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Around Campus

Carolina celebrates Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month

The celebration is led by the UNC Asian American Center, which was founded in 2020 and whose mission is to cultivate a critical understanding of Asian American peoples, cultures and histories.

The Bell Tower in the spring
Photo by Johnny Andrews.

Carolina is celebrating Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month this April with several campus-wide events, including panels, performances and the creation of a cookbook.

The celebration is spearheaded by the UNC Asian American Center, which was founded in 2020 and whose mission is to cultivate a critical understanding of Asian American peoples, cultures and histories. Through education, organizing and advocacy, the center engages and empowers Asian American students, faculty and staff.

The monthlong celebration aims to do just that.

“Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month is an opportunity to highlight the diverse histories and cultures of this large and understudied community,” said Heidi Kim, the director of the UNC Asian American Center and an associate professor in the English and comparative literature department in the College of Arts & Sciences. “It’s an especially important celebration this year in the wake of tragedy. Asian Americans need and deserve this celebration, and so do Pacific Islander Americans. Both communities have been hit hard by COVID in different ways. There’s already been such positive attention after the [March 16] Atlanta shootings, so I hope the Carolina community will come out to learn more. We’re showcasing amazing art, performance, scholarship and community work.”

Opportunities to engage in Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month include:

  • Submitting a recipe of Asian dishes to create a cookbook that highlights the significance food has on Asian culture. Tar Heels can submit a recipe at the UNC Asian American Center’s website throughout the month.
  • A discussion on social work in Asian American communities on April 14.
  • A panel on April 15 featuring Asian American and Asian student-athletes discussing the theme of “Reclaiming the Commentary.”

The celebration at Carolina will conclude with a livestream of the center’s “Story from the Ages” event, which will feature spoken word, performance and storytelling that highlights the Asian and Pacific American experience. Premiering April 30 at 7:30 p.m., the livestream will consist of videos submitted by the Carolina community.

View a complete schedule on the UNC Asian American Center website