May marks the celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, chosen to coincide with two important milestones in Asian/Pacific Islander American history: the arrival in the United States of the first Japanese immigrants on May 7, 1843, and contributions of Chinese workers to the construction of the transcontinental railroad, completed May 10, 1869.
Despite the long history of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders being in the U.S., a common question directed to Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders is: “Where are you from?” As simple as this question may be, it is fraught with the same misinformed, stereotypical, xenophobic and biased sentiments that fuel the increased anti-Asian sentiments seen in response to COVID-19.
We hope this month can offer you insights and perspectives to inform you and others on how we are all from here. Be it through an update from our most recent Census, films that have garnered national recognition or being a part of the change by engaging with our first-of-its-kind alumni group.
As always, feel free to forward this to a friend with whom you want to celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Visit our social media companion to the Diversity Digest on Instagram at @ucladiversealum. Most importantly, please let us know if there is a topic you are interested in by submitting ideas to email@example.com. This week’s offerings include:
EAT Make it a date night with takeout from Bruin-owned (Bryant Ng ’00) Cassia. We love the Vietnamese coffee pudding and kaya toast!
Looking for something meditative, grounding and evocative of the islands of Hawaii? August at Akiko's was listed as one of the best movies of 2019 by The New Yorker and is Bruin-produced by Sarah Kim ’07.
For our Bruin parents looking for some family fun (or a break), our 2016 Community Service Award Recipient, Stewart Koh ’70, J.D. ’74, will be holding a storytelling hour reading "Dim Sum For Everyone!" by Grace Lin and "What Makes us Unique? Our First Talk About Diversity" by Dr. Jillian Roberts. All that you need to do is sign up here, and a Zoom link will be shared the day before.
The UCLA Mixed Alumni Association is the first of its kind in the country. Join their virtual general meeting and learn more on how you can get involved with this nationally-recognized alumni network!
As always, we thank you for your love and support — our diverse alumni community means the world to us.
Here's to being "here,"
Patricia Châu Nguyễn
Diversity Programs & Initiatives