AAPI Heritage Month celebrated
After two years of remaining virtual, Grossmont College is celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month live with aloha spirit.
May marks national AAPI Heritage Month, and Grossmont College will open and close the month’s celebrations with games, dancing, cultural presentations and food, beginning outdoors on May 4 in the campus’ Main Quad and wrapping up May 18 at Griffin Gate.
Cuyamaca College will host online AAPI Month events, with links to be posted on its Culture & Community Circle Workshops page, https://tinyurl.com/yc5jef4b. Grossmont’s mix of in-person and virtual events will all be streamed online. Links are posted on the college’s AAPI page, www.grossmont.edu/campaigns/2022/spring/api.php/. Please RVSP through the same link if you plan to attend the Grossmont College events in person.
All events are free and open to the public.
June Yang, co-coordinator of Grossmont College’s AAPI events, said this year’s celebratory spirit is a welcome departure from the grim news during the pandemic and the continuing specter of anti-Asian racism and violence.
“We choose to heal by celebrating who we are -- proud folks with joy and pride in our heritage and cultures,” she said. “We also prepare and enjoy some of the world's best cuisines. We encourage everyone to join us as we celebrate our return on campus with Squid Games, Korean BBQ, a pajama movie party, and many more informative and joyful events.”
Daniela Sow, co-coordinator, said, “Generations of Asians, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have added to the nation’s rich, multicultural tapestry, and we wish to recognize that.”
At Grossmont College, the events are being coordinated by the API Committee and sponsored by the World Arts and Cultures Committee and Student Affairs, and will include:
- Wednesday, May 4: Squid Games: Let the Games Begin (11 a.m. – 1 p.m. in the Main Quad) Based on a children's game in South Korea, the college’s version of Squid Games includes kid-friendly games like “Red Light, Green Light,” tug-of-war, marble games, and more. Snacks and drinks will be provided.
- Tuesday, May 10: Mental Health Awareness (11 a.m. - 12 p.m. on Zoom) Dr. Kevin Tajii provides a presentation on mental health awareness in the AAPI community. Tajii is a licensed clinical psychologist with experience treating depression, anxiety, men’s issues, anger management, grief and loss, relationship issues, and sex/porn addiction.
- Tuesday, May 10: Celebrating Global Superstars: BTS (12:30 - 2 p.m. at Griffin Gate) Join in a celebration of the music and accomplishments of BTS. Learn about how they came to be one of the biggest music groups internationally with the most diverse fandom in the world and what impact they have on Asian representation in the music industry. Snacks and drinks will be provided.
- Thursday, May 12: Movie Night (6 - 8 p.m. at Griffin Gate) Join the API Committee and the History Department for a viewing of “The Farewell: A Tale of Love and Loss Across Cultures.” Popcorn snacks and drinks will be provided. Come dressed in your favorite, comfortable pajamas and slippers.
- Tuesday, May 17: Day in the Life Business Administration Major & Interests (12 p.m. - 1 p.m. on Zoom)
- Wednesday, May 18: Asian & Pacific Islander Pa’ina (8 a.m. - 3 p.m. at Griffin Gate) Enjoy a hula dance show, lei-making, a ukulele lesson, a Spam-musubi workshop and Hawaiian food for lunch.
At Cuyamaca College, AAPI events will include:
- Tuesday, May 10: Model Minority Myth + Colonial Mentality (2 - 3 p.m. on Zoom) Hear about how Asian American students commonly struggle with striving for perfection. How can Asian American students cope with high expectations?
- Thursday, May 12: Asian Americans and Mental Health (10 - 11 a.m. on Zoom) This workshop will include a brief historical outline of Asian and Pacific Islander populations in the United States and address challenges in mental health such as: the model minority myth, cultural stigmas, family dynamics and discrimination.
- Monday, May 16: Mental Health in the Filipino American Community (2:30 - 3:30 p.m. on Zoom) This workshop will focus on mental health in the Filipino American community and will include resources to help increase access to mental health treatment among community members.
- Tuesday, May 17: The Filipina/o/x American Diaspora (9:30 - 10:30 a.m. on Zoom) This workshop will present an overview of one of the fastest growing ethnic groups in California and the U.S. Special emphasis will be given to understanding why this community has been established in the U.S., the challenges faced, and contributions of the community to the United States.
In 1992, Congress passed Public Law 102-450 which annually designated May as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month. The month of May was chosen to commemorate the first Japanese immigrants to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. Track layers were predominantly Chinese immigrants.
For more information about Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges, go to www.gcccd.edu.