Celebrating APIDA Heritage Month with dance, film, stories and more

apida heritage month logo including a graphic of a wildcat head made up of several small symbols

The University recognizes APIDA Heritage Month in April rather than May while more students, faculty and staff are on campus.

Film, dance and art showcases are part of the celebrations planned for Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Heritage Month. The University is again recognizing the heritage month in April rather than May while more students, faculty and staff are on campus.

The term APIDA is panethnic and includes South Asians. The word "desi" is used to describe the people and culture of the Indian subcontinent. About 13.3% of the University's employees and about 5.3% of all students are Asian, according to the latest numbers from University Analytics and Institutional Research. An additional 0.6% of employees and 0.2% of students are native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders.

several red shirts featuring the APIDA heritage month logo hanging on a rack

Items featuring the APIDA Heritage Month cultural logo are available at the BookStore and online.

Branded merchandise featuring the cultural logo created by the University for APIDA Heritage Month is available at the BookStores and on the University's Amazon site. A portion of the sales from both sites will go to Asian Pacific American Student Affairs to benefit students.

Arizona Athletics will share APIDA athlete and employee profiles and interviews on its main FacebookInstagramTwitter and LinkedIn accounts beginning in May. 

The celebration began March 28 when Asian Pacific American Student Affairs and the Adalberto and Ana Guerrero Student Center partnered on "A Recipe for Solidarity," which included a Chinese chorizo cooking demo and open mic campus mixer. 

"The student body and campus community have actively planned numerous

Kenny Importante, director, Asian Pacific American Student Affairs

Kenny Importante, director, Asian Pacific American Student Affairs

celebrations to spotlight the diverse community," said Kenny Importante, director of Asian Pacific American Student Affairs. "Anticipation is high among students as they eagerly await this celebration in creating a sense of belonging and validating their cultural and ethnic identities."

The University is involved in several additional events to commemorate APIDA Heritage Month. They include:

Film Screening: "Riding Han" | April 4, 6 p.m., SouthREC, North Conference Room

"Riding Han" spotlights three Korean Americans who traveled to the Great Divide – a more than 2,400-mile bicycle route from Mexico to Canada in the summer of 2021. During the trip, the three explored their identities as Asian Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic, while anti-Asian violence was on the rise. The screening is free and open to the public.

Arizona BookStores Story Time Character Hour: "Eyes That Speak to the Stars" | April 6, 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m., Student Union Memorial Center BookStore

The April Story Time Character Hour will feature "Eyes That Speak to the Stars" by Joanna Ho. Children can also enjoy craft activities and meet Clifford the Big Red Dog. The event is free and open to the public.

Thrive Dance Collaboration Event | April 17, 3:30-5 p.m., Thrive Center

A local Polynesian Dance group, Siva Maia, will perform and teach attendees about traditional Polynesian traditional dances. The event is free and open to the public.

Sakura Project Art Exhibit and Reception | April 22, 4-6 p.m., Student Union Memorial Center, Rooms 409A, 409D, 409J/K

This art exhibit, led by the Japanese American Student Association, looks to address climate change to visualize how the cherry blossom seasons have been affected over the last century. The reception will include a discussion on global environmental challenges and processing emotions through art. The event is free and open to the public.

Additional events are listed on the Asian Pacific American Student Affairs website.

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