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University commemorates Asian Pacific American heritage in April

April 04, 2012

Jill Ouikahilo
(315) 443-8568

Syracuse University’s Office of Multicultural Affairs within the Division of Student Affairs kicked off its annual celebration of Asian Pacific American (APA) Heritage Month on Monday, April 2, in the Schine Student Center Atrium. Celebrated nationally in May, APA Heritage Month honors Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders who have enriched America’s history and are instrumental in its future success.

Guided by the University’s vision of Scholarship in Action, APA Heritage Month consists of programs and signature events that educate the community of faculty, staff and students about the histories, cultural diversity, contributions and often underreported challenges of Asian Pacific Americans.

This year’s theme, “Envision the Future,” is about bringing awareness to the complexities of Asian and Pacific Americans who get labeled inappropriately as the “model minority.” This label excludes Asian and Pacific Americans from the rhetoric about struggles Asian and Pacific Americans have with racism, hate crimes and education.

“We are envisioning a future where others will take the time to question and celebrate the complexities of Asian and Pacific Americans, who have unique cultures within their respective groups and who contribute to American society in more ways than get discussed in the media,” says Kim Williams, associate director for the Office of Multicultural Affairs.

Programming for the heritage month includes movies that highlight Asian Pacific Americans’ struggles and successes, poets, activists, inspirational speakers and a commemorative lecture by Peter H. Huang, professor and DeMuth Chair of Business Law. Huang’s lecture will take place on Thursday, April 19, at 7:30 p.m. in Gifford Auditorium. Titled “Tiger Cub Strikes Back: Memoirs of an Ex-Child Prodigy about Legal Education and Parenting,” Huang’s lecture is based on an article currently in circulation to be published. Attendees will engage in a conversation about the similarities between mainstream legal education and tiger parenting, as well as how both can be improved by fostering lifelong learning about character strengths, emotions and ethics. This event is co-sponsored by the College of Law.

Another highlight of the month’s lineup of speakers is SU alumnus and former president of Asian Students in America Jennifer Zhao ’09. Zhao will be returning to campus to share her story on Monday, April 23, at 7 p.m. in 107 Hall of Languages. She currently works for Raytheon, a leading company specializing in defense, homeland security and other government markets throughout the world. The event is co-sponsored by Alumni Relations, Career Services and the L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science.

A full events calendar for APA Heritage Month is posted in the Schine Student Center, available on OMA’s web site: http://multicultural.syr.edu, and available for pick up in Schine, Suite 105. Programs and events are open to the public. For more information, contact Williams at 443-9676 or knwillia@syr.edu.

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