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Celebrate APIDA Heritage Month  

Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) Heritage Month occurs every year during the month of May to celebrate, uplift, and educate others about the complex history and identities of those in the APIDA community. Due to the nature of our academic schedule, the Center for Multicultural Engagement and Inclusion (CMEI) recognizes APIDA History Month during the month of April. CMEI and our partners collaborate every year to create programming surrounding the experiences and issues of the APIDA community. Through our events, we celebrate the vast diversity within the APIDA identity and bring to light issues that our community is experiencing in order to grow and heal.  

Keep scrolling down to view all events for this month!


For events opened to the Auraria campus and community sponsored by the University of Colorado Denver, please visit the Asian American Student Services within the Center for Identity & Inclusion. 

The Political History of “Asian American”

Monday, April 5th 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM  

We often ask, hear, and read commentary surrounding the inclusion of our collective identity: "Who are Asian Americans?" "Do we use APIA, AAPI, APIDA, AANHPIDA, API, Asian American?" "Is Asian American inclusive enough?" In addition to this burdensome challenge of naming and grouping our diverse communities under one happy umbrella in the US, we have yet to make sense and accurately name what APIDA culture is. Join Luna for a discussion on the need to (re)define our culture, build community, and become change-makers in an ongoing cultural revolution that will not be televised. 

Register Here  

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the event. 

Luna Ly

Luna Ly was born and raised in Cheyenne, Ute, Sioux occupied land (Denver metro area) and moved to D.C. to complete her Master of Public Health program at George Washington University. Luna is passionate about learning and reflecting on how she shows up in her work and for communities in the fight for justice and liberation while volunteering with the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) DC Chapter and The Sustainable Culture Lab. She enjoys being weird on social media, writing long sentences, and learning the bass guitar.

Anti-Asian Response and Bystander Intervention Workshop

Thursday, April 8th | 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM

Anti-Asian and xenophobic harassment have risen dramatically during the pandemic. In this virtual workshop with the MSU Denver's Counseling Center, we will discuss how to be an ally and how you can intervene effectively as a bystander. Come learn strategies that you can use the next time you see Anti-Asian harassment online or in person.

Register Here

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the event.

The Model Minority Myth

Thursday, April 15th | 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM 

Asian American communities are burdened with the “model minority” stereotype, a prevalent and misleading assumption that depicts AAPIs as uniformly well-adjusted, attaining more socioeconomic success than other minority groups through strong work ethic, conforming to social norms and excelling academically. The fact is the AAPI community is highly diverse across subgroups in rates of socioeconomic, health and mental health challenges. The social and familial pressure created by this deceptive stereotype can prevent community members from seeking mental health care. Let’s come together and hold a healthy discussion on this myth with the MSU Denver's Counseling Center.

Register Here

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the event.

Music, Race, & Social Justice Virtual Visiting Artist Series: Dr. Kuttin Kandi
Thursday, April 15th | 4:00 PM  

The MSU Denver Department of Music, with support from The Office of Diversity and Inclusion, presents the 2020/2021 Virtual Visiting Artist Series on Music, Race, & Social Justice. Organized by Dr. Elizabeth McLean Macy, Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology, this year-long series highlights the work of BIPOC musicians, performers, and scholars. This April we welcome DJ Kuttin Kandi.

Zoom Webinar 



Dr. Kuttin Kandi









Dr. (h.c.) DJ Kuttin Kandi is a "People's Hip Hop DJ Scholar" who was born and raised in Queens, NY and is widely regarded as one of the most legendary and accomplished womxn DJs in the world. Kandi is a disabled Filipinx-Pin[a/x]y-American Queer, Writer, Poet, Theater Performer, Educator, Hip Hop Feminist, and Community Organizer for over 25 years. In 2018, DJ Kuttin Kandi was titled a Global Hip Hop and Cultural Ambassador by Next Level's Meridian International Center, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. She is a Site Manager for Next Level; Co-Founder of the People’s Collective for Justice and Liberation and the University for Justice and Liberation (UJL); Member of DJ team champions 5th Platoon; Co-Founder and DJ for the Hip Hop group Anomolies; Co-Founder of the NY monthly open mic “Guerrilla Words,” Co-Founder of the coalition R.E.A.C.Hip-Hop, Co-Founder and Board Member of the DJ Coalition- Freedom Sound DJ's, and Founder, Editor and Host of the podcast Hip Hop Bruha. DJ Kuttin Kandi received an Honorary Doctorate in Pinayism for her endless dedication to radical sisterhood, critical praxis, and transformative solidarity. 

Asian American Identity: Healing Through Action 

Friday, April 16th | 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM 

This workshop is designed to give participants an increased understanding of the unique cultural barriers that Asian Americans face when it comes to mental health including intergenerational trauma and bi-cultural identity development. Participants will leave with basic knowledge about mental health and explore how this knowledge can be used to heal individually and as a community. Diana Chu will introduce different resources that are available and practical ways to access these sources.

Register Here 

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the event.

Diana Chu

Diana Chu is a Marriage and Family Therapist and a Registered Drama Therapist in San Francisco. Diana provides counseling services for children, individuals, and families. She has developed and led workshops at national conferences on Drama Therapy and Mental Health and Technology. She also hosts a podcast called Waves of Change, which promotes mental health awareness in Asian American communities. She worked at various community mental health settings, including Community Youth Center, Counseling Enriched Educational Program, School-Based Counseling, Family Engagement Programs and Autistic Spectrum Disorder Clinic.

“You Want Flower?” Fighting Anti-Blackness iOur Nail Salons 

Thursday, April 22nd 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM 

Hostility between the Black and Vietnamese communities has always been prevalent, stemming from global anti-Blackness and racial issues between the two. Both communities rely on each other for services and business, yet why does such tension exist? 

“Nail salon fight” videos frequently go viral on social media. Confronting and dismantling the prejudices and anti-Blackness that exists within the Vietnamese community is important and necessary. Opening the discussion to recognize where both communities intersect in racial inequality is vital to combat the tension and to create more solidarity for all. 

Register Here 

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the event. 

Elizabeth Dang

Elizabeth Dang (she/her/hers) graduated from The Ohio State University and is a first year Master’s student in Higher Education at Loyola University Chicago. She takes pride in being a part of the Union of Vietnamese Student Associations of the Midwest Region (UVSAMidwest) and plans to continue her support for the Vietnamese Student Association (VSA) for years to come. Elizabeth is passionate about dogs, supporting students in higher education, and helping local VSAs further their organizations. 

Summer Rolls Not Gender Roles: How the Duality oAsian and Western Constructs Create Conflict 

Monday, April 26th 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM

How our family and culture define and enact gender may not overlap with western definitions, actions, and media portrayals. Workshop participants will engage in an interactive activity to reflect on both Asian and western constructs of gender, where there is overlap and where there is conflict between the two ideals. Participants will walk away with a better understanding of how gender constructs/roles may limit identity development and how subconscious actions may perpetuate stereotypes. 

Register Here 

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the event. 

Nathan Nguyen

Nathan Nguyen is the current Director of LBGT Student Services at Western Michigan University (WMU), a current doctoral student, and identifies as a second generation Vietnamese American queer trans man from a family of immigrants. Prior to WMU, Nguyen worked at North Carolina State University, Northeast Florida AIDS Network (NFAN), University of North Florida (UNF), and the Jacksonville Area Sexual Minority Youth Network (JASMYN, Inc).

Want to Learn More?

In honoring APIDA Heritage Monthbelow are additional resources: 

  • Support Asian Pacific Development Center of Colorado
  • SEARAC is a national civil rights organization that empowers Cambodian, Laotian, and Vietnamese American communities to create a socially just and equitable society. They are currently focused on policies regarding education, immigration and health and aging.
  • For more information regarding mental health issues, you can find information and services on organizations like the Asian Mental Health Collective. For a list of Asian and NHPI therapists, visit the directory list.  

Colorado APIDA Anti-Hate Community Resources 

APIDA History Month Media List 

  • Books 
    • Chemistry by Weike Wang 
    • Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng 
    • On Earth We Are Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong 
    • The Farm by Joanne Ramos 
    • When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Klanithi 

  • Movies 
    • Gook – Gook is a 2017 American drama film written and directed by Justin Chon. It tells the story of two Korean-American brothers running their father's shoe store, and their unlikely friendship with a neighborhood 11-year-old Black girl during the first day of the 1992 Los Angeles riots. 
    • Minari – A Korean American family moves to an Arkansas farm in search of their own American dream. Amidst the challenges of this new life in the strange and rugged Ozarks, they discover the undeniable resilience of family and what really makes a home.
    • The Farewell – Billi's family returns to China under the guise of a fake wedding to stealthily say goodbye to their beloved matriarch – the only person that does not know she only has a few weeks to live. 
    • The Half of It – Friendless student Ellie Chu lives in the remote town of Squahamish, where she makes extra money writing homework papers for her fellow students. She lives with her widowed father and performs most of his duties as station master and signalman. 
    • Tigertail – Pin-Jui is a young boy from a poor family living in Huwei ("tiger tail"). His father died when he was a year old, so his mother sent him to live with his grandparents who worked in a rice field removed from Huwei. There, he meets a similarly aged girl, Yuan Lee, from a wealthy family. From here, we watch his journey as he immigrates to New York City. 
  • Musicians 
    • BTS – Also known as the Bangtan Boys, is a seven-member South Korean boy band that began formation in 2010. With the rise in popularity of Korean music, BTS has hit the stage internationally and have amassed fans worldwide. Check out their songs, “Dynamite” and “Life Goes On” from their most recent album. 
    • Jai Wolf – Sajeeb Saha, known professionally as Jai Wolf, is a Bengali New York-based electronic music producer. He is best known for his singles, "Indian Summer", "Like It's Over", and "Starlight". 
    • NIKI – NIKI is an Indonesian singer, songwriter and record producer. She is currently based in the United States and signed with the record label 88rising. She was signed onto her label after her huge success on YouTube. Her newest album Moonchild features songs such as “Switchblade”, “Selene” and “Pandemonium”. 
    • keshi - keshi (Casey Luong) was born in Houston, Texas to Vietnamese parents. Prior to making music his fulltime career, he was a fulltime nurse. He is now known for his distant falsetto vocals and textural instrumentals. Check out his songs, “2 soon”, “like i need you”, and “always”. 
    • Rina Sawayama – Rina is a Japanese-British singer-songwriter and model based in London. Her newest album Sawayama gained a lot of buzz this past year. The album was an exploration of identity, family, gender and sexuality, set to a backdrop of future-facing, genre-splicing pop music as she lyrically explores personal experiences from both her childhood and adulthood. 

  • Podcasts 

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