I always look forward to IU's annual Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month celebration, and this year’s festivities certainly justify my eager anticipation.
IU-Bloomington students, faculty, and staff — including the Asian Culture Center, an Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs (OVPDEMA) program, all of which host many of the events occurring throughout the celebration — have put together a tremendous slate of programming open to the entire IU community and local residents.
Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month — recognized nationally in May, but celebrated in April by IU so students and faculty can celebrate prior to summer break — is significant because it provides us with an opportunity to reflect upon and honor the historical and present-day contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to our society.
I find the theme of IU-Bloomington’s celebration, “Rise: Reframing Asian American and Pacific Islander Narratives,” particularly fitting, as the celebration will focus on the stories of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders at IU-Bloomington and go beyond in an effort to broaden the understanding of their experiences and challenge stereotypical conventions.
Some of the events I’m most excited about include the following:
The fourth annual Indiana Asian American Conference, themed “Reaching New Heights” and hosted by IU’s Asian American Association, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. March 31 at the School of Global and International Studies, featuring author and comedian Jenny Yang as its keynote speaker.
"Movement,” the annual IU Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month Film Series hosted by IU Cinema, featuring “Mele Murals” at 7 p.m. April 2, “Motherland” at 7 p.m. April 7 and “Gook” at 6:30 p.m. April 8.
Beginning April 2, a monthlong display of books, poetry and creative artwork by Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders at the City of Bloomington City Hall’s Showers Building. The Asian American and Pacific Islander Talent Showcase, 5 to 6 p.m. April 4 at the Indiana Memorial Union Gallery.
The launch of “Whereabouts: Asian American Midwest Radio,” a collaboration between the Asian Culture Center and WFHB, a Bloomington community radio station, from 5:30 to 6 p.m. April 10, and airing every other Tuesday thereafter.
I invite you to learn more about IU-Bloomington’s Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month celebration by visiting OVPDEMA’s website, diversity.iu.edu, for a complete listing of events.