Ajax Council is proud to recognize May as Asian Heritage Month, dedicated to celebrating more than 30 countries that make up the Asian and South Asian communities. Throughout the month, the Town will be remembering, reflecting and honouring the many contributions of the Asian community in Canada, as well as the historic and ongoing activism of Asian and South Asian people toward the fight for human rights and social justice.

Throughout the past year, the rise in violence and discrimination against the Asian community has increased due to xenophobia and misinformed characteristics of Covid-19. Asian Heritage Month is a time to continue the fight against anti-Asian racism and social injustices.

In support of the Chinese Canadian National Council’s calls for immediate action against anti-racism efforts, Ajax Council has joined municipalities across Canada and proclaimed May 10, 2021 as the Day of Action Against Anti-Asian Racism. As part of the Day of Action, Stand With Asians Coalition (SWAC) is hosting an online rally on May 10, 2021 at 8 p.m. To register click here. To help amplify and bring attention to this day of action, the Town will be pausing all social media activity across our corporate channels and will dedicate our feeds to combating anti-Asian racism via information, resources and advocacy opportunities.

Quotes

“Ajax Council is committed to celebrating the diversity of our unique community and continuing to take a stand against anti-Asian hate. By proclaiming May as Asian Heritage Month in Ajax and marking May 10 as the Day of Action Against Anti-Asian Racism, we reaffirm our role and acknowledge our responsibility in bringing our community together through learning, listening, reflecting and celebrating the many contributions of the Asian community. The Asian community has a deep history of sacrifice, skill, dedication and courage which builds the long-standing resiliency and diverse fabric of Canada.” – Mayor Shaun Collier, Town of Ajax

“As a proud Chinese-Canadian and Regional Councillor, I am pleased that Ajax Council has stepped up to publicly acknowledge the history of racism and discrimination experienced by the Asian community – both throughout Canadian history and ongoing today. I am honoured to represent my community by co-hosting a special Asian Heritage Month segment with Councillor Lisa Bower on Rogers TV Durham later this month, where the goal is to build understanding and address stereotypes by sharing personal experiences.” – Sterling Lee, Regional Councillor Ward 2, Town of Ajax

“I am thrilled to play a role in fostering understanding, bringing together our broader community and Ajax’s Asian population, which I am proud to be a part of. In addition to co-hosting the Asian Heritage Month special with Regional Councillor Lee, we will be joining the Ajax Public Library’s Teen Advisory Committee to discuss anti-Asian discrimination on May 31. These kinds of conversations are increasingly important as we work to build bridges through open and honest dialogue to stop the cycle of misinformation that drives discrimination and hate.” – Lisa Bower, Councillor Ward 3, Town of Ajax

Quick Facts

  • Asian Heritage Month has been celebrated in Canada since the 1990s. The month has been formally recognized by the Government of Canada since May 2002.
  • May 5 is South Asian Arrival Day which commemorates the arrival of South Asians from the Indian subcontinent who fled political warfare and indentured slavery to the Americas beginning on May 5, 1838. For more information, see South Asian Heritage Act, 2001, S.O. 2001, c. 29.
  • May 10 is Day of Action Against Anti-Asian Racism.
  • Research has shown that over 1,150 instances of anti-Asian racism has taken place in Canada between March 2020 and February 2021.
  • At the April 19, 2021 Ajax Council meeting, Council unanimously passed Regional Councillor Lee and Councillor Bower’s Stop Asian Hate motion.

Learn More