The Asian and Pacific Islander Student Center (APISC) is holding multiple discussions to teach the Cal Poly Pomona campus about the histories and cultures of the Asian and Pacific Islander (API) community.

The events will take place during the month of April and are part of APISC’s Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. 

“Each event had to do with a different subgroup in the Asian community,” said Henry Truong, a fifth-year mechanical engineering student and social justice leader at the APISC. “Even though we are all part of the API community, we tend to segregate ourselves into our different groups. We hope to bring all the groups together this month.”

Last month APISC hosted the 2019 Showcase where students were able to show off their talents. (Courtesy of APISC)

The APISC worked with other cultural organizations to bring these events to CPP students. 

On Wednesday, April 10, a discussion on the Chinese Exclusion Act will take place in the Bronco Student Center’s (BSC) Centaurus Suite from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.

The following week on Tuesday, April 16 during U-hour, there will be a talk in BSC Andromeda about Japanese internment camps and the impact they had on the United States’ history.

A Southeast Asian New Year event will take place during U-hour on April 18 at the Cultural Lawn, where students are encouraged to come and learn more about the traditions of the new year in Southeast Asian cultures.

“We want to educate the campus community. In school, we don’t learn much about Asian history and how it’s very rich in culture,” Truong said. 

On Wednesday, April 24, students can learn about the “War on Drugs” and the thousands of Filipino deaths under their current leader, President Rodrigo Duterte. This will take place in Andromeda AB from 2-3 p.m.

The final event will commemorate Black Friday. On April 30, 1975, the Vietnam War ended with the capture of Saigon by North Vietnam. 

The vigil will teach attendees the history of this moment in Vietnam’s history. It will be held on April 30 in the BSC’s Orion from 6-8 p.m.

The APISC is bringing its heritage month to the CPP campus in April, but the month of May is Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month. 

The month commemorates the first wave of Japanese immigration recorded on May 7, 1843. It also marks the completion of the transcontinental railroad — much of which was completed by Chinese immigrants on May 10, 1869.

In 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed into law a bill designating May 4-11 as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week. On May 7, 1990, President George W. Bush proclaimed May a month-long recognition of Asian and Pacific Islander heritage. 

It was finally institutionalized in 1992 in a unanimous vote by Congress. 

Any questions can be sent to Megan Dela Cruz at mndelacruz@cpp.edu or drop by the APISC and speak with a social justice leader.

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