Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

Asian Desi Pacific Island American Heritage Month 2021

Watch videos from Asian Desi Pacific Island Heritage Month here

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month is celebrated each May to pay tribute to the achievements and contributions generations of Asian, Desi and Pacific Island Americans have made in the United States. According to a Pew Research Center study, between 2000 and 2015, "The U.S. Asian population had the fastest growth rate of any major racial or ethnic group." 

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month was first designated as Asian-Pacific Heritage Week by Representatives Frank Horton of New York and Norman Y. Mineta of California. It was celebrated the first ten days of May. In 1978, a bill was passed and signed by President Jimmy Carter to designate the annual celebration. In 1990, President George H. W. Bush signed a bill to extend the week-long celebration into the full month of May.

May was chosen to commemorate the date, May 7, 1843, which marked the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States. The month also marks the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad, May 10,1869, in which the majority of the workers were Chinese immigrants.

The University of Oregon celebrates Asian Pacific American Heritage Month each year with a wide variety of events that celebrate, honor and highlight the work and culture of Asian, Desi, & Pacific Islander communities.

Asian and Pacific American Heritage Month Awards Night first began at the UO in 2015. Former CMAE Academic Advisor and Asian and Pacific Islander Student Retention Specialist, David To, started development of the Awards Night when he first got to campus the summer of 2014. David felt that while student groups had previously done events for Asian and Pacific Heritage Month there was a lack of a specific signature event hosted by the university. David felt it was important to have the UO host an event that not only celebrated the achievements of the Asian and Pacific American community but also brought in unique perspectives on the Asian and Pacific American experience through education and social justice.

While spearheading the initial work David admits how vital it was for him to form partnerships with departments and individuals across the campus. This necessity for interdepartmental work also helped initiate the development of the Asian Desi Pacific American Strategic Initiatives Group.

“It was really beautiful that people all over campus came together to do this…different levels of people came together – students, administration, staff, community members came together to make this event.” – David To

Serving as Asian Pacific and American Heritage Month’s signature event – Awards Night seeks to not only celebrate the efforts of those in our respective community but also educate and allow those who do not identify as Asian, Desi, Pacific Islander to learn about our communities.


 2021 Asian Pacific Island Heritage Month Events and Activities

ADPI Poster with list of events 2021

2021 Events

April 23 | VSA Spring Culture Show

April 29 | Kultura Pilipinas (KP) Culture Show

April 30  & May 1 | Adopted Student Union Conference

May 3 | Countering Violent Extremism in Pakistan: Anita Weiss Book Talk

May 6 | UO Teach IN: Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Joy & Justice in the Classroom

May 7 | CSWS Women of Color Books In Print Event w/ Tara Fickle

May 9 | APASU Night Market

May 12 | Addressing Anti-Asian Violence: ADPI Student Community Dialogue

May 13 | School of Languages and Global Studies Seminar: Jun Lang

May 13 | Conversations about Our World: “Identity, Ambivalence, Homecoming: Travels Between Asian and Asian American Studies”

May 19 | Sanctuary, A Performance

May 21 & 22 | Coalition Against Environmental Racism (CAER) Annual Spring Conference

May 22 | Hui'O Hawai'i Club 45th Annual Lu'ua: "A Hui Hou/Until We Meet Again"

May 25 | Asian Studies Undergraduate Research Event

Feb 6, 2020 - Jul 11 2021 | Myriad Treasures: Celebrating the Reinstallation of the Soreng Gallery of Chinese Art at The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art


Dr. Yvette M. Alex-Assensoh

A message from Yvette Alex-Assensoh, Vice President of Division of Equity and Inclusion
ADPI Heritage Month in the Midst of COVID-19

As the world continues to feel the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are seeing an emboldened anti-Asian sentiment sweep throughout the country, despite the fact that Asian Americans are overrepresented on the front lines fighting COVID-19. This story, unfortunately, isn’t new, but it’s a reminder of the importance of learning about and celebrating the historical contributions of ADPI communities, both this month and all throughout the year. During this watershed moment in American history, Asian, Desi, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month takes on even more importance.

Read More


Anti-Asian Discrimination

Denouncement of Anti-Asian Discrimination & Covid 19

A statement by the UO Asian Desi Pacific Islander) Strategies Group (ADPI), UO Division of Equity & Inclusion, Black Strategies Group, Native American Strategies Group, Latinx Strategies Group and Sexual Orientation Gender Identity and Expression (SOAGIE) Strategies Group 

2020 Asian Pacific Island Heritage Month Events and Activities

ADPI Month 2020

2020 Events

  • Minute Exhibits, Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art

  • Online Webinar, hosted by the Graduate School Registration, Addressing Anti-Asian microaggressions and hatred during the pandemic

  • Lasting Impact of the Internment of Japanese Americans
    City Club of Eugene Facebook broadcast

2019 Asian Pacific Island Heritage Month Events and Activities

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Awards Banquet Event Collage of photos


Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Awards Banquet Event Collage of photos  with award winners

APAHM 2019


2019 Events and Award Winners

Faculty/Staff – Joann Zhang 
Students – Frankie Cao; Madeline Do; Madilyne Nguyen-Acosta; Savannah Kan
Community – Ken and Irene Nagao

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Awards Banquet 2019

  • "Unfinished Translation: Writing Modernism BEfore the Pacific Century"
  • APAHM Award Banque
  • Asian-Greek Identity on the telphos Frieze from the Great Altar at Pergamon - Kristen Seaman
  • The Life of Paper: Letters and Poetics of Living Beyond Captivity
  • Taiwan Night
  • APASU Presents a Workshop with Phung Huynh
  • BE Voice - William Nu'utupu Giles
  • Freedom of Speech and the Press in Asian: Human Rights Balanced with Cultural Values?
  • Filipino Culture Night
  • ADPI Night Market
  • Book Celebration: "Asian American Feminisms and Women of Color Politics"
  • 44th Annual Lu'au
  • Chinese Flagship Annual Colloquium 


2018 Asian Pacific Island Heritage Month Events and Activities

Asian Pacific Heritage Month Banquet and Awards 2018 photo collage

2018 Award Winners and Events 

Award Winners

Faculty/Staff – Kris Galago 
Students – Kezia Setyawan; Yasi Milani-Baladi; Kristy Lu; Polani Mo’okini; 
Community – Jason Mak


  • DISORIENT Film Festival
  • Hong Kong Night
  • Korea Night
  • Japan Night
  • International Week
  • Long Nineteenth Century Japanese Woodblock Prints
  • Reverence and Pleasure: Highlights of the Shōbundo Nōsatsu Collection
  • 2018 APAHM Awards Banquet “Representation & Resistance”
  • Lecture: "The Art of Directing" with Chloé Zhao
  • Film: Songs My Brothers Taught Me Q&A with Dir. Chloé Zhao
  • North Korea Behind the Headlines: Politics, Society, and Culture workshop 
  • Anna Akana
  • BE Change with Scot Nakagawa Lecture
  • Deepak Chopra
  • Film: The Rider Q&A with Dir. Chloé Zhao
  • Filipino Cultural Night
  • SUSAN CHOI: Asian American novelist
  • ADPI Night Market
  • Hui 'O Hawai'i 43rd Annual Lū'au
  • Racist Sandwich Podcast
  • ADPI Ice Cream Social
  • Holi 2018
  • ANN CURRY: television personality, journalist


2017 Award Winners and Events

Award Winners

Faculty/Staff – James Chang, Krista Chronister, Gordon Hall 

 Students – Undergraduates: Srushti Kamat, Coua Xiong, Elirissa Hui, Alex Tang, Jasmine Alik, Diana Nguyen
Graduates: Alexandra Lau, Keisha Janney

Community – Melissa ‘Mimi’ Nolledo - Photographer/Documentarian, Immigrant Stories of America, Ardyn Wolfe & David Tam (shared) - Co-Chairs, Asian Celebration

Story Teller Award – Kylie Juggert