Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

May 2024: Celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Honoring Diversity, Resilience, and Contributions

May marks Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, a time to celebrate the rich and diverse cultures, histories, and contributions of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders in the United States. This annual observance offers an opportunity to reflect on the vital role these communities have played in shaping the nation’s cultural tapestry and advancing progress in various fields.

The roots of AAPI Heritage Month trace back to 1977 when Congress introduced a resolution to commemorate the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants to the United States on May 7, 1843, and the contributions of Chinese immigrants in building the transcontinental railroad, completed on May 10, 1869. Over the years, the observance expanded to recognize the multifaceted identities and achievements of diverse AAPI communities, encompassing individuals with roots in East Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, and the Pacific Islands.

One of the most significant aspects of AAPI Heritage Month is its emphasis on celebrating the resilience and perseverance of these communities in the face of adversity. Throughout history, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have encountered discrimination, exclusion, and systemic barriers, yet they have continued to overcome challenges and contribute to the nation’s social, cultural, and economic fabric. From labor activists fighting for workers’ rights to civil rights leaders advocating for justice and equality, AAPI individuals have been at the forefront of movements for social change and progress.

AAPI Heritage Month also provides an opportunity to highlight the cultural heritage and traditions that enrich American society. From vibrant festivals and celebrations to culinary delights and artistic expressions, AAPI communities offer a wealth of cultural diversity that enhances the nation’s cultural landscape. Whether it’s the colorful festivities of Lunar New Year, the graceful movements of traditional dance performances, or the intricate flavors of Asian cuisine, AAPI heritage adds depth and vibrancy to the American experience.

Moreover, AAPI Heritage Month serves as a platform to recognize the invaluable contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders across various fields, including science, technology, business, arts, and politics. From groundbreaking innovations in technology and medicine to artistic achievements in literature, music, and film, AAPI individuals have made significant contributions to every aspect of American life. Their accomplishments underscore the importance of diversity, inclusion, and representation in fostering innovation, creativity, and progress.

As we celebrate AAPI Heritage Month, let us reaffirm our commitment to honoring the diversity, resilience, and contributions of Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. Let us strive to create a more inclusive society where every individual has the opportunity to thrive and contribute their talents and perspectives. By recognizing and embracing the richness of AAPI heritage, we can build a brighter future for all Americans, united in our diversity and shared humanity.

Visit Federal Asian Pacific American Council to learn more

Alzheimer's Forum

Advocating for Alzheimer’s: The Alzheimer’s Forum in Washington, DC

In the heart of the nation’s capital, amidst the grandeur of political institutions and bustling streets, a different kind of gathering took place – one fueled not by partisan agendas, but by a shared commitment to combating Alzheimer’s disease. The Alzheimer’s Forum in Washington, DC, convened advocates, researchers, caregivers, and individuals impacted by Alzheimer’s to amplify their voices and push for progress in the fight against this devastating illness.

The Forum: A Platform for Advocacy

The Alzheimer’s Forum provided a crucial platform for individuals and organizations to advocate for policies that prioritize Alzheimer’s research, care, and support. Attendees from across the country gathered to share personal stories, exchange insights, and engage with policymakers on Capitol Hill.

Personal Stories, Collective Impact

One of the most powerful aspects of the Forum was the sharing of personal stories. Individuals affected by Alzheimer’s – whether as caregivers, family members, or individuals living with the disease – bravely shared their experiences, highlighting the profound impact Alzheimer’s has on individuals, families, and communities.

These personal narratives served as a stark reminder of the urgent need for action. They humanized the statistics, transforming abstract numbers into real faces and real lives touched by Alzheimer’s. Through these stories, advocates underscored the importance of robust funding for research, access to quality care and support services, and policies that promote early detection and diagnosis.

Advocacy on Capitol Hill

Armed with personal stories and a deep sense of purpose, advocates took to Capitol Hill to meet with policymakers and urge them to prioritize Alzheimer’s on the national agenda. Armed with data, personal anecdotes, and policy recommendations, they made a compelling case for increased funding for Alzheimer’s research through initiatives like the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Alzheimer’s Association.

Advocates also pushed for policies aimed at improving care and support for individuals living with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers. This included advocating for expanded access to respite care, caregiver training programs, and support services to help families navigate the challenges of caregiving.

Our Asks

When meeting with our Oregon State Representatives, we had four specific asks to present:

1) Please sign onto our appropriations support letters for our appropriations ask for Fiscal Year 2025:

  • RESEARCH: $318 million for Alzheimer’s research at the National Institute of Health (NIH)

  • BOLD: $35 million continued funding for the “Building Our Largest Dementia” Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act

2) Please Co-Sponsor the National Alzheimer’s Project Act (NAPA) Reauthorization and Alzheimer’s Accountability and Investment Act (AAIA):

  • The National Alzheimer’s Project Act (which was signed into law in 2011) NAPA authorization is set to expire in 2025, the bipartisan, bicameral NAPA Reauthorization Act will extend the National Alzheimer’s Project Act through 2035.

  • Please support the swift passage of the bipartisan Alzheimer’s Accountability and Investment Act this Congress. The AAA will expire in 2025, and AAIA would extend the requirement to 2035.

3) Please cosponsor the bipartisan BOLD Reauthorization Act. The BOLD Act has led to great progress in strengthening the Alzheimer’s public health infrastructure across the country since 2018 and is set to expire on September 30, 2024.

4) Please cosponsor the AADAPT (Accelerated Access to Dementia and Alzheimer’s Provider Training) Act which empowers primary care providers to better diagnose Alzheimer’s and other dementia, and also deliver high-quality person centered care.

The Impact of Advocacy

The collective efforts of advocates at the Alzheimer’s Forum did not go unnoticed. Policymakers listened attentively to their concerns and pledged to take action. Some committed to supporting legislative initiatives aimed at addressing Alzheimer’s, while others vowed to champion increased funding for research and support services.

The ripple effects of this advocacy extend far beyond the halls of Congress. By raising awareness and elevating Alzheimer’s as a national priority, advocates are paving the way for greater investments in research, improved care and support services, and ultimately, a world without Alzheimer’s.

Looking Ahead: Sustaining the Momentum

As we reflect on the Alzheimer’s Forum in Washington, DC, it’s clear that our work is far from over. The fight against Alzheimer’s is a marathon, not a sprint, and sustained advocacy will be critical in driving meaningful change.

Moving forward, it’s essential to continue raising awareness, engaging policymakers, and mobilizing communities to join the cause. By working together, we can make strides towards a future where Alzheimer’s is no longer a source of fear and uncertainty, but a distant memory in the annals of medical history.

In conclusion, the Alzheimer’s Forum in Washington, DC, served as a powerful testament to the resilience, determination, and compassion of the Alzheimer’s community. Through advocacy, education, and collective action, we can and will make a difference in the lives of millions affected by this disease.

Card and Letter Writing Month

Card and Letter Writing Month: April 2024

Reviving the Art of Personal Communication

In today’s fast-paced digital world, where emails, texts, and social media messages dominate our communication landscape, the art of handwritten letters and cards seems to have taken a back seat. However, April brings with it a delightful reminder to rekindle this lost art as it marks the Card and Letter Writing Month. It’s the perfect time to dust off those pens, pick out some beautiful stationery, and let your creativity flow onto paper!

A Time of Reflection

For those who remember the joy of receiving a handwritten letter in the mail, Card and Letter Writing Month is a nostalgic journey back to simpler times. It’s a time to reflect on the personal connections and emotional warmth that come with the act of putting pen to paper. There’s something magical about the tangible nature of a letter or card – the texture of the paper, the uniqueness of each stroke of ink, and the anticipation of opening an envelope sealed with care.

But why should we bother with handwritten correspondence in an age of instant messaging? Well, aside from its sentimental value, writing letters and cards offers a host of benefits that can enrich our lives, especially for the 55+ audience.

The Benefits of a Handwritten Letter

First and foremost, letter writing is an excellent way to stay connected with loved ones, particularly those who may not be tech-savvy or who live far away. A heartfelt letter or card sent through traditional mail can bridge the gap and strengthen bonds in a way that digital communication often cannot.

Moreover, the act of writing by hand has been shown to have numerous cognitive benefits, especially for older adults. It stimulates the brain, improves memory, and enhances fine motor skills. In a world where technology increasingly dominates our daily activities, taking the time to write a letter provides a welcome break and an opportunity to engage in a slower, more mindful form of communication.

Additionally, receiving a handwritten letter or card can brighten someone’s day in ways that a text or email simply cannot replicate. The effort and thoughtfulness put into crafting a personalized message are palpable, conveying a sense of care and sincerity that resonates deeply with the recipient.

How To Celebrate

So, how can you celebrate Card and Letter Writing Month? It’s easy! Set aside some time to write a letter or card to a friend, family member, or even a pen pal. Get creative with your stationery, use colorful pens or pencils, and let your personality shine through your words. Don’t worry about perfection – it’s the thought and effort that count.

And if you’re feeling adventurous, why not organize a letter-writing party with friends? Gather around a table stocked with stationery, stamps, and snacks, and spend an afternoon sharing stories, memories, and laughter as you put pen to paper.

In conclusion, Card and Letter Writing Month is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the beauty and significance of handwritten communication. So, let’s embrace this timeless tradition, spread a little joy through the mail, and make April a month to remember for both sender and recipient alike!

Social Workers Awareness Month: March 2024

Celebrating Social Workers Appreciation Month!

A huge THANK YOU to all the social workers out there! Your dedication, compassion, and tireless work do not go unnoticed. You are the heart and soul of our communities, making a difference every single day. 

Want to support our heroes? Here’s how:

  • Volunteer at local social service agencies.
  • Donate resources or funds.
  • Educate yourself about their work and advocate for supportive policies.
  • Simply listen and offer a word of encouragement.

Let’s celebrate and support our social workers not just this month, but every day! 

Other notable celebrations in the month of March include…

  • March – Disability Awareness Month
  • March – Women Apprication Month
  • March 17 – St. Patrick Day
  • March 10 – Daylight Savings Time
  • March 31 – Easter
drawing of brain

Myth Busting Brain Training: What the Latest Brain Research Tells Us

In an era where the aging population seeks to maintain cognitive sharpness, the allure of brain training has never been more potent. Many embark on these digital quests hoping to stave off cognitive decline, yet skepticism abounds. Can these games truly fortify our mental faculties, or are they merely digital snake oil? This intrigue brings us to the forefront of cognitive neuroscience, where the pioneering research of Dr. Ryuta Kawashima – one of the most renowned Neuroscientists in Japan who supervises Nintendo’s Brain Training Game Franchise – at Tohoku University, shines a light on the veracity of brain training efficacy.

The Hope and Hype of Brain Training

Across the globe, individuals turn to brain training games buoyed by the promise of enhanced memory, quicker reasoning, and sharper attention. This isn’t merely wishful thinking; it’s a pursuit grounded in the belief that our brains, regardless of age, can be molded, strengthened, and even rejuvenated through targeted exercises. The market for such apps is burgeoning, fueled by an aging population eager to keep their cognitive faculties in peak condition.

A Critical Perspective

Yet, for every testimonial touting the benefits of brain training, there’s a voice of skepticism. Critics argue that while these games may improve performance on specific tasks, this mastery seldom translates to overall cognitive improvement in daily life. Such criticism is not unfounded; numerous studies have questioned the generalizability of these gains, suggesting that while users may get better at the games themselves, the benefits don’t necessarily extend beyond the screen.

Distinguishing Meaningful Brain Training

Enter Dr. Ryuta Kawashima, whose research endeavors to delineate meaningful brain training from mere entertainment. According to Dr. Kawashima, not all brain trainings are created equal. His research identifies the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex’s activity as a critical marker for meaningful brain training. This area of the brain, associated with executive functions such as problem-solving, planning, and impulse control, becomes particularly engaged during challenging cognitive tasks.

“The key is increased blood flow in the prefrontal cortex, indicating that the brain is being adequately challenged and stimulated,” says Dr. Kawashima. This neural activation signifies that the game is sufficiently challenging, pushing the brain to adapt and strengthen. However, it’s this very challenge that can render meaningful brain training games less immediately gratifying than their less-demanding counterparts. They require effort, concentration, and, at times, can evoke the same frustration one might experience while studying for a difficult exam.

What Works and What Doesn’t

The variability in brain training efficacy can also be attributed to individual differences. What improves cognition in one person may not have the same effect in another, underscoring the personalized nature of meaningful brain training. This notion is pivotal for retirees and their families seeking cognitive enrichment through these digital platforms. The key, as Dr. Kawashima’s research suggests, lies in selecting games that stimulate the prefrontal cortex, thereby offering a genuine cognitive workout rather than mere entertainment.

Practical Advice for Selecting Brain Training Games

For those navigating the vast sea of brain training options, the advice is clear: seek out games designed to challenge higher brain functions. These tasks might involve executive function, problem-solving, or memory exercises that require active engagement and adaptation. While these games might not be as immediately enjoyable as they’re simpler counterparts, their potential to foster genuine cognitive improvement is much greater. 

Conclusion: Embracing Challenge for Cognitive Growth

As we age, the quest to maintain cognitive vitality becomes increasingly paramount. Dr. Ryuta Kawashima’s research offers a beacon of hope, distinguishing between the fleeting satisfaction of easy wins and the deeper, more enduring benefits of genuine cognitive challenge. For retirees and their families seeking to navigate the promises and pitfalls of brain training, the message is clear: embrace the games that push you, that make you think, and, yes, even those that frustrate you. In the challenge lies the path to cognitive enhancement, a journey not just of the mind but of the brain’s remarkable capacity to grow, adapt, and thrive.

In summary, as we consider brain training’s potential to enhance our cognitive landscape, let us be guided not by the allure of quick fixes but by the science that illuminates the path to true mental fitness. Dr. Kawashima’s research is a testament to the power of targeted, challenging cognitive exercise to not just entertain, but to fundamentally enhance our cognitive capabilities.


Brain Sciences | Free Full-Text | Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex Activity during a Brain Training Game Predicts Cognitive Improvements after Four Weeks’ Brain Training Game Intervention: Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial (

Cognitive Health and Older Adults | National Institute on Aging (

A Large-Scale, Cross-Sectional Investigation Into the Efficacy of Brain Training – PMC (

Black History Month 2024 -

Black History Month: February 2024

Acknowledging Black History Month

This Black History Month, let’s honor the incredible achievements, resilience, and contributions of Black individuals throughout history. From pioneering leaders and thinkers to artists and activists, their impact is immeasurable and inspiring. Let’s commit to learning, supporting, and uplifting Black voices, not just this month, but every day. Together, we can create a future rich in equality and understanding.

  • Harriet Tubman (c. 1822–1913): Born into slavery, Harriet Tubman escaped and became a legendary abolitionist and conductor of the Underground Railroad. She led numerous missions to rescue enslaved people, and later became an advocate for women’s suffrage.

  • George Washington Carver (c. 1864–1943): An agricultural scientist and inventor, Carver developed hundreds of products using peanuts, sweet potatoes, and soybeans, drastically improving the agricultural economy in the southern United States. He also promoted crop rotation methods for soil conservation.

  • W.E.B. Du Bois (1868–1963): A sociologist, historian, and civil rights activist, Du Bois was the first African American to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard University. He co-founded the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and was a prominent advocate for civil rights and Pan-Africanism.

  • Rosa Parks (1913–2005): Known as “the mother of the freedom movement,” Rosa Parks’ refusal to give up her seat to a white passenger on a Montgomery, Alabama bus in 1955 sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott. This pivotal event was crucial in the fight for civil rights and the end of segregation in the United States.

Other notable celebrations in the month of February include…

  • February 2 – Groundhogs Day
  • February 14 – Valentine’s Day
  • February 19 – Presidents Day
  • February 29 – Leap Day

Poverty Awareness Month: January 2024

Acknowledging Poverty Awareness Month

January marks the start of Poverty Awareness Month, a time to bring to light the struggles faced by millions around the world. As we step into this month, let’s commit to not only raising awareness but also fostering empathy and taking concrete actions to alleviate poverty. Whether it’s through volunteering, donating, or simply educating ourselves and others about the realities of poverty, every effort counts. Let’s unite in the fight against poverty and work towards a future where everyone has the opportunity to thrive. Together, we can make a lasting impact. 

Other notable celebrations in the month of January include…

  • January 1 – New Years Day
  • January 15 – World Religion Day
  • January 16 – Martin Luther King Day
  • January 22 – Chinese New Year
Human Rights Month

Universal Human Rights Month: December 2023

Celebrating Human Rights Awareness Month! 

This December let’s unite to honor Human Rights Awareness Month. It’s a time to reflect on the progress we’ve made and the journey ahead to ensure dignity, freedom, and respect for all.Together, we can create a world where everyone’s rights are recognized and protected. Let’s embrace diversity, stand against injustice, and be the voice for those who can’t speak out.

This month we want you to raise awareness, and let’s make a difference. Let’s remember, human rights are not just words in declarations; they are the principles we live by every day.

Other notable celebrations in the month of December include…

  • December 7 – Pearl Harbor Day
  • December 10 – Human Rights day
  • December 15 – Hanukkah 
  • December 25 – Christmas Day 
  • December 26 – Kwanzaa 

National Caregiver Appreciation Month: November 2023

Taking a moment to honor our unsung heroes 

November is National Caregiver Appreciation Month! Let’s take a moment to honor the unsung heroes who selflessly dedicate their time and energy to caring for others. Whether it’s a family member, a professional caregiver, or a friend, caregivers play a crucial role in our lives, providing love and support when we need it most.

Other notable celebrations in the month of November include…

  • Daylight Savings Day, November 5th
  • U.S. Election Day, November 7th
  • Veterans Day, November 11th
  • Thanksgiving, November 23rd
  • Native American Heritage Day, November 24th

Global Diversity Awareness Month: October 2023

Why we celebrate Global Diversity Month

This October, celebrate Global Diversity Awareness Month and pay tribute to the diverse minds and beliefs held by all cultures around the world. We live in a multicultural society and embracing the values of various cultures only strengthens our understanding and appreciation of the world. Open your mind to new views and ideas, appreciate cultural differences, and enjoy a fresh perspective you may have been missing. It helps you become a true citizen of the world. 

Other notable celebrations in the month of October include…

  • National Coffee day, October 1st
  • Mental health Awareness week, October 7th
  • Indigenous Peoples Day, October 11th
  • National Breast Cancer Awareness, October 25