Join Georgia State's Multicultural Center and the greater university community in observing Asian Pacific Islander & Desi American (APIDA) Heritage Month with events throughout April. Although this commemoration is officially observed in May, the university holds events and observances so that all may participate before classes end for the spring semester.
We use the term APIDA, which stands for Asian Pacific Islander Desi American, as a pan-ethnic classification that intentionally includes South Asians (Desi) as part of our community. There is a great diversity of identities and ethnicities encompassed under the APIDA umbrella, including East Asian, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander.
- East Asians refer to people from China (including Macau and Hong Kong), Korea, Japan, Okinawa, Taiwan, and Mongolia.
- South Asians refer to people from the following countries: Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. Ethnic groups include Sindhi, Gujarati, Punjabi, Tamil, and many others.
- Southeast Asians refer to people from the following countries and ethnic groups: Burma, Brunei, Cambodia (Khmer, Cham, KhmerLoeu), Indonesia, Laos (Hmong, Lao, Lao Loum, Iu Mien, Khmu, Tai Dam, Tai Leu, and many other ethnic groups), Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Philippines, and Vietnam (Vietnamese, Khmer Kampuchea Krom, Montagnards).
- Pacific Islanders refer to those whose origins are the original peoples of Polynesia, Micronesia, and Melanesia. Polynesia includes Hawaii (Native Hawaiian), Samoa (Samoan), American Samoa (Samoan), Tokelau (Tokelauan), Tahiti (Tahitian), and Tonga (Tongan). Micronesia includes Guam (Guamanian or Chamorro), Mariana Islands (Mariana Islander), Saipan (Saipanese), Palau (Palauan), Yap (Yapanese), Chuuk (Chuukese), Pohnpei (Pohnpeian), Kosrae (Kosraean), Marshall Islands (Marshallese), and Kiribati (I-Kiribat). Melanesia includes Fiji (Fijian), Papau New Guinea (Papua New Guinean), Solomon Islands (Solomon Islander), and Vanuatu (Ni-Vanuatu).
APIDA Heritage Month, also referred to as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month, began as "Pacific/Asian American Heritage Week" after its introduction into Congress in 1977 and eventually passed into legislation by President Jimmy Carter on October 5, 1978. In 1992, Congress officially designated May as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month to honor the community's rich heritage and contributions that have been integral in shaping the United States' history.
The month of May was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. The majority of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants. Learn more about events and observances, including registration information, through the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion website.
This April, the Clarkston Campus of Perimeter College and the Office of International Initiatives are also supporting activities of the Clarkston International Festival, a celebration of the community’s incredibly rich diversity. You’ll find these some of these events related to this month’s commemoration listed alongside other university activities below. More events can be submitted through the university calendar or through a contribution form at dei.gsu.edu.
On an additional note, if you missed President Becker’s message of solidarity following the targeted violence against the Asian American and Pacific Islander community in Atlanta, click here to read the message.
Events this Month
- Thursday, April 1: Culture Cafe - Celebrating APIDA Heritage Month (Dunwoody Campus) - 12:30 pm
- Thursday, April 1: Drive-in Movie: Crazy Rich Asians - 8 pm
- Tuesday, April 6: Chinese Conversation Hour - 3 pm
- Wednesday, April 7: Leadership in the Fast Track - Panel Discussion - 7pm
- Tuesday, April 13: Sheth Lecture on Social Entrepreneurship - Joe Madiath - 10 am
- Tuesday, April 13: Clarkston International Festival: Total Dance & Atlanta Chinese Dance Company Live Performance Total Dance & Atlanta Chinese Dance Company Live Performance -12 pm
- Thursday, April 15: The State of the Middle East: Middle East Studies Center Seminar/CIBER/Atlanta Global Studies Center - 11 am
- Monday, April 19: Clarkston International Festival: Home Decor & Craft Workshop and Lunar New Year Celebration Hosted by the Japan Society and the Vietnamese Club - 12 pm
- Tuesday, April 20: Talk Tuesday with the Multicultural Center: I Can't Breathe - Connections between Climate Change, COVID-19 and Environmental Racism (cosponsored by the School of Public Health), noon
- Wednesday, April 21: Clarkston International Festival: Table Displays (Study Abroad Programs; Clarkston Campus) - 11:30 am
- Wednesday, April 21: Feed Your Senses Virtual Performance featuring Jazz Pianist, Vocalist and Songwriter Anita Aysola- 12 pm
- Thursday, April 22: Storytellers featuring Amanda Nguyen - 4 p.m.
- Wednesday, May 5: AAPI on Campus: A Panel Discussion - 1 pm
*Sources: SEARAC, Southeast Asian American Statistical Profile, 2004; https://www.empoweredpi.org/; https://www.api-gbv.org/resources/census-data-api-identities/.
- Shelby Birch, Digital Communications Graduate Assistant, Office of the Provost