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Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month

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API Heritage Month is celebrated in May to commemorate the achievements and contributions of people of Asian and Pacific Islander descent in the United States. In 1978, Congress passed a joint Congressional Resolution to celebrate Asian American Heritage Week during the first 10 days of May. This date was chosen because two important anniversaries fall during this time: the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants in the United States on May 7, 1843, and the completion of the transcontinental railroad by many Chinese laborers on May 10, 1869.

In 1990, President George H. W. Bush and Congress voted to expand the celebration, and since 1992, May has been designated as API Heritage Month.

Each year, API Heritage Month is celebrated with community festivals, government sponsored activities, and educational activities for students. Come celebrate our 2021 API Heritage Month and API Health Awareness Month events:

In collaboration with Okada House, the Asian American Students' Association (AASA), and the Asian American Studies Program, this year’s theme is Regrounding: Finding Ourselves as Asian Americans. 

The past year has reminded us of the strength of the API community and our collective power in the face of white supremacy, racism, discrimination, and violence. In honor API Heritage Month, we focus on this strength and power and highlight the diversity and joy of API experiences beyond our individual and collective struggles. We will continue to build on our history of activism and solidarity with other communities of color. In these uncertain times, it is more important than ever to remember who we are.

Due to the continuing COVID-19 crisis, all events will be held virtually.  Please see event information below on how to engage in and register for each event online.

Thursday, April 28 - 11:00 a.m – 12:00 p.m. PST. Hosted by The Center for South Asia.

Understanding India's Covid Surge: Conversation with Dr. S V Mahadevan
In this webinar Professor Mahadevan will speak briefly on the current Covid crisis in India and then take questions from the audience. Register Here.

Thursday, April 29 - 11:00 a.m – 12:00 p.m. PST. Hosted by It's Real Magazine and Solace x Solidarity. 

Webinar on Asian American Mental Health & Wellness in Quarantine
Join our live panel discussion about coping with isolation, enduring against hateful environments, recognizing family trauma, and much more. Register Here.

Thursday, April 29 - 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. PST. Hosted by the Asian American Activities Center.

LGBTQ+ Asian American Coping and Wellness
Confidential virtual livestream to learn coping skills and strategies on how we can take care of ourselves during these difficult times. Register Here.

Friday, April 30 - 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. PST. Hosted by Vietnamese American Roundtable.

46th Black April Commemoration - Resilience, Representation, Renewal
Join us as we pay homage to those who paved the path to celebrate the strength of the Vietnamese people, the beauty of the Vietnamese culture, and the bright future of the next generation. Register Here.

Sunday, May 2 - 10:30 a.m – 11:30 a.m. PST. Hosted by SOMA Pilipinas & Kapwa Gardens.

Women’s Self-Defense
Women’s-only self-defense class facilitated by women instructors from Eskabo Daan Filipino Martial Arts. Register Here.

Sunday, May 2 - 1:30 p.m – 3:30 p.m. PST. Hosted by the Filipina Women's Network, Filipino American Arts Exposition United Playaz, West Bay Pilipino Multi Service Center, and APA Heritage Foundation.

Kasayang Pinoy: Celebrate Resilience, Uplift Voices
Kickoff APA Heritage Month with the Filipino American community of San Francisco. Register Here.

Tuesday, May 4 - 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. PST. Hosted by People of Color in Technology (POC-IT). 

Celebrating AAPI Staff Member Career Progression
Join Maria Inciong, Director of Technology Solutions Alignment in UIT Enterprise Technology, to hear about her journey from Undergrad Admission and Financial Aid, HR Information Systems, and UIT. Register Here by 5pm on May 3 and join the POC-IT-Connect Slack Channel for a chance to win an Amazon gift card.

Tuesday, May 4 - 12:00 p.m. PST. Hosted by The Asian American Foundation 

Claiming Power: The Future of Asian Americans 
Inaugural programming featuring Maria Hinojosa (Futuro Media), Dr. Jim Young Kim (Global Infrastructure Partners), Lisa Ling (CNN), Rashad Robinson (Color of Change), Jose Antonio Vargas (Define American), Alex Wagner (Showtime's The Circus), and Darren Walker (Ford Foundation). The theme is claiming power and the four panels address: Asian Americans Hold the Balance of Power, The Power of Partnerships, The Power of Belonging, The Power of Coalitions. RSVP Here. 

Tuesday, May 4 - 8:00 p.m. – 9:00 -p.m. PST. Hosted by America ReFramed on WORLD Channel.

Far East Deep South
Charles Chiu and his family’s search for their roots takes them on an eye-opening journey through the Mississippi Delta, uncovering their lost family history and the racially complex experience of Chinese immigrants in the segregated South. With the help of local residents and historians, this Chinese American family comprehends the impact of race-based immigration policies on their family and the symbiotic relationship between Black and Chinese communities during the Jim Crow era.. Streaming between 5/4-6/3 here.

Wenesday, May 5 - 5:15 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. PST. Hosted by Gay Asian Pacific Alliance (GAPA).

Running for Office to #StopAsianHate: Queer API Local Candidates Panel
Join our panel discussion with two Queer & Asian leaders who are running for office in their city. Learn more about having a voice in our community and in our government, and what you can do to #StopAsianHate. Register here.

Thursday, May 6 - 12:00 p.m. - 12:45 p.m. PST. Hosted by the Asian American Activities Center. 

Life After Stanford Undergrad: Alumni Panel
Come hear from our alumni panel to find out about their post-grad experiences and to get an idea of which path might be right for you. Register Here. 

Friday, May 7 - 6:00 p.m. - Sunday, May 9 - 7:30 p.m. PST. Hosted by Vietnamese American playwright Susan Lieu

Mother's Day Weekend: "140 lbs" and "Over 140 lbs" 
A one-woman theater performance happening at various times throughout Mother's Day weekend. 

Event Dates: 

  • Friday, May 7 @ 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. PST
  • Saturday, May 8 @ 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. PST
  • Saturday, May 8 @ 7:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. PST
  • Sunday, May 9 @ 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. PST
  • Sunday, May 9 @ 5:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. PST 

Family is complicated. Whether your mother is alive or gone, close or distant, join us Mother’s Day weekend for Susan’s comedy-dramas about grief, family dynamics, spirituality, beauty, and Vietnamese culture. Following a successful virtual program last November, OACC is excited to once again present 140 LBS: How Beauty Killed My Mother along with its sequel, OVER 140 LBS, for a special Mother’s Day double-feature presentation! These solo theater works were written and performed by Susan Lieu, a first-generation American born to Vietnamese refugees. Susan’s performances weaves together several through-lines: inter-generational trauma; parent-child relationships; body insecurity and shame; repression and healing from personal loss; lack of accountability in the medical system; Vietnamese folkloric practice of spirit channeling. These plays speak to a wide variety of communities as it lies at the intersection of different identities and lived experiences. Buy Tickets Here.

Saturday, May 8 - 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. PST. Hosted by The Bridge

Bridge Peer Counseling Center "Listen-In" For AAPI Students

A listen-in event where AAPI peer counselors will be present to individually and anonymously hear out any concerns or frustrations you would like to talk about. Login Info Here. 

Saturday, May 8 - 9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. PST. Hosted by Stanford Asian Pacific American Alumni Club (SAPAAC)

The Stories That Shape Us | Saturdays with SAPAAC Speaker Series 2021

There  is  no  single  story  for Asian  Americans  at  Stanford  and  elsewhere.  Priscilla Lasmarias Kelso came to  America as  an international  scholar  in  the  1960's  from  the  Philippines.  Others  came  as  refugees  from  war-torn  countries  or  as  asylum  seekers  with  families  needing  to  find  a  better,  safer  life  here.   Still  others  are  second  or  third  generation  who  have experienced  much  success  in  a  country  where  you  can  reinvent  yourself.

Embedded  in these  backgrounds  are a  wealth  of  personal  stories  that  include  trauma, resilience,  survival.  How  do  these  stories  shape  who  we  are  now  and  are  we  in touch  with the  invisible  threads  that  connect  us  to  our  beginnings?

Price: $0 for students, $5 for young alumni, $10 for all other alumni. Register Here.

Monday, May 10 - 5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. PST. Hosted by the Asian American Activities Center, Asian American Studies, and the Women's Community Center.

Anti-Asian Racism Workshop
History of anti-Asian racism with Professor Will Gow, Asian American Studies Faculty. Registration Link: TBA

Wednesday, May 12 - 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. PST. Hosted by the Filipino American Community at Stanford (FACS) Staff Group.

Building Professional Relationships
Professional staff development workshop focused on building professional relationships that will help you grow in your career. Register Here by 5/11/21.

Wednesday, May 12 - 12:45 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. PST. Hosted by the Asian Pacific Islander Law Students Association (APILSA) and the Stanford Center for Racial Justice

Understanding and Addressing Anti-Asian Violence
Learn and discuss the historical context and current political moment in which violence against Asian, Pacific Islander, South Asian, and Southeast Asian American and immigrant communities is taking place. Register Here.


Thursday, May 13 - 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. PST. Hosted by Counseling and Psychological Services.

Asian American Mental Health Panel
A panel of Asian American psychiatrists and psychotherapists demystifying mental health treatment and in dialogue about how to protect emotional resilience in times of crisis. Registration Link: TBA

Tuesday, May 18 - 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. PST.  Hosted by the Asian American Activities Center.  

API Leaders Retreat
Let's reflect on this past year, share officer transitions, and envision next year. Registration Link: TBA. 

Tuesday, May 18 - 6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. PST. Hosted by the Society for International Affairs at Stanford (SIAS) and Forum for American-China Exchanges (FACES). 

Conversation with U.S. Ambassador to Myanmar: US-Southeast Asia Policy
Discussing Myanmar's security conflicts and how it impacts the security dynamics and identities between Myanmar, China, and the U.S. Register Here.

Thursday, May 20 - 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. PST. Hosted by the Asian American Activities Center and the Women's Community Center

Yoga for AAPI Healing

Join us for a relaxing 45 minute guided yoga with Quiara SmithIn light of recent events, and to honor Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month this yoga session will focus on healing and community building of support through the practice of mindful movement of yoga. The class will focus on a relaxing and calming practice. No prior yoga experience required. What you will need: clothing comfortable to move your body in, yoga mat or towel, water, and an open heart. Register here.

Thursday, May 20 - 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. PST. Hosted by the Asian American Activities Center and the Office of the Vice President for the Arts

Raya and the Last Dragon: An Inside Look with Dr. Steve Arounsack
Conversation with visual anthropologist and lead cultural consultant, Dr. Steve Arounsack on Disney's newest film. Register here.

Thursday, May 20 - 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. PST. Hosted by the Center for Asian Health Research and Education.

Stuck@HomeConcert: Celebrating Asian Grandmothers
Concert in celebration on Asian grandmothers and panel discussion on the experiences of generations of Asian American Women. Register Here.

Thursday, May 20 - Saturday, May 22 - Time: TBA. Hosted by the Asian American Theater Project.

Question 27, Question 28 by Chay Yew
A documentary play detailing the experiences of Japanese American women during Japanese internment. Tickets are free and available at the registration link. Register Here.  


  • Thursday, May 20th @ 6:00 p.m. PST
  • Friday, May 21st @ 6:00 p.m. PST
  • Saturday, May 22nd @ 2:00 p.m. PST

Saturday, May 22 - 9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. PST. Hosted by the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation (AIISF).

Angel Island: History of Interrogation and Detainment of Asians 
Join us for this panel discussion with Asian American leaders affiliated with Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation (AIISF) -- including Stanford alumni Buck Gee and Kathy Ko Chin -- who will highlight historical immigration through Angel Island, the monumental effort to preserve and protect the site, and the importance of remembering the site’s significance in American and Asian American history. Register Here.

Tuesday, May 25 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. PST. Hosted by Okada

AAPI Terminology Night                                                                                                    May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. To commemorate this event, Okada and members of the Pacific Islander community will be holding an educational and discussion-based event on the history of the AAPI grouping. We will have a brief presentation discussing the origins of the AAPI term, followed by a discussion on how this grouping affects members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. Register Here.

Wednesday, May 26 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. PST. Hosted by the Asian Staff Forum

The Many Meanings of "Asian" Around the World 
Join ASF in celebration of API Heritage Month for a conversation with Asst. Prof. Usha Iyer on her recent book (Dancing Women: Choreographing Corporeal Histories of Hindi Cinema (Oxford University Press, 2020)) & upcoming book, on Asian and African histories and identities in the Caribbean. Questions can be submitted in advance Here.

Register Here.

Thursday, May 27 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. PST. Hosted by the Asian American Activities Center. 

Community celebration to recognize the contributions of students, faculty, alumni, and staff. Register Here.

Friday, May 28 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. PST. Hosted by BEAM 

Asian American & Pacific Islander Identities in the Workplace

Join BEAM with AAPI alumni Alison Logia & Joey Topasna to discuss how being part of the Asian Pacific Islander (API) community impacts your career. Register Here.

Saturday, May 29 - 4:00 p.m. -  5:00 p.m. PST. Hosted by the Society for International Affairs at Stanford (SIAS)'s Diversity and Inclusion.

Commemorating Asians In International Affairs
Hosted event to commemorate Asian Americans in public service. Register Here.