May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage (AAPI) Month. According to Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, the history of the observance originates as a nod to May 7, 1843 commemorating the first Japanese immigrants to the United States. It also marks the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869, a project largely completed by Chinese immigrants. Here at the University, we observe AAPI heritage month in April in order to give it a full month of recognition before the May commencement ceremonies and finals.
Recently, Keola Wong, coordinator of the Asian Pacific Islander (API) Program in the University’s Multicultural Center, shared upcoming events that are planned in and around campus to celebrate and honor AAPI heritage. There are over 40 different cultures within the API Community and a number of them are represented here at the University of Nevada, Reno. The API Program’s goal is to create a home away from home and provide cultural connections and community at the University. These events will help bring students and the community together to recognize the core values, culture, history and impact of the diverse Asian American and Pacific Islanders in our society.
The following are events that are open to the community, as well as those who are here on campus:
- April 11 – API Movie Night at the JCSU Theater. Join us for a special screening of the Academy Award winning film, Everything Everywhere All at Once from 6:30 to 9 p.m. The screening will be followed by a brief discussion of AAPI heritage and the themes touched upon in the movie.
- April 13 – Drag Bingo, for those 21+, at 7 p.m. at The Emerson Bar off campus. This event costs $10 at the door and is a Scholarship fundraiser hosted by University of Nevada API Alumni.
- April 17 – Pho-lanthropy, from 6 to 10 p.m., in the JCSU Ballrooms. This event costs $6 for one bowl of pho, $15 for three bowls. Hosted by Lambda Psi Rho.* (Event is waiting for final approval.)
- April 21 – API Night Market. The community is welcome to join us on campus in the Gateway Plaza to enjoy food, performances by our API student organizations, crafts and information related to AAPI Heritage from 5 to 8 p.m.
- April 28 – API Mural Unveiling, at 3 p.m. in the Multicultural Center, in which the first API mural will be revealed.
In addition to the events that are open to the community, there are a number of smaller events specifically created for students:
- April 1 – Holi, at 3 p.m. at the Gateway Plaza, hosted by the Indian Student Organization.
- April 5 – Karaoke Night, from 5 to 9 p.m. in the JCSU Theater.
- April 12 – API Jeopardy with Alpha Phi Gamma, from 7 to 9 p.m. in the JCSU room 320.
- April 18 – API Game Night, from 6 to 9 p.m., in the JCSU Great Room.
- April 25 – API Craft Night Candy Lei Making, from 6 to 8 p.m. in the JCSU Great Room.
- April 27 – Daifuku Mochi, from 7:30 to 9 p.m., in the Peavine Multipurpose Room, hosted by Peavine Hall.
- April 27 – Self & Skin Care with Prude & Boujee, RSVP required (seating is limited), in the JCSU Great Room.
- May 4 – Tanghulu, from 7:30 to 9 p.m., in the Peavine Multipurpose Room, hosted by Peavine Hall.
Each of the student events are open to all University of Nevada, Reno students and are posted on Pack Life. Please check the Pack Life website or visit the University’s Multicultural Center inside the JCSU for more information. You can also reach out to Keola directly for more details.
“April represents a coming together of the API community at UNR. The staff, faculty and students come together to celebrate our cultures and community,” Wong said. “As you can see from the calendar, it really is a collaborative effort that everyone gets involved in and plans. The students are so invested in this because it is an opportunity to share their culture and teach others about what makes them special. My goal is always to make this month a combination of educational opportunities to help the UNR community learn about the API cultures represented on our campus. As well as, a celebration of those cultures for the students. Please come out and support our students!”