Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month or AAPI Month, celebrates the contributions that Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans have had over the history of the United States. API Month takes place annually in May.
YeeSan Lim, the Asian Pacific Islander Students Affinity Coordinator, talked to the Watchdog about AAPI heritage month. “AAPI Month is an annual celebration to recognize the contributions and influence of Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans to the history, culture, and achievements in America,” Lim mentioned.
Celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month brings significant value to the community at Bellevue College. “As the API Affinity Coordinator, I believe API month gives the BC community the opportunity to recognize the people we ignore or take for granted, to show support [to] the wonderful people of Asian and Pacific Islander descent,” Lim said. “By celebrating API month, we are also allowing our API population the chance to embrace their identity which [was] often rejected or mocked throughout American history.”
This month not only brings the importance of remembering the Asian American and Pacific Islander influences, but is also an excellent opportunity for students to enjoy events and activities led by Asian communities and leaders and immerse themselves in conversations about diversity, history, and culture.
“Throughout API month, we’re bringing aspects of our culture to share with our BC community,” Lim shared. The agenda of events happening in May at Bellevue College is the following:
“On May 12 at 2:30 p.m., we’ve invited speakers for an online event to discuss the rise of Asian hate and racial profiling. Then, on May 17 at 2 p.m., students will have the opportunity to virtually speak with three amazing Asian American women working as political figures in Washington,” Lim added.
On Friday, May 13 and May 20 “there will be dance workshops with great dancers to teach dance styles to Asian music such as Bollywood and Kpop choreography. We are also bringing professional [speakers] to address the issues facing Asian Americans and their communities.” These events will take place both virtually and on campus, in room R014 and Microsoft Teams.
Lim invites students to “join us in celebrating the community and use API month as motivation to learn about this diverse community, to learn about our history, our culture, our contributions to society, and the struggles we face.”