Join in the Celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM) is being celebrated throughout May, and the Saint Mary’s College community is invited to participate in the series of engaging and informative events. Presented by the Asian Pacific Islander Subcommittee of the API Resource Group (APIRG) of the College Committee on Inclusive Excellence (CCIE), APAHM was first established as a national celebration week in 1978, and then expanded by Congress to a month-long observance in 2019.

Headlining APAHM is keynote speaker Valarie Kaur, a renowned civil rights leader and celebrated prophetic voice at the forefront of progressive change. She will present on Wednesday, May 5. A noted attorney, award-winning filmmaker, educator, author, regular commentator on MSNBC, CNN, NPR, PBS, and contributor to several national news publications,

Kaur will discuss “Are You Ready for Revolutionary Love?” based on her new memoir and perspective on what is needed in this political moment. During Community Time on May 5, CIRCLE and the Office of Mission will screen Kaur’s groundbreaking film, Divided We Fall, which documents the attacks on Sikh Americans in the aftermath of September 11, 2001.

Racism, violence, and social injustice experienced by the Asian Pacific Island community are among the most critical issues at the forefront of the national dialogue. Loan Dao, associate professor, director of the Ethnic Studies Program, and co-chair of APIRG, stated, “We are living in a pivotal historic moment, and the critical conversations that we must have require vulnerability, education, and a willingness to show up and be present for one another—to witness our pain.” Dao added, “We hope the events of Asian Pacific Heritage Month will provide the space for people to have these conversations and find a community of support.”

The events scheduled for APAHM will provide opportunities for open discussion about anti-Asian racism and violence, discrimination, policy-based interventions, and long-term solutions. “Asian Pacific Heritage Month is a time for us to reflect on our heritage and background,” said Ardi Samonte, Student Engagement and Academic Success coach, and co-chair of the API Resource Group. “This year, given all of the API hate attacks and heightened xenophobic remarks, we’re going to share our cultural heritage as a way to educate others, create intentional space, and move our Saint Mary’s community in the right direction toward equity and solidarity.”

APAHM launches on Tuesday, April 27, featuring a conversation with Russell Jeung, PhD, co-founder of Stop AAPI Hate, an organization that tracks incidents of discrimination to develop policy interventions and long-term solutions to racism. The discussion will be moderated by Saint Mary’s Professors Luz C. Johnston and Dao. On Monday, May 3, “Anti-Asian Racism: A Critical Filipino (American) Studies Perspective” is being presented by Professor Michael Viola as an interactive dialogue with the Critical Filipino/Filipina Studies Collective.

On the APIRG web page, the APA Student Association will post spotlights of APA faculty and staff in our campus community. Speaking engagements by APA faculty are also posted on the page. APAHM will culminate with the announcement of the Asian Pacific Islander student writing contest winner on Wednesday, May 5.

Click here to see the full schedule of events, times and registration links.