Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month (AAPI) is observed annually in May to celebrate the contributions generations of AAPIs have made to American history, society and culture in the United States. A fairly broad term, Asia / Pacific encompasses the entire Asian continent and the Pacific islands of Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia. According to the Federal Asian Pacific American Council (FAPAC), the 2021 theme for AAPI Heritage Month is “Advancing Leaders Through Goal-Driven Service.”
This month, the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, co-chaired by Dr Shawna Cooper-Gibson and Dr Jonathan Farina, is proud to highlight several AAPI events in May for faculty, employees, students and the local community.
On April 28, the School of Diplomacy and International Relations hosted the webinar Alignment ambiguities, addressing the structural and internal conditions of the ambiguous alignment of relations between Malaysia and the United States. On April 30, the Languages, Literatures and Cultures department welcomed author Cathy Bao Bean, who presented her discussion, Live, learn and laugh according to the chopsticks-fork principle.
This week, AAPI Heritage Month kicks off with academic offerings, including an AAPI Heritage Conference “Anti-Asian sentiment amid the Covid-19 pandemic“by Cindy I-fen Cheng, Ph.D. Professor of History, UW-Madison, May 5. The School of Diplomacy will also host the virtual event, Cambodia-US relations in the new era, May 6.
On May 6, members of the AAPI community will share their stories about what AAPI heritage means to them at our Yī Qǐ Kickoff event, which means “all together” and “in one place” in Chinese. Dr Monica Burnette and Dr KC Choi will also discuss the significance of AAPI Heritage Month on Thanks God For Monday (TGFM) online seminar May 17 and broadcast on WSOU (89.5 FM) on May 22.
Members of the community are invited to celebrate Asian cuisine as Gourmet catering services highlights unique lunchtime dishes like hot and spicy eggplant or soba noodle salad (May 5) or vegetable samosas and chicken tikka masala (May 12). Students can also enjoy a month of programming in the Residential homes, a Luau Campus Ministry, or an afternoon outdoors on the green with boba tea, origami and calligraphy May 6. Student Engagement and CAPS will also offer an IHSC screening of Crazy Rich Asians and one discussion after the movie. Do not hesitate to consult the Seton Hall AAPI Playlist on Spotify.
The DCI committee has also partnered with South Orange Maplewood (SOMA) Cross-Cultural Works for fun and engaging events, such as a Chinese lion dance on Main Street of Maplewood Avenue on May 7, a Hula dance troupe on May 22, and the Holi Festival of Colors on May 23.
In response to the increase in hate speech and violence within the AAPI community, the DCI Committee hosted a community healing and reflection event on May 23 and participated in a vigil against Asian violence led by students and at a roundtable on April 9. will launch its Anti-Asian racism training May 21 at 10:30 a.m. Everyone is welcome.
Please join us in celebrating AAPI Heritage Month and continue to check the AAPI Heritage Month website for updates and details on the event.
For more information or to get involved, please contact the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee.