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Celebrating Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Heritage Month

APIDA month began as a commemoration of the first Japanese immigrants who came to America on May 7, 1843. Here’s how MU is celebrating.

While May is honored as Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Heritage Month, May is a short month on Millersville University’s academic calendar. To truly honor the voices celebrated during APIDA month, the University is celebrating APIDA month during April with several events planned by the Dr. Rita Smith Wade-El Intercultural Center.

APIDA month began as a commemoration of the first Japanese immigrants who came to America on May 7, 1843. The designation is also a way to celebrate the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869, as most of the railroad workers were immigrants from China. APIDA month initially began as a week-long celebration but was expanded to the whole month in 1990 and is now focused on an all-encompassing celebration of APIDA voices, cultures and experiences.

The events began on Monday, April 10 with APIDA Flag Trivia. An interactive Kahoot game will let students compete in identifying APIDA country flags and learn some interesting facts about the countries represented by APIDA month.

On Wednesday, April 12, an APIDA Affinity Meet-up will be held in SMC room 118. An affinity meet-up is a way for students, faculty and staff who are a part of the Asian Pacific Islander Desi American community to get together in celebration. Light refreshments will be provided for those who attend. This event is in collaboration with the University’s Asian Student Inclusivity Association. ASIA is a student club open to those who identify as Asian, Asian-American, Pacific Islander, and allies of the community.

A professional artist will visit campus on Thursday, April 13 to demonstrate Asian Brush Art, a form of painting that uses delicate, precise brushstrokes to portray scenes of nature or figures. The showcase will begin in the SMC Atrium at 12 p.m.

On Monday, April 17, the Intercultural Center will show Disney’s “Turning Red” as a part of their ‘Multicultural Movie Mondays’ series. The animated movie follows the story of Meilin Lee, a young Chinese-Canadian girl who navigates cultural and familial themes after she discovers she turns into a giant red panda when experiencing any strong emotions. The screening will be held in SMC room 118 starting at 3 p.m.

Tabling Tuesdays in the SMC

Each Tuesday, a different tabling event will be held in the SMC as well, with all tables beginning at 12:30 p.m. until 2 p.m. These tabling events, complete with posters and information, are held as a way for students to quickly learn and experience new topics as they walk through the SMC during Common Hour. The topics for each tabling are as follows:

  • April 11: Students and staff will help discuss the “Model Minority Myth,” and why the idea of a model minority and the stereotypical thinking it encourages are particularly harmful to the APIDA community.
  • April 18: A presentation about Asian cuisine in America will be discussed, featuring information about different traditional foods eaten in countries such as China, Korea, and Thailand, and more.
  • April 25: For the last Tuesday of the month, the topic of Polynesian culture will be discussed. Students will have the opportunity to learn more about the language, customs and more in Polynesia.

For more information, visit the Intercultural Center’s webpage, or the University’s events calendar.

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