Yuri Kochiyama Cultural Center (YKCC)

Brief History:

The Yuri Kochiyama Cultural Center was created in 1989 to support the  growing population of Asian and Asian American studentts as  United Asia Cultural Center. It was  originally  located in two rooms in the basement of Knowlton Residence Hall.The UACC, after a period of strategic planning, reopened in 1993 with administrative support within  the United Asia Learning Resource Center (UALRC) offices in Knowlton Residence Hall and held ctivities in its current location. In succeeding years, the UACC was renamed the Yuri Kochiyama Cultural Center in honor of Yuri Kochiyama for her belief in liberation and social justice.  Currently the YKCC in Worcester DC is the current and only location. 

Redacted from the History of the Yuri Kochiyama Cultural Center by Lily Tang, Cultural Center Fellow, spring 2018.

Hours of Operation:
1:00-9:00pm Monday through Thursday. 

Spring 2019 Calendar of Activities

Study Hours During Finals Week:

May 2, Thursday -11am-9pm
May 3,  Friday-11-9:00pm
May 6,  Monday,11-9:00pm
May 7, Tuesday-11-9:00pm
May 8,  Wednesday - 11-9:pm
May 9, Thursday-11-9:00pm

Study Hours
Mondays, 2-5 p.m.

Success Coaching Thursdays, 1-4 p.m.

Cultural Appreciation Series @ the Cultural Centers

Week of Action: Battling Southeast Asian Deportations

April 22-24, 2019, 6-8 p.m.
Yuri Kochiyama Cultural Center

The YKCC is hosting a week of action to address and discuss the deportation of Southeast Asians in the United States. This 3-day event will allow participants and community members to learn about the forces that target Southeast Asian communities to unjust deportations. This week starts off on Monday, April 22 with a teach in, followied by a story sharing on April 23, and concluding with a day of solidarity on April 24. By learning about the issue through historical resources, individual narratives and national campaigns, we will work to bridge the divide that is terrorizing communities of Southeast Asian descent.


Asian Pacific Islander American Heritage Month Community Building Dinner
April 25, 2019, Amherst Room (Campus Center, 10th Floor)
6:30-9 p.m.

Asian Pacific Islander American Heritage Month takes place in May. It celebrates the culture, traditions, and history of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States. At UMass Amherst, the Yuri Kochiyama Cultural Center will be celebrating this momentous occasion with a semi-formal dinner! 

This year, they have invited Prof. Caroline Yang, an assistant professor of English at UMass, to speak about the history of Asian American activism and advocacy.  The event will also feature the ANGRY ASIAN GIRLS, who will be hosting a workshop about the importance of community building and organizing. The AAG is a group of activists and artists, poets and politicians, community builders and change makers whose fervent desire is to change the way Asian and Pacific Islander Americans (APIA) perceive and understand the world through representation. 
Added perks of the occasion: raffling off of giveaways, other prizes, and an Amazon Echo Dot; plus, an authentic Asian dinner!
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Significance of the Lei in Hawaiian Culture @ the YKCC
Thursday, April 4, 2019
YKCC, Worcester DC, Lower Level (below Oak Room), Northeast Residential Area

Come and join us in celebrating Asian/Pacific Islander American Heritage month as we teach the significance of the lein in Hawaiian Culture. We will also be teaching how to make them. All are welcome to come and learn and create your own gorgeous, fragrant and lovely lei.  Materials provbided. Another perk: Refreshments provided!


Yuri Kochiyama Cultural Center  (YKCC) Cultural Appreciaiton Series:  Vietnamese Banh Mi
Date: Tuesday, April 16, 2019 (New Date!)
Time: 7-9 p.m.
YKCC - Worcester DC (below Oak Room), Northeast Residential Area


Banh Mi is the term for a Vietnamese baguette made with a combination of wheat and rice flours. A Vietnamese Banh Mi sandwich is stuffed with various marinated meats, cucumbers, herbs, and pickled veggies. Most Banh Mi sandwiches are also spread with pate’. The bread and pate’ are no surprise to historians, as Vietnam was a french colony in the 1800s. The marinated meats and the pickled veggies are the standout items on this sandwich. 

As part of YKCC's Cultural Appreciation event, specail guest Chef from UMASS Dining will demonstrate  the proper way to prepare this vibrant cultural street food. 

Come and join us and make your own, first, 'authentic' Banh Mi sandwich complete with all the trimmings!

craft nightCraft Night at YKCC
Paint Edition
Wednesday, March 6, 2019
YKCC, Worcester DC (below Oak Room)
Craft Night Paint Edition is an event where anyone can come and relax while painting anything their heart desires. It’s a time for people to distress from midterms and  focus their energy on positive creativity. The YKCC will be providing acrylic paint, paint brushes and paper as well as complimentary snacks and beverages.
lunar new year
Lunar New Year Celebration @ the YKCC
Monday, February 7
6:30-9:00 pm
YKCC, Worcester DC (below Oak Room)
Come celebrate the Lunar New Year at the YKCC, where we will be hosting a feast and will be kicking off the New Year with games and fun activities!  Authentic Asian food will be served.

Craft Nights
Bi-weekly Wednesday activity starting February 6
YKCC, Worcester DC (below Oak Room)

Other dates:
February 6, 20
March 6, 20
Make art to share cultural knowledge.  Materials provided.  Refreshments available.  Everyone’s welcome.

This cultural engagement programs seeks to cultivate, sustain and increase knowledge of own/other cultures through arts and crafts.  Participants will engage in making arts representative of Asian culture while learning its significance in a nonjudgmental environment. This bi weekly event is held on the following Wednesdays from 7-9 pm in the Yuri Kochiyama Cultural Center:


YKCC Cultural Appreciation/Appropriation Thursday, March 21 Time: TBD Food with Chef Anthony Details: TBA

Asian Pacific Islander American Heritage Month Community Building Dinner Thursday, April 25 6:30-9 p.m. Semi-formal dinner


Fall 2018 Calendar of Activities


Asian American Film Festival Screenings
Nov. 7,8,9
6:30-9:00 p.m.

This three night film festival showcases Asian American histories and experiences. Learn how producers use various platforms to spread knowledge and awareness. Additionally, the goal is to choose films/filmakers who hold multiple identities (gender, sex, ability, etc.) outside of being API in order to highlight how their intersectional identities impact the work that they do.

Q&A to follow screening; raffle prizes and giveaways; meet and greet with producers, and refreshments will be provided!

1st Night, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018: My Life in China
A story of migration is passed down from father to son retracing the precarious steps that were taken in search of a better life -- ultimately asking, "what does it mean to be both Chinese and American?"

Kenneth Eng, Director, Editor and Executive Producer has had extensive experience with film. His thesis, Scratching Windows was broadcast as part of the REEL NY series on WNET-NY PBS. He has gone on ot direct and edit other documentaries such as Take Me to the River. He is currently developing projects on post-genocide reconciliation in Rwanda and the rise of baseball in China.

2nd Night, Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018: Nailed It
A chronicle on the genesis and 40-year legacy of the Vietnamese nail salon and its influence on an $8 billion-dollar America.

Adele Pham, Documentary Filmmaker, is a mixed-race Vietnamese-American documentary film maker with all aspects of production. She edited The Prep School Negro, and produced #NailedIt: Vietnamese & The Nail Industry among other works.

3rd Night, Friday, Nov. 9, 2018: Yappie
Yappie is a comedy that explores the social and racial issues related to the contemporary Asian American experience from the perspective of Andrew and his friends who are all "yappies."

Wong Fu Productions is an independent digital production company with over 3 million subscribers and more than 500 million views on YouTube. Some of their works include Everything Before Us, Single by 30, and Yappie.

open house thumbnail

Open House
Thursday, September 20

Fun, munch and mingle.
Come and join us as we welcome our incoming first year and returning students.  come and meet the staff and find out the programs we have planned for fall.  Everyone's welcome!


thumbnailSuccess Coaching
Thursdays starting September 13
Walk in to plan for your student success.

Study Hours
Mondays & Finals Week
Bring your book;, we provide the snacks and motivation.


Craft Nights
Every other Wednesday starting September 26

Make art to share cultural knowledge
Dates:  October 10, 24, November 7 and December 5


Passion for Justice
Every other Tuesday starting October 2

Walk Yuri Kochiyama’s walk for equality
Dates:   October 16, 30

Asian American Film Festival
Stay tuned! Coming to you in November 7-9.
Screen films and meet with writers that use media as a tool for positive change.





Note: The center is closed during the summer and winter intersessions. If you need to reach someone during this time, call the main number, (413) 545-2517.