My name is Janine Silvis and I am currently an undergrad student leader at Humboldt State University. I am perusing a degree in Critical Race, Gender, and Sexuality Studies with an emphasis in Ethnic Studies. I am current enrolled in GRGS 313: Community Activism, along with other peers, and hope to bring back a celebration of Asian, South Asian and Pacific Islander identity as well as create dialogue about our complex histories and life experiences. I also personally see this event as a response to an article I wrote last semester in the Cultural Times, “Won’t Let it Be Ignored: Forbidden History, Asian Pacific Islander Identity and the Bronze Man in the Plaza”.
In this article I state:
“It has been of my opinion that programs on campuses (our campus and others that I have visited through regional and national conferences) have only allowed the general public to temporarily emerge themselves in API culture and not engage with the issues, and more importantly, that these events were for API identities to be paraded around and displayed for cultural tourists. […]
I do get envious by the fact that it is common at this university and others to have events that celebrate other ethnicities giving the “F you!” to the “white supremacist-capitalist-patriarchic” society. Events like Black Liberation Month, National Coming Out Day, National Day of Silence, Latin Independence and more display a pride in being different where as we are displayed as different. These events are great and empowering and I desire one for my identity.” (http://www.humboldt.edu/multicultural/Download/cultural_times/current_issue.pdf)
We hope to gain support from all groups on campus and we have already brainstormed some ideas for events. We intend to do multiple events on the week of 29th of April and are still open to ideas that will help in achieving the following goals:
- To create a space to discuss the issues that Asian, South Asian, and Pacific Islander Americans face in the United States.
- To unite the students, staff, and faculty that identify as Asian, South Asian, and Pacific Islanders through social and educational programming as well as create allies.
- To recognize support spaces for the Asian, South Asian, and Pacific Islander community.
- To respect the intersectionality of identities as the reason why there is not just “one Asian American experience”.
- And to promote empowerment of this community in hopes of creating an annual tradition.
Immediately, we would like to set up an initial stakeholder’s meeting. This would give everyone the change to network with each other and decide on tasks, events, group leaders, and theme. The hope is that this stakeholder’s meeting will be on going to next semester to keep the various campus groups unified and make this celebration an annual event.
Thank you for reading this overview of this event and I hope you will join us. We ask that all interested persons submit their interest using this form.