Cal State San Bernardino will celebrate Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Heritage Month throughout April with a number of in-person and virtual events honoring the accomplishments, contributions and culture of the Asian, Pacific Islander and South Asian communities under the theme of “History, Diversity, Experience.”

Nationally, Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Heritage Month is celebrated during the month of May, but because the university has a short month in May with finals, CSUSB starts its celebration in April.

The official kickoff for the 2022 celebration is set for Monday, April 4, at noon, and will take place on YouTube Premier. Go to APIDA Heritage Month Opening Ceremony to join the event.

“I’m looking forward to celebrating our similarities and differences,” said Muriel Lopez-Wagner, who is co-chair with Mike Chao of the 2022 APIDA organizing committee.

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.

Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month originated with Congress. In 1977, U.S. Rep. Frank Horton of New York introduced House Joint Resolution 540 to proclaim the first 10 days in May as Pacific/Asian American Heritage Week. In 1992, Congress passed Public Law 102-450, which annually designated May as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month.

Visit the API Heritage Month webpage for updates on the celebration. Highlights for the month include: