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:

  • April 5 – “Our APIDA Heritage in Filmmaking: A conversation with H.P. Mendoza and Patrick Epino,” noon- 1 p.m. 
  • April 7Karaoke in the Pub, 5-9 p.m., SMSU North Pub
  • April 11 – Modern China Lecture Series presents “Disability as Performance: Translating Chinese Crip Poetry,” a lecture and discussion with Hangping Xu, 10:30-11:45 a.m. Yu Xiuhua, who is a disabled poet, rose to fame when her poem “Crossing China to Sleep with You” caused an online sensation. This presentation discusses contemporary Chinese representations of disability by focusing on the case of Yu Xiuhua. It also reflects on the cross-cultural politics of translating Yu’s poetry into English. Zoom at this link
  • April 12 – Canceled, new date TBD. “Chat with Jocelyn Yow, Mayor of Eastvale,” noon-1 p.m. 
  • April 13 – Modern China Lecture Series presents “Born with Royal Blood: Manchu Noblemen in Transition in Mid-Qing,” with Shuo Wang of CSU Stanislaus, 10:30-11:45 a.m. How did Manchu noblemen live their lives in mid-Qing? How was a “leisure class” formed and expanded? Was it reflecting and accelerating the decline of Qing power after the 18th century? This talk uses an anthology by Dun Cheng as the main source to discuss these issues. Zoom at this link
  • April 14 – Thai Lao Cambodian New Year, noon-2 p.m., Obershaw Dining Room. Register through Coyote Connection, RSVP for Thai, Lao, Cambodian New Year (TLC New Year)
  • April 15Indian Cultural Performances, 3-5 p.m., SMSU Theatre
  • April 18 – “Stop Asian Hate talk with Dr. Russell Jeung,” co-founder of Stop AAPI Hate and San Francisco State professor of Asian American Studies, noon-1 p.m.
  • April 19 – “APIDA Mental Health Challenges,” presented by We-Chin Hwang, Claremont McKenna College, noon-1 p.m. Zoom registration, APIDA Mental Health Challenges, Dr. We-Chin Hwang, Claremont McKenna College
  • April 21 – Modern China Lecture Series presents, “Mate Choice and Marriage in the Chinese Communist Border Areas: Three Perspectives from 1941-42,” a lecture and discussion with Allan Barr, Pomona College, 3-4:14 p.m. On the eve of the 80th anniversary of the famous Yan’an Forum on Literature and Art, this paper examines three controversial works that explored the vexed issues of mate choice and marriage in the Communist border areas during the war with Japan. Zoom at this link,
  • April 22 – Traditional Korean Ceremony – Coming of Age (Seongnyunsik), 2-3 p.m., SMSU Conference Center. Free event registration,
    Korean Dinner (Hansik), 4:30-6 p.m. followed by the Korean Performance Showcase – Modern & Traditional, 6:30-7:30 p.m., both at the SMSU Conference Center. Tickets on sale at the SMSU Box Office.
  • April 26Celebrating Philippine Culture Night, 6-8 p.m., SMSU Events Center
  • April 27 – Modern China Lecture Series presents “Ethnic River: Borderland Ecology and Rice Farming Stories around the Tumen River,” a lecture and discussion with June Hee Kwon of CSU Sacramento, 10:30-11:45 a.m. This presentation examines how the ecology and ethnicity are intersected in narrative making of the Tumen River as an ethnic river — an ecological border that connects and demarcates between the Korean peninsula and Northeast China and a historical reminder of Korean Chinese ethnic marginality and ethnic survival through the rice farming. Zoom at this link:
  • April 28 – "Squid Game Discussion Panel: A Contextualization of Squid Game’s Social, Cultural, and Cinematic Significance," a panel discussion on the Netflix series, noon-1 p.m. on Zoom
    “Filipino American Experience with Dr. Victor Bascara,” 1-2 p.m. Event registration, Filipino American Experience with Dr. Victor Bascara
    Asian Faculty Staff Student Association Spring Banquet. 5-6 p.m., Zoom TBA
  • April 29 – (Rescheduled from April 12) “Chat with Jocelyn Yow, Mayor of Eastvale,” noon-1 p.m. 
  • May 4 – Modern China Lecture Series presents "Law and Racial Translation: Marriage Fraud Amendments, Gender-Based Violence, and Chinese American Women," a lecture and discussion with Lee Ann S. Wang of UCLA, 10:30-11:45 a.m. The talk will focus on Chinese American women who are survivors of gender-based violence and considered as “of the law, though not its spirit” and impacted by discourses of “fraud,” such as through the federal Immigration Marriage Fraud Amendments of 1986Zoom at this link:
  • May 7APIDA Graduation, 4-6 p.m., SMSU Events Center A and B. Registration required.
  • May 10 – “Identity Development Explored through Lived Experiences of Asian Americans with Mental Illness,” a panel presentation, 4-5:30 p.m. on Zoom. Register on the Eventbrite webpage.