Celebrate AAPI month with events at and around UB
Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month aims to celebrate and recognize the culture, history and achievements of the AAPI community.
With May finally here, celebrate with events run by UB’s Intercultural and Diversity Center (IDC) and organizations across Western New York:
All month long — Visit Buffalo’s Japanese Garden
Buffalo’s Japanese Garden is located next to The Buffalo History Museum and open every day during daylight hours. Complete with cherry blossoms and stones laid by master gardeners from Kanazawa, the garden promises a scenic and serene experience.
May 4 — Asian American & Pacific Islander Student Mixer
Meet and socialize with student clubs, organizations and other members of the AAPI community in the Student Union Lobby from 3-6 p.m. Wednesday. There will be food, music and other fun activities.
May 8 — Asian American Student Union Dance Competition
AASU, and its dance troupe AASU Vibe, is hosting its inaugural dance competition “Legacy” at 7 p.m. in the SU Theatre. Admission is free and there will be snacks and drinks available.
May 10 — AAPI Heritage Month Dessert Hour
Enjoy some desserts while celebrating AAPI history at SU 240 from 3:30-4:30 p.m. The event features free food and is hosted by the IDC.
May 11 — Tour of the World
The SA International Council is hosting “Tour of the World,” a cultural event to celebrate various cultures through food, music and art, at the SU field from 1-5 p.m.
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May 13 — Asian Pacific American Culture Carnival
Join Campus Living in the Ellicott Bowl from 5-7 p.m. to celebrate AAPI Heritage Month with activities such as karaoke and “guess the country.” Attendees can also enjoy Asian Pacific American snacks.
May 19 — ALANA Celebration of Achievement
Open to all graduating students from fall 2021 through the end of 2022, this pre-commencement ceremony honors the achievements of graduating ALANA (African, Latinx, Asian and Native American) undergraduate, graduate and PhD candidates.
Can’t make it? Listen to music uplifting the AAPI community in IDC’s AAPI Heritage Month Playlist or on Spotify’s Stop Asian Hate page, which uplifts Asian stories and voices through a variety of podcasts and artists.
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aapiNHV plans events to celebrate AAPI history month
As aapiNHV expands its membership in New Haven, the organization is planning on hosting three events to celebrate AAPI heritage month and bring the AAPI New Haven community closer together.
Yash Roy & Giri Viswanathan
Staff Reporter & Contributing Reporter
Yale Daily News
Before the March 2020 Atlanta spa shootings, New Haven did not have a formal organizing group for the city’s AAPI residents. Following the tragedy, AAPI members of the New Haven and Yale community came together to create aapiNHV, a group that can represent the diversity and rich history of AAPI peoples.
Thirteen months later, aapiNHV has expanded its membership and is now planning three events in celebration of AAPI heritage month in May.
“We have a lot of things planned this year, which is great,” said aapiNHV cofounder Jennifer Heikkila Díaz. “We’re also trying to have different kinds of events since different people want to engage in different ways with the group. The AAPI community is an umbrella. With so many languages, and so many cultures and so many, so many different cuts of identity that are represented under that. It doesn’t make sense for us to just have certain types of events … and we really do want to live into our mission of being this intergenerational collective.”
To kick off the month, the organization is planning a movie night at the Showtimes at Bow Tie Criterion Cinemas for the newly released majority-Asian sci fi film, “Everything Everywhere All at Once.”
According to Diaz, the group hosted a similar movie night for “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” late last year for members of the New Haven community to attend.
According to Anh Bton, aapiNHV, the group is also planning an event that is comparable to speed dating called the “World Cafe” method where large groups of people share their histories and experiences.
“We just wanted to create a space where people of different generations of different backgrounds and different classes could come together and have a conversation around that while enjoying some food together,” Bton said. “So that’s another thing that we’re planning and we’re hoping to get some good turnout there.”
Past these two events, Diaz told the News that the group is also planning to start a book club for people to share different AAPI perspectives and experiences.
Storytelling is an important facet of aapiNHV, according to Diaz. She pointed out that many past meetings of aapiNHV have been centered around groups of people sharing their stories.
In the spirit of storytelling, the group is also planning on hosting a gardening event where AAPI elders in New Haven can share their historical experiences with younger AAPI community members. According to Bton, gardening has historically been looked down upon but has recently come into style or “vogue.” The group hopes to help members of the community reflect on the historical implications of gardening.
“I thought it would be nice to have some kind of event … we do something around bringing back that lens and understanding how these stories now inform the way that other folks may or may not do their gardening,” said Bton. “So we’re trying to plan a gardening community gardening related event right now and hopefully have some food there too.”
According to Diaz, planning for these events has been a collaborative task with members of the AAPI community coming together to create events that can better highlight AAPI history both in the United States and across the world.
aapiNHV stresses the horizonality of its leadership structure without any formal leaders.
“Knowing our histories and sharing our stories can be grounding and confidence-building — for both us individually and as an AAPI community,” said Caroline Tanbee Smith, organizer with aapiNHV. “That’s why I’m excited about our work with aapiNHV to organize AAPI Heritage Month. During the month, we hope to build spaces where the AAPI community in New Haven can co-organize gatherings to honor our different histories in order to build towards our shared futures.”
aapiNHV was founded in March 2020.