Celebrating APIDA Heritage Month

Celebrating APIDA Heritage Month

By Andy OberUniversity Communications
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The APIDA Heritage Month cultural logo features elements of nature, traditional foods and contributions to music and education.
The APIDA Heritage Month cultural logo features elements of nature, traditional foods and contributions to music and education.
Ivy Banks, Associate Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion
Ivy Banks, Associate Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion
Brett J. Esaki, Assistant Professor of East Asian Studies
Brett J. Esaki, Assistant Professor of East Asian Studies

The University is celebrating Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Heritage Month in April rather than May so the communities can be honored while more students and staff and faculty members are on campus. The theme of this year's celebration is "Multiple cultures, one community."

The term APIDA is pan-ethnic and includes South Asians. The word "desi" is used to describe the people and cultures of the Indian subcontinent.

"As a community, we celebrate the rich history and contributions of our APIDA community in April, before we depart for summer break," said Ivy Banks, associate vice provost for diversity and inclusion. "Given the discrimination and rise in violence facing the APIDA community this year, it is important that we not only celebrate, but that we learn and incorporate practices into our daily routine to uplift the APIDA community."

As it did with Black History Month, Hispanic Heritage Month and Native American Heritage Month, the University has created a cultural logo for APIDA Heritage Month, featuring elements of nature, traditional foods and contributions to music and education. The logo is featured on branded merchandise available at the BookStores and on the University's Amazon site. A portion of the sales from both sites will go to Asian Pacific American Student Affairs to benefit students.

"This logo expresses pride in our diversity," said Brett J. Esaki, assistant professor of East Asian studies. "It is a balance of the seriousness and preciousness of our traditions and of the joyfulness and vibrancy of our celebrations."

Throughout April, the University is using its Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter accounts to feature APIDA alumni and faculty members and to shine a spotlight on Tucson restaurants, businesses and organizations owned and operated by members of APIDA communities. The social media campaign will also highlight APIDA student groups.

Arizona Athletics will share APIDA student-athlete and employee profiles and interviews on its main Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts over the next two months, and the Arizona Football Twitter account will begin sharing content in May.

The University is involved in several events to commemorate APIDA Heritage Month in April and May. They include:

APIDA Community Conversation | Wednesday, April 7, 6 p.m.

Tucson Mayor Regina Romero and Tucson City Council member Steve Kozachik will take part in an open conversation about the experience of being a member of the APIDA community in Tucson. The event will be moderated by a group including Jasmine Chan, chair of the University's Asian Pacific American Community Council. Attend on Zoom.

Pu Yin Buddhist Studies Lecture Series | Thursday, April 7, 4 p.m.

Takashi Miura, associate professor in the Department of East Asian Studies, will present "Buddhism and Protest in Early Modern Japan: Buddhist Priests as Arbiters of Conflicts in Local Communities." This lecture series is presented by the University's Center for Buddhist Studies. Attend on Zoom.

Asian Pacific American Student Affairs Lotus Laureate and Leadership Awards Ceremony | Friday, May 7, 2 p.m.

This formal ceremony involves recognition of Asian Pacific American scholars as well as key University and community leaders. Registration information will be announced in the future on the event page.

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