Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs

AA&PI Heritage Month 2021 Calendar

About Asian American & Pacific Islander American Heritage Month

Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month (AA&PI Heritage Month) is a university-wide celebration of the Asian American & Pacific Islander communities. While the month is federally recognized in May, the Office of Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs (MESA) and the United Asian American Student Organizations (UAAO) celebrate the month from mid-March to mid-April, with a diverse range of events that honor AA&PI history, heritage, community, and identity. 

Throughout the month, events will be added to the list of events below that may not necessarily be represented on the graphic calendar! Please check back often for updates. All are invited to join us! 

For questions about specific event information or in general about AA&PI Heritage Month, please contact MESA via email at We are more than happy to help!

AA&PI Heritage Month Event Website

AA&PI Heritage Month Opening Ceremony 
Featuring hosts from the Continental Shifts Podcast! 
Wednesday, March 17th, 6-7:15 PM EST
To launch this year's Asian American & Pacific Islander (AA&PI) Heritage Month, the Opening Ceremony will feature the hosts of the Continental Shifts Podcast, Gabriel Tanglao and Estella Owoimaha-Church! Gabriel and Estella describe themselves as “dope educators wayfinding the past, present, and future,” and their podcast centers around how AA&PI communities can organize, educate, and support one another as we learn from our cultures and work through current issues. Dinner will be available for pick up for those on/near campus who register for this event (you will receive a separate email with meal sign up options). 

Anti-Asian Racism and Asian American Activism during the Covid-19 Pandemic
Thursday, March 18th, 12-1 PM EST

During this presentation, UM Professor Melissa Borja will discuss some of the main findings of the Virulent Hate Project, a University of Michigan research team that has studied news media coverage of anti-Asian racism and Asian American activism during the Covid-19 pandemic. Dr. Borja will discuss patterns in incidents of hate and resistance, as well as patterns in how this issue has been covered in news media throughout 2020.

Navigating Truth and Fiction: A Conversation with Beth Nguyen
Friday, March 19th, 7-8 PM EST

What does it mean for our stories to exist within and beyond genres? Join us as we explore truth and fiction in storytelling with Asian-American writer and educator Beth Nguyen! Beth is the author of the memoir Stealing Buddha’s Dinner and the novels Short Girls and Pioneer Girl.

Asian American Environmental Advocacy Panel
Saturday, March 20th, 3-4:30 PM EST

Join us in a panel discussion featuring some Asian American activists to discuss their experiences organizing in environmentalist spaces, followed by a Q&A session. We will explore Asian American representation in environmental movements and its implications on advocates and their communities. A resource guide will be shared that features Asian American environmental activism efforts to support, as well as some starting places for learning about Pacific Islander experiences with environmental injustices and their work.

The Case for Affirmative Action: Examining Anti-Blackness and the Model Minority Myth through the Lens of Affirmative Action 
Monday, March 22nd, 7-8 PM EST

Anti-Racism Teach-In
Wednesday, March 24th 5-6:30 PM EST

This teach-in/workshop will engage analytical frameworks for examining systemic cultural, social, economic, and political forces in the community along with individual reflection.

Rooting for Change: Student Food Summit 
Wednesday, March 24th & Thursday, March 25th, 5-8 PM EST

The UM Sustainable Food Program is inviting you to attend Rooting for Change: Student Food Summit! The two-day event will consist of student-led learnshops, a storytelling event Tiny Talks about Food Justice, and a keynote address Food as Healing with Shane Bernardo. Also on the program are a networking happy hour on Wednesday evening and well-being breaks to cultivate personal resilience on both days. 

The Ocean in the School: How Pacific Islander Students Transformed their University
Thursday, March 25th, 6 PM EST

In this talk, we will explore the ways in which Pacific Islander Students learned how to understand and engage with their isolation and alienation from school to eventually transform it into place of discovery and meaningfulness.  Building against the historical contexts of imperialism as well as the structural forms of domination that students lived through, we will touch on the values of collective work and cultural activism that Pacific Islanders and their allies enhanced to enable resistance and institutional change.  We will learn what it meant to embrace the ocean in their school.  This talk will then be followed by a discussion with the audience.

Sustainable Paper-Making with Anurima Kumar
Saturday, March 27th, 3:30-5 PM EST

Join Anurima Kumar (@thebrownpapermaker) and learn how to make your own paper using supplies you already have at home! The event will begin with an interactive discussion on sustainable mindsets and then transition into a DIY paper-making tutorial using receipts, leftover paper, and photos to make a collage. All you will need is a jar, an old sheet/bath towel, receipts/newspapers/miscellaneous leftover paper, a heavy book, and a workspace that can get wet. We encourage you to bring collage materials such as photos and printouts to add your own twist to your DIY paper.

AA&PI Undocu/DACAmented Communities with SCOPE
Tuesday, March 30th, 7-8:30 PM EST

Teach-in & dialogue about those in the AA&PI community who are undocumented/DACAmented. We’ll present some stats and facts, talk about why there’s so little visibility on undocumented AA&PI people, the tendency for well-off AA&PI immigrants to assimilate and appeal to white/western ideals and turn against less fortunate AA&PI immigrants, among other invisible issues that undocumented/DACAmented AA&PI face.

Navigating Burnout Through Anti-Capitalist Self-Care
Wednesday, March 31st, 7-8 PM EST

RSVP & Additional Information Coming Soon

UAAO Zine Release Party
Thursday, April 1st, 7-8 PM EST

Pacific Islander Meet & Greet
Friday, April 2nd, 4-5:15 PM EST
The Asian American and Pacific Islander (AA&PI) Heritage Month Planning Committee would like to invite PI students, faculty, and staff and all who are interested in supporting PI community for an afternoon of virtual networking and community building. During this Meet & Greet, in addition to getting to know each other, we hope to also discuss and gauge the interest of forming Pacific Islander community at the University of Michigan. 

Food Justice in AA&PI Communities 
Friday, April 2nd, 7-8 PM EST

Come eat and have a dialogue on food justice in AA+PI communities, ranging from the struggles in sourcing culturally relevant foods, chronic health issues exacerbated by poor diet, and our cultural histories rooted in food production in the United States. We will draw from specific histories such as the role of Native Hawaiian laborers in sugar cane production and the commodification of Thai food within the United States beginning as early as the early twentieth century.

Coalition Building Workshop
Monday, April 5th, 7-8 PM EST

During this short 90 minutes together, we have selected a few interactive and reflective activities and use them as a springboard for engagement and conversation around Coalition Building. We will define coalition buildings and show how student can create or think of their own coalition building endeavors. It can also be used as a space for personal sharing of experiences.

Anti-Asian Violence and LGBTQ Communities: Overlap & Advocacy 
Tuesday, April 6th, 6-7 PM EST

Spectrum Center is looking forward to hosting a panel consisting of Queer Asian and non-Asian LGBTQ individuals to talk about the increase in anti-Asian violence. It is important for the LGBTQ community to dialogue about and take actions addressing in-community racism and anti-racism efforts in the broader society. With the rise anti-Asian violence highlighted in the media, this panel will discuss calls to action supporting Asian communities experiencing harm.

Shaping Creative Lineage: A Poetry Reading + Writing Workshop with Carlina Duan
Wednesday, April 7th, 6-7 PM EST

Join us as we hear from Asian-American poet and educator Carlina Duan! This poetry workshop will include a discussion about AA&PI writing & education, a space to draft your own poetry, and readings from her books I Wore My Blackest Hair and Alien Miss.
Carlina Duan is a writer-educator from Michigan, and the author of the poetry collections I Wore My Blackest Hair (Little A, 2017) and Alien Miss (Univ. of Wisconsin Press, 2021). She currently teaches and studies as a doctoral student in the Joint Program in English & Education at the University of Michigan. She believes in gardens.

Dewy Apricot Designs: Desi Digital Art Q&A and Logo Tutorial 
Friday, April 9th, 5-6 PM EST

Join AA&PI HM and Dewy Apricot Digital Art, a pandemic-project turned successful art shop that designs Desi American and Asian American-themed pop culture items, for a Q&A and logo tutorial. With products and collaborations ranging from Desi tarot cards to makeup packaging, co-founders and college seniors Rishi and Ash will discuss how they actively incorporate their culture and issues of South Asian representation to create a meaningful and cohesive brand.

Kala Sagara - Michigan Sahana
Saturday, April 10th, Sunday, April 11th

Kala Sagara is a 2-day virtual conference on Indian Classical Music and Dance bringing together 11 universities from across the United States. Hosted by Michigan Sahana, this event will involve virtual music and dance performances, lecure demonstrations, workshops, panels, and other events on the technical, historical, philosophical, and technological aspects of Indian Classical Music and Dance. We are confident this will be an enlightening experience for all regardless of experience or familiarity with the Indian Classical Arts. 

AA&PI Folx-Centered Mental Health Space 
Tuesday, April 13th, 2-3 PM EST

Come join our AA&PI folx-centered mental health space, where we will hear from Dr. Sasha Zhou and Dr. Liz Lin about the importance of actively maintaining our mental health in AA&PI communities and how we can address these issues in a campus context. We will also have space for dialogue and discussion on the rise of anti-Asian hate crimes this year. Register to receive a care package as part of this event (while supplies last!). 

AA&PI Heritage Month Closing Ceremony 
Wednesday, April 14th, 6-7 PM EST

It has been an amazing month celebrating our AAPI heritage, identity, and contributions. Join us for our closing ceremony as we recognize outstanding AAPI individuals and groups, spotlight the various talent in our community, and more! Meals will be reimbursed for those that attend the celebration, please register for additional details. 


Philippine Cultural Night 2021: Isang Bayan, Isang Puso: Of the Same Heart, Connected, or United 
Saturday, April 17th

Watch on Youtube Live Here
Isang Bayan, Isang Puso: Of the Same Heart, Connected, or United. 
The Philippines is rich with different ethnicities, cultures, languages and people. The Diaspora has also spread us thin, but it is important to remember our roots to our homeland. No matter how far away we are from each other, which of the 7,100 islands we came from, or how much exposure we have had to Filipinx culture, we are all still connected through one heart. We are one family, one community, one people. Celebrate Filipino/Filipinx-American Culture with FASA and PCN: The Movie on YouTube Live, including external performances from other philippine student orgs across the Midwest and a featured keynote speaker.

    Asian American & Pacific Islander American Heritage Month