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March 12, 2024

APIDA Heritage Month events at Michigan State University

This story will be updated throughout March and April.

Michigan State University recognizes Asian Pacific Islander Desi American, or APIDA, Heritage Month each year to celebrate the group’s diverse identities, histories and cultures. APIDA Heritage Month is recognized nationally in May when most students are no longer on campus. MSU observes APIDA Heritage Month events this year between March 9 and April 14 while students are on campus and can connect with each other.

A centerpiece to this year’s APIDA celebrations is the award-winning Small Island Big Song musical performance at the Wharton Center for Performing Arts. Small Island Big Song is a music and performing arts project that unites the islands of the Pacific and Indian Oceans through artistic collaboration. This project is a contemporary musical statement from a region that shares the ancient seafaring heritage and concerns for our changing waters.

The 2024 APIDA Heritage Month events are coordinated by the APIDA Heritage Month Committee, which consists of the Asian Pacific American Student Organization, or APASO, and APASO affiliate organizations, the Asian Pacific Islander Desi American/Asian Faculty and Staff Association, or APIDA/AFSA, and the Asian Pacific American Studies program, or APA Studies.

APIDA Heritage Month events

All events are listed in Eastern time.

Saturday, March 9

5 p.m. — 2024 Lunar New Year Banquet

Join MSU’s Chinese American Student Coalition at the Cadillac Room in Lansing for the 28th Annual Lunar New Year Banquet! Registration reached maximum capacity. Sign up for the waitlist.

Thursday, March 14

4 p.m. — Asian American Studies in K-12 education

With bills before the state legislature to expand history and ethnic studies education in Michigan public schools, this is an important moment to converse with teachers, curriculum experts and grassroots organizers to assess the importance of teaching Asian-Pacific American-related curriculum in public schools and reflect on the work that has been done to bring us to this point.

Join APA Studies in the College of Education, Erickson Hall Room 133F, on March 14 to welcome Monica Eraqi from Dakota High School, Ben Pineda from Haslett Middle School, Melanie McCormick from Stand for Children and Henry Duong from Rising Voices. Noreen Naseem Rodríguez from MSU’s College of Education will moderate this timely discussion.

Friday, March 15

6 p.m. — APIDA/A Heritage Month Kickoff

Join APASO in the Minskoff Pavilion’s Multi-Purpose Room to kick off APIDA Heritage Month! Filmmaker Adele Pham will screen and discuss her documentary “Nailed It,” followed by a gathering with food, prizes, local Vietnamese businesses and more! Take-home boxes will be available for those observing Ramadan. Register for the event.

Saturday, March 16

9 a.m. — APIDA Family Day

Hosted at MSU’s Office of Admissions, APIDA Family Day is designed to introduce incoming APIDA students and their families to the academic programs and resources available and welcome them to the Spartan Family.

5 p.m. — Halo Halo 2024

MSU’s Pilipino American Student Society, or PASS, is hosting its annual Philippine cultural night, celebrating Filipino American heritage through food, singing and dancing performances at the Cadillac Room in Lansing. Halo Halo 2024 will feature a performance from influential artist Ylona Garcia! Get tickets to the event.

Monday, March 18

4:30 p.m. — “Small Island Big Song: An Oceanic Songline” dinner and film screening 

MSU’s Culinary Services and the Wharton Center for Performing Arts have partnered to present a themed dinner and film screening coordinated with the Small Island Big Song performance on March 21. The short film screening of “Small Island Big Song: An Oceanic Songline” will take place in Akers Auditorium at 6 p.m. Learn more about the event.

Wednesday, March 20

6 p.m. — Storytelling Through Movement Workshop with Paige Hernandez

Join the MSU Women of Color Initiatives’ artist in residence, Paige Hernandez, and community members of all abilities in the International Center’s Room 300 to learn how to create and share narratives with more than pen and paper. Those who attend should bring a notebook and a pen. The first 10 people to RSVP and attend will receive a free notebook and pen from WOCI. Register for the event.

Thursday, March 21 

Noon — Sisterhood Luncheon

Community members are invited to join Paige Hernandez for MSU’s Women of Color Community’s Sisterhood Luncheon series in the main campus library Green Room. This event will allow participants to engage with the honored multidisciplinary guest and meet other women of color and allies in an informal setting. Register for the event.

6 p.m. — Paige in Full: Performance, Demonstrations and Insights

Happening at the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities, or RCAH, Theater, the community is invited to attend an interactive keynote performance and talkback conversation with Assistant Professor Gianina Strother in the Department of African American and African Studies, Associate Professor Sitara Thobani in RCAH, Assistant Professor Alexandria Davis in the Department of Theatre and Postdoctoral Fellow Sarah Bruno in the Department of English. A reception will follow the event in honor of featured guest Paige Hernandez. Register for the event.

7 p.m. — Heritage Month Social

This social event, hosted in Holden Hall’s Vincent Chin Room by MSU’s Pilipino American Student Society, or PASS, gives community members an opportunity to make new connections and celebrate their heritage.

7:30 p.m. — Small Island Big Song musical performance

Experience a transcendent musical journey in the Wharton Center for Performing Art’s Cobb Great Hall, combining song, spoken word and cinematic visuals filmed over a multiyear voyage across 16 island nations. Buy tickets for the event.

Friday, March 22 to Saturday, March 23 APA Studies Symposium 

The theme of this year’s Asian Pacific American Studies Symposium at Michigan State University, APIDA/A Crossroads: 180 Years of Inclusion, Exclusion and (In)Visibility, draws from a multitude of narratives from APIDA and Asian individuals and communities through time. The symposium will feature panels, workshops and flash talks with a keynote. The format for this year’s symposium will be hybrid, available online or in person on the third floor of the International Center.  

Join us for Sen. Stephanie Chang’s keynote address at 4 p.m. on Friday, March 22. 

Saturday, March 23

6:30 p.m. — Japanese Matsuri Festival

Join MSU Japan Club for a Japanese summer festival experience. This event will feature food, games, activities and prizes. There will be multiple booths lined up in a “street” format to simulate the real thing. This free event will be held in the MSU Union Ballroom.

Saturday, March 30

3 p.m. — Coalition of Indian Undergraduate Students Satrang

The Coalition of Indian Undergraduate Students, or CIUS, was founded in 1989 to celebrate Indian culture on MSU’s campus. Join CIUS at their annual satrang event that showcases dances from across India performed by the students at the Everett High School Auditorium. 

Friday, April 5

7:30 p.m. — APIDA/A Heritage Month Night Market 

Join APASO and APASO Affiliates in the Brody Courtyard for an evening at a Night Market, where the vibrant flavors, colors, and culture of APIDA/A communities come alive under the stars.

Sunday, April 7

1 p.m. — Sargam: Cultural Fair 

Experience the vibrant tapestry of Indian culture at Sargam Cultural Fair! The MSU Indian Students' Organization is providing an opportunity for to celebrate diversity and create lasting memories with captivating performances, mouthwatering cuisine and immersive cultural exhibits! Get tickets for the event.

Friday, April 12

7 p.m. — Coalition of Indian Undergraduate Students Formal

This formal event is hosted by MSU’s Coalition of Indian Undergraduate Students at the Cadillac Room in Lansing.

Saturday, April 13

5 p.m. — APIDA/A Heritage Month Banquet Celebration

Join APASO and the APIDA/A Heritage Month Planning Committee, in the MSU Union Ballroom, as we come together to celebrate and honor APIDA/A Heritage Month. Let's recognize the achievements of our community, student organizations, and graduating students as we conclude this month of commemoration. Formal attire encouraged.

Sunday, April 14

6 p.m. — Spring Showcase: Lights, CTRL, Action

MSU’s CTRL+A will host its annual spring showcase event on CTRL+A’s birthday in the MSU Union Ballroom. Six years ago, on April 11, CTRL+A officially became an MSU Registered Student Organization. Come join and see showcase performances to celebrate the organization.

Michigan State is dedicated to recognizing the diverse cultures and histories of Asian Pacific Islander Desi American people in and outside of education. Students, staff and faculty can find support and resources through various channels at MSU, including the Asian Pacific American Student Organization, APASO affiliate organizations, the Asian Pacific Islander Desi American/Asian Faculty and Staff Association, the Office of Cultural and Academic Transitions and the Asian Pacific American Studies program.

MSU recognizes APIDA Heritage Month yearly to celebrate the group’s diverse identities, histories and cultures. The Asian Pacific American Student Organization is raising funds for various projects, such as scholarships, mental health initiatives and cultural events that honor and support Spartan students. Learn more.

By: Emilio Silerio-Gonzalez and Brady Velazquez

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