Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month 2021

By Grant Wengeler, Reporter


EWU is celebrating Asian American & Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month by hosting several upcoming events focused on the issues and experiences of AAPI people. The purpose of these events is to “recognize the contributions of AAPI people to the United States, and to celebrate the rich history and diversity of AAPI people,” according to Dr. Pui-Yan Lam Ph. D, a sociology and justice studies professor at EWU. 

AAPI Heritage Month celebrations “depend on the community,” said Lam, “but there’s a wide variety of events. It’s celebrated widely with all sorts of festivities put on by different organizations.”

EWU is hosting a litany of events, including a PBS Asian Americans Documentary Discussion Series. Participants are asked to watch an episode of the documentary Asian Americans before each discussion, each of which will take place every Wednesday in May from 12-1 p.m. 

A cultural cooking event is planned to be live-streamed via Facebook on May 6, at 12 p.m. This event is hosted by Hui ‘O Hawai’i, who will be teaching participants how to cook Spam Musubis. 

A panel discussion on the complexity of AAPI identities will take place on May 12, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. All students are welcome, but to participate, those interested are asked to register.

“One thing we pay attention to is the complex diversity of everyone in the AAPI community.” -Dr. Pui-Yan Lam, Ph. D

 The discussion will “include EWU students and also members of the community,” says Dr. Lam. “One thing we pay attention to is the complex diversity of everyone in the AAPI community.” 

There is also a Cultural Conversation event on May 18, from 12-1:30 p.m. This conversation is focussed on the concept of family in the AAPI community and will be available to students via zoom

Next, on May 20 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. is  an event designed to teach bystander intervention and how members of EWU’s community can fight against AAPI hate and racism. This event is also available to students via zoom

An outdoor movie viewing of the films Minari and Kapaemahu will take place at 8:30 p.m. on May 21 in parking lot P-12. The following discussion of the films will take place May 28 at 1 p.m. but participants must register

On May 27, there will be a second cultural cooking event to be streamed via Facebook. This event will demonstrate how to make Lumpia, a traditional party dish.  

“I want to recognize that this is a collective effort,” Dr. Lam said. “We have members of EWU campus coming together. We have faculty members, the multicultural center, and a wide variety of people coming from different parts of Eastern.”

For more information, please visit EWU’s web page dedicated to the events taking place this month to celebrate AAPI people.