perpetuate stereotypes including Asian Americans as perpetual foreigners and the Model Minority Myth. For example, in a unit on World War II include the Japanese incarceration AND include the case of Fred Korematsu, a Japanese American, who fought against Executive Order 9066.


“Search for people, places, things, histories, movements, events and moments that we have failed to teach because we didn’t learn them ourselves. We can no longer have hidden figures. We must uncover them because we need their genius and their narratives to make us all better.”

- Gholdy Muhammad


Below are some suggested films and lessons to promote learning and discussion about the AAPI experience in America.


The following Not In Our Town resources are worthy of inclusion in your lessons

Adarsha & Apoorva - TEACH | Not in Our Town

Adarsha Shivakumar and Apoorva Rangan are siblings who have used the power to TEACH rural Indians how to produce environmentally and economically sustainable fuel. After witnessing the devastation of local ecologies, Adarsha and Apoorva spent months in India convincing locals that processing a native fruit and using the byproducts as fuel presents a solution that balances human energy and local ecosystem needs. 


Chukou Thao - ORGANIZE | Not in Our Town

Thao, executive director of National Hmong American Farmers, immigrated to Fresno, CA with his family at age 8, after Laotian citizens were granted asylum in the US after the Vietnam War. Many of the first Hmong farmers suffered from discrimination, so Thao left his "cushy" job in the city of Fresno to ORGANIZE his community in a fight against injustice.


Laurence Tan - TEACH | Not in Our Town

The son of Filipino immigrants, Laurence Tan was studying to be a doctor when the vision of becoming a teacher presented itself in a dream. Now a fifth-grade teacher in Watts, California, Laurence uses the tool of TEACH to inspire and educate students with limited opportunities.


Waking in Oak Creek | Not in Our Town

As the Sikh community in Oak Creek, Wisconsin prepares for Sunday prayers, a deadly hate attack shatters their lives, but not their resilience. After six worshipers are killed by a white supremacist, the local community finds inspiration in the Sikh tradition of forgiveness and faith. Together, a community rocked by hate is awakened and transformed by the Sikh spirit of relentless optimism.


Hidden Voices

Hidden Voices: Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in United States History | WeTeachNYC

The Hidden Voices project was initiated to help students learn about and honor the innumerable people, often “hidden” from the traditional historical record, who have shaped and continue to shape our history and identity. These people influenced the social, political, cultural, and economic landscape of the United States, and their contributions continue to shape our collective history and identity.


Facing History: Classroom Resources on AAPI History and Contemporary Life

Classroom Resources on AAPI History and Contemporary Life

These resources can help you explore the complexities of Asian and Pacific Islander American histories and contemporary experiences with students


Learning for Justice

Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Resources | Learning for Justice

May is Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage (AAPI) Month, and while we celebrate during these four weeks, it’s essential to uplift AAPI histories, diverse identities and stories year-round. This collection of LFJ resources provides opportunities to dig deep into AAPI experiences and aims to help young people, educators and families explore the expansive impact of the AAPI community on the United States.



9 Books to Celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

To celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, PBS KIDS put together a list of favorite books featuring Asian characters, written by Asian authors, or illustrated by Asian artists — all chosen by kids and parents like you! Check out these heartwarming and fun tales with your family.


Asian American Education Project

The Asian American Education Project

The history of Asian Americans is deeply intertwined together with American history, yet often forgotten or ignored within today’s classrooms and public discourse. These lessons are a brief snapshot of the long journey of Asian immigrants and their native-born children within America’s timeline—both dark and bright, from exclusion to acceptance.



We Are Here - Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center

We Are Here: 30 Inspiring Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Who Have Shaped the United States introduces students to incredible stories of resilience, adversity, and joy.


National Education Association

Teaching Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage | NEA

Lesson plans for K-12 on AAPI month from the NEA


Get involved!

Stop AAPI Hate

Stop AAPI Hate is a national coalition fighting against racism and racial injustice targeting Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Together, we work with local communities and government stakeholders to document the rise of anti-AAPI hate and dismantle the systems that allow it to persist.


Act To Change

Act To Change leads educational programming for K-12 youth, resource support for educators and caregivers, and coalition building with advocacy organizations to impact policy.


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