May is Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month. In honor of it, the Asian Student Association is hosting a number of events on Bellevue College’s campus.
The Mayor of Bellevue, Conrad Lee is invited on Wednesday, May 29 at BC. ASA has invited Tomio Moriguchi, chairman of Uwajimaya to speak on Tuesday, May 28. Also invited is Chie Masuyama, executive director at Girvin Inc. who will be at BC on Thursday, May 30. ASA is sponsoring the screening of the film “Jun Ai” with the lead actress flying in from Japan. The film will be screened at Carlson Theater on Tuesday, May 21. ASA is hosting four other events, which are sponsored by Multicultural services and Office of Equity and Pluralism.
ASA also hopes that the heritage month will be as well known as Black History Month and Latino History Month.
ASA aims that the month will create an understanding and an awareness of Asian cultures and the diversity found within.
“We want to be recognized by the community, and to create an interest in our culture,” said Chunggyo Lee, president of ASA.
One of ASA’s primary goals is to encourage international students from Asian countries to incorporate and step beyond familiar comfort zones.
“If you took the effort to come across an ocean to study, we want you to take the effort to understand where you, to understand the people where you are, so regardless of what skin color, or what language, or what country you come from, you’re able it get to know someone as a human, not as a minority,” said Alvin Loong, vice-president of ASA.
ASA’s speakers were selected in line to their community-reaching agenda.
“The speakers we brought in are people of Asian decent, born in Asia, came to America, and had major success, this is the same story for why a lot of students are here at BC today. They’re going to another country to find that growth,” said Loong.
Loong elaborated for what purpose speakers were chosen and how they hoped these speakers would motivate and empower students who attend.
“Masuyama was an international student here, English was a language she studied very hard, and she eventually became an executive director. What we’re trying to demonstrate to students is […] you can put your efforts to a productive core and there’s something that can come out of it. What we want to show to these students is you’re not coming here to just study, you’re coming here to build your future.”
They hope to create this for future students that come to BC from different walks of life.