May is nationally recognized as Asian American/Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Formally instituted by Congress in 1992, Heritage Month marks two significant anniversaries: the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants in America on May 7, 1843 and the completion of the Transcontinental by many Chinese-American laborers on May 10, 1869. During the month of May, the Asian American/Pacific Islander Resource Center hosts a series of events to commemorate the achievements of AA/PIs. The Heritage Month program aims to educate the broader UCSC campus community about AA/PI issues and experiences as well as increase the visibility of underrepresented groups within the AA/PI community.

This year’s theme, “Breaking the Mold: Visibility Through Expression” focuses on the various forms of expression that Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders use to break stereotypes about racial and cultural identities. The advancement of media outlets and social platforms continues to serve as vehicles of change to represent their voice on contemporary AA/PI topics. These forms of creativity introduced an era of self-production, self-realization, and self-fulfillment to give rise to an innovative AA/PI identity.

May 16, 2012 7:00 p.m.
College 9/10 Multipurpose Room

This year’s keynote speaker, in partnership with the Caesar Chavez Convocation on May 16th, presents Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas. Growing up in Mountain View as a Filipino-American, Jose recently came out undocumented. As a former Washington Post reporter and creator of the website “Define American”, he campaigns to raise awareness about undocumented immigrants. Jose realizes the power of a story and uses his own form of expression to create visibility for AA/PIs in a non-conventional social sphere.


May 25, 2012 12:00 p.m.
College 9/10 Namaste Lounge

In November 2011, the White House launched the “What’s your Story Video Challenge," asking the Asian American/Pacific Islander community to submit videos about the work they are doing in their communities.  They received 200 submissions representing various causes and geographic locations.  Two of the selected videos featured UCSC alumni: Nidhi Chanani, “Capturing Love, and Terisa Siagatonu, “When We Speak for Ourselves.”  Both Nidhi and Terisa were among only six invited to the White House, recognized as “Champions for Change." As UCSC students, Nidhi and Terisa were involved in the campus community, including ethnic student organizations, engaging education, and College Ten.

May 30, 2012 6:30 p.m.
Stevenson Event Center

Cultural Celebration Night scheduled for May 30th closes the month by bringing the campus community together. This night includes performances from AA/PI student organizations and highlights the ways students embrace their cultural background. By showcasing their own forms of self-expression, students convey their identity and empower others to do the same.

San Francisco Asian Art Museum 5/12/12
San Francisco International Hotel 5/26/12


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