Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Heritage Month (held from Mar. 15 – Apr. 15 at NC State) celebrates the collective accomplishments, stories and experiences of those from Asian, Pacific Islander and Desi heritage. Additionally, we pay tribute to the generations of folks who have had an impact on American society, history and culture.
“Asian Pacific Islander Desi American” is an inclusive term to describe the Asian American community that’s comprised of individuals of East Asian, South Asian, Southeast Asian, West Asian, Central Asian and Pacific Island backgrounds who represent over forty countries and hundreds of languages.
Although national Asian Pacific American Heritage Month is celebrated in May, our APIDA heritage celebration is between the months of March and April because the academic semester does not extend through all of May, and we want to give our community four full weeks of events. The importance of May is that it commemorates the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843 and marks the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869.
The 2020 APIDA Heritage Month theme was “Our Story: Unraveled,” inspired by students wanting to highlight that there is more to their lives than what is portrayed in the media or stereotypes. Their stories are not surface-level. The APIDA community is comprised of many histories that have been woven together to make a beautiful tapestry known as “Asian,” but what happens when you unravel them and learn about each thread? Before we try and define our collectiveness, we want to recognize our individual strengths so that when combined, we can be even more powerful.
2020 Keynote: Amy Zhong
In honor of 2020 Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Heritage Month, the APIDA planning committee and Multicultural Student Affairs hosted keynote speaker Amy Zhong.
Zhong is the director and co-founder of Adopteen, a non-profit focused on providing the adoptee community with valuable connections and life-affirming experiences through leadership, mentorship, service and dialogue. Founded in 2007, Adopteen was built by teens, organized by adoptees, for adoptees, as a reaction to the lack of adoptee role models and community in our lives at the time. Adopteen has made and continues to make an impact on the adoption community around the world and all of the incredible people it has brought together.
In light of changes to NC State’s event policy due to COVID-19, we hosted this speech virtually on Apr. 6 at 6 p.m. EST.View the recording