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APIDA Heritage Month Celebration

URBANA, IL –Cultural festivities in observance of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month at the University of Illinois both amuse and educate with travel, workshops and art exhibits.

For nearly four decades today, May has commemorated APIDA Heritage Month nationwide, and the University of Illinois is not one to skimp on formal celebrations in the APIDA Champaign-Urbana community. 

If you're organization's events for Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Heritage Month would like to be included in our 2020 calendar, please fill out the form here:

What is Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Heritage Month? 

Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Heritage Month celebrates the collective accomplishments of the heterogeneous communities that make up the APIDA population. Congress passed a joint Congressional Resolution in 1978 to commemorate Asian American Heritage Week during the first week of May. This date was chosen because two important anniversaries occurred during this time: the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants in America on May 7, 1843 and the completion of the transcontinental railroad (by many Chinese laborers) on May 10, 1869. It was later expanded from a week long to a month long celebration in 1990. Since then, May has been designated as national AAPI Heritage Month, much like Black History and Women’s History Month celebrations. However, because of Illinois’s academic calendar, we have not been able to celebrate May as APA Heritage month on campus, nor has there been any organized effort to acknowledge the month in the C-U Community. 

APIDA Heritage Month Calendar Events for 2019

Monday, April 1
Chai Time: Mixed Student Union, 6pm
Multicultural Game Night
Asian American Cultural Center


Tuesday, April 2
Food for Thought: "Us too in the age of #metoo: An Introduction to Trauma Responses and Strategies for Intervention", 12pm
Jaya Kolisetty,, Rape Advocacy, Counseling, & Education Services (RACES)
AACC Lounge

Brown Bag: “Landscape as a Transect: Louis Kahn’s Assembly Building & the Construction of a National Identity of Bangladesh”, 12pm
Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies
Lucy Ellis Lounge FLB

“As Good as a White Man”: Asian Immigrants, Indigeneity, and Differential Violence in American Alaska”, 5:00pm
Asian American Studies
AAS Conference Room

Wednesday  April 3

Japanese Language Table, 2pm
Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures
EALC Library- Room 2050 FLB

Screening: “Forgetting Vietnam” (2015), 7pm 
Gender and Women’s Studies, Spurlock Museum
Knight Auditorium, Spurlock Museum

Thursday, April 4
Boneyard Arts Festival: “Breaking Barriers” Art Reception, 5:30pm
Asian American Cultural Center
AACC Lounge

MillerCom Lecture by Trinh T. Minh-ha & Reception
Gender and Women’s Studies
Levis Faculty Center, 3rd Floor


The Literary Competition between Northern and Southern Elites in Fifth Century China (lecture in Chinese), 4:00pm
Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures
Lincoln Hal Room 1022

Friday, April 5
Korean Conversation Group 5:00pm
Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures
Basement of Illini Union (near Einstein Bros Bagels)

JCT Game Show Night 5:00pm
Japanese Conversation Table
AACC Lounge

“Do All Asians Think the Same?” 5:30pm
alpha Kappa Delta Phi Sorority & Asian American Association
IKE room 2003

Saturday, April 6
Illinois Cultural Adopted Students Program (ICASP) Conference , 10am
Taiwanese American Students Club
AACC Whole Building

Makanfest 2019, 6pm
Singapore Students Association
University YMCA

Tuesday, April 9

Food for Thought: Songkran Festival: Thai New Year, 12pm
Asian American Cultural Center and Thai Student Association
AACC Lounge

Documentary Screening: “Call Me Ganda”, 6pm
Asian American Cultural Center, Philippine Student Association, Gender and Women’s Studies, Asian American Studies, LGBT Resource Center, Women’s Resources Center
AACC Lounge

Wednesday April 10

Nepali New Year Traditions, 6pm
OIIR International Education
AACC Lounge

Screening of America in Transition, 7pm
Trans of Color
Mumford Hall

Friday,  April 12

Langar 2019, 11am
Sikh Student Association
Area 51 (Between Engineering Hall and Everitt Lab)

Saturday, April 13

Holi 2019, 12pm
Asha for Education UIUC
Florida and Lincoln Playing Field

Discussion with Arden Cho, 3:00pm
Asian Pacific American Coalition
Lincoln Hall Theater

Midwest Games 2019, 6pm
Singapore Student Association
AACC Lounge

Sunday, April 14
Mr. Asian UIUC, 3pm
Kappa Phi Lambda Sorority
Gregory Hall 112

Tuesday, April 16

Food for Thought: Set Sail on your Leadership Journey, 12pm
Asian American Cultural Center & Illinois Leadership Center
AACC Lounge

Saturday April 20

OJC Cooking Day, 1pm
Origami and Japanese Club
AACC Lounge

HKSA Cooking Competition 2.0, 6pm
Hong Kong Student Association
AACC Lounge

Sunday, April 21

Pt. Ronu Majumdar & Pt. Harshad Kanetkar Concert
Channing Murray Foundation


Monday, April 22
Asian American Leadership Awards, 6pm 
Asian American Cultural Center
Alice Campbell Alumni Center Ballroom

Tuesday,  April 23

Food for Thought: "Reflections of a Student Leader: UIUC Alumni, Deborah Ikeda,” 12pm
Asian American Cultural Center
AACC Lounge

Thursday, April 25

Filipino Potluck, 6pm
UIUC FilAm Staff and Students
AACC Lounge

Friday, April 26
PakSA Fashion Show, 7pm
Pakistani Student Association
Illini Room at the Illini Union

Saturday, April 27
Kamayan Lunch, 2pm
Philippine Student Association
University YMCA Latzer Hall

India Night, 7pm
Indian Student Association
Foellinger Auditorium

Filipino Culture Night, 7pm
Philippine Student Association
Lincoln Hall Theatre

Sunday, April 28

Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Heritage Month Celebration: AsiaFEST! 2019, 1pm
Asian American Cultural Center
AACC Whole Building and Outside Parking Lot

Monday, April 29

Race, State Violence, and Radical Movements in the Decolonizing Pacific, 4pm
Asian American Studies
Lincoln Hall 1090

Tuesday,  April 30

Food for Thought: “Women and Hip Hop in the Middle East and North Africa Region”, 12pm
Asian American Cultural Center
AACC Lounge

Brown Bag: “Nights in Bombay: Discourses on Depravity and Everyday Lives in the 1920’s and 1930s”, 12pm
Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies
Lucy Ellis Lounge FLB