Asian Pacific Islander American Heritage Month

May is Asian Pacific Islander American Heritage Month in the United States.  It is a time when we commemorate and celebrate the rich history and contributions of Asians and Pacific Islanders.  It is a time to recognize and appreciate the vibrant and diverse culture of Asian Americans.

At the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Asian Pacific Islander American Heritage Month is celebrated in April to accommodate the academic calendar of the campus.

APIA Heritage Month was first established in 1977 when Representatives Frank Horton and Norman Mineta and Senators Daniel Inouye and Spark Matsunaga introduced resolutions asking the President to declare the first ten days of May (the month when the first Japanese immigrants arrived in the U.S. in 1843) as Asian/Pacific Heritage Week. In 1978 President Carter made it an annual event and in 1990, President George H.W. Bush proclaimed the entire month of May to be Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.


Events for the Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month:

1.     Mental Health in the Asian Diaspora
Wednesday, March 23, 2016
6:30-8:00 pm

YKCC will host a workshop that addresses the mental health problems that Asian Americans face. This event challenges the “model minority” stereotype by identifying how stressful school and work environments and the pressure to stay silent and “save face” are essentially the cause of many mental health issues.

2.     TCSA Cultural Night Market
Saturday, March 26, 2016
Campus Center Auditorium

Here we recreate Asian night markets and bring these cultural festivities to UMass and its surrounding communities. The event will be presented in a carnival atmosphere with Asian food, music, performances, and activities tabled by student groups where each activity costs 1 ticket. Guests may receive back tickets if they win at an activity and redeem tickets for mini prizes. At the end, there will also be a raffle for grand prizes. Enjoy!

3.     Arab Cultural Night 
Sunday, April 3, 2016
Campus Center Auditorium
The event will host both Arabs and non-Arabs from the Five Colleges  and the Western  Massachussets area. The cultural night will include Arabic dishes, music, and a traditional dance.


4.     YKCC Film Screening:  Lagaan
Wednesday, April 5, 2016
Yuri Kochiyama Cultural Center

Join us at the YKCC for a screening of the Bollywood film, Lagaan. The winner of 8 National Film Awards and 9 Filmfare awards, this movie tells the story of a small village in the Victorian period of India's colonial British Raj. The villagers accept a challenge to a game of cricket to surmount the oppressive tax system of the British. 


5.     Dance Workshop
Thursday, April 7, 2016
Cape Cod Lounge

The YKCC will host a dance workshop where different cultural dances of Asia will be showcased and participants can learn the fundamentals of the dances. Join us at the Cape Cod Lounge for a fun time!


6.     Cultural Identity Student Panel
Tuesday, April 14, 2016
6:00-9:00 pm
Yuri Kochiyama Cultural Center

An Asian student panel discussion on cultural identity of college students of the Asian diaspora. The discussion is facilitated by Leonie Barkaakti- YkCC graduate supervisor.


7.     Asian Women in the Workforce
Tuesday - April 12, 2016
Yuri Kochiyama Cultural Center

Guest speaker Milliann Kang will share her research about Korean nail salons in America and the implications for Asian American women in the work force of the United States.

8.     5-College  International Festival
Saturday, April  9, 2016
1-4pm, Amherst Town Common
Celebrate and raise awareness of the colorful diversity amongst Amherst residents and students..
Sponsors: International Students Club, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst College, Smith College, Mt. Holyoke College, Hamshire College


9.     5-College Conference for Compassion
Saturday, April 16, 2016
Time:  10:00 am-1:00pm
Location:  TBA

In conjunction with the 5 College Buddhist Studies Program, Dr. Thupten Jinpa, official translator of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, will serve as the keynote speaker for the 5 College Conference of Compassion. The event will have 2 parts; they are the keynote speech on Compassionate Leadership and 5 College Panel on interdisciplinary compassion which will be comprised of 5 professors, one from each of the 5 College Consortium and from various disciplines, to discuss what compassion means in their field.


10.  Asian Night
Saturday, April 16, 2016
Fine Arts Center

It is a Spring cultural production put on by UMass AASA every year that involves various student performances from the 5-college consortium.