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Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Heritage Month 2023

Here. Us. Now.

We invite all to participate and celebrate with us in *April the diverse diaspora that is Asian, Pacific Islander, and Desi American heritage.

*APIDA Heritage Month is observed nationally in May

A Thousand Cuts film promotional image of Maria Ressa in rearview mirror

Cross-Cultural Cinema - "A Thousand Cuts"

  • Monday, April 3, 2023
  • 9:30-11:00am
  • Cross-Cultural Center (USU 3400)

A Thousand Cuts Trailer

With press freedom under threat in the Philippines, A Thousand Cuts goes inside the escalating war between the government and the press. The documentary follows Maria Ressa, a renowed journalist and 2021 Nobel Peace Prize recipient, who has become the top target of President Rodrigo Duterte's crackdown on the news media.

Far East Deep South promotional image of Asian man in cotton field

Cross-Cultural Cinema - "Far East Deep South"

  • Monday, April 10, 2023
  • 9:30-11:00am
  • Cross-Cultural Center (USU 3400)

Far East Deep South Trailer

When a Chinese American family travels from California to Mississippi to visit the grave of its ancestors, it stumbles upon surprising revelations about the racially complex history of the early Chinese in the segregated South.

Kamalayan Alliance members smiling

Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Cultural Festival

  • Friday, April 14, 2023
  • 7:00-9:00pm
  • USU Amphitheater/Forum Plaza

The Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Cultural Festival is an annual celebration of cultures that are a part of Asia, Southeast, and South Asia. Similar to the night markets that are part of those communities, the APIDA Cultural Festival recreates those spaces that are filled with food, festivities, and entertainment. Performances by student organizations, live music and the smooth sounds of dj rosé occur throughout the evening. Celebrate with the APIDA community and join the festivities. Food from L&L Hawaiian Barbecue, Kona Ice and many more vendors for the first 100 CSUSM students. This event is a part of the Tukwut Life series of events supported by the Cross-Cultural Center and the Dean of Students Co-Curricular Funding.

Image of George Takei; black & white

Cross-Cultural Cinema - "To Be Takei"

  • Monday, April 17, 2023
  • 9:30-11:00am
  • Cross-Cultural Center (USU 3400)

To Be Takei Trailer

Known for his role as the helmsman of the U.S.S. Enterprise, Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu, on Star Trek: The Original Series, To Be Takei narrates the life and journey of actor, author and activist George Takei. Featuring interviews with fellow Star Trek actors William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Nichelle Nichols, and John Cho.

Group photo of API Rise

API Rise: Reimagining the Criminal Justice System

  • Tuesday, April 18, 2023
  • 6:00-7:30pm
  • Cross-Cultural Center (USU 3400)

The Asian Pacific Islander Reentry & Inclusion Through Support & Empowerment (API Rise) is a support group of peers who help heal past wounds and generate future solutions for the invisible and oppressed among APIs in California's Prison Industrial Complex. API Rise addresses complicated and nuanced conditions due in part to cultural stigma, silence, and apathy in the API community regarding criminal justice issues through the sharing narratives from those directly impacted. Co-sponsored by the Cross-Cultural Center and Project Rebound.

APIDA Faculty Staff Association Executive Board

APIDA Faculty Staff Assocation Monthly Meeting

  • Wednesday, April 19, 2023
  • 12:00-1:00pm
  • Kellogg 3010/Zoom

Join Asian Pacific Islander and Desi American staff and faculty for their monthly association meeting. Bring a colleague to be a part of the gathering and expand your professional network. The meeting is in-person and on Zoom.

Samoan dancers

Mana Moana: Language and Performing Arts in Polynesia

  • Friday, April 21, 2023
  • 11:00am-12:00pm
  • Cross-Cultural Center (USU 3400)
The histories of Oceania are etched in lyrical movement passed from generation to generation.  Dr. Grant Muāgututiʻa draws on his studies in linguistics and performing arts to share these histories from Polynesia.  Join him to take part in an interactive experience of learning and sharing the mana (strength) of the moana (oceania) through language, song, and dance. Light refreshments provided.

Promotional image for Kamalayan Alliance Pilipino Cultural Showcase

Pagkawala Ng Sarili (Lost Identities)

  • Friday, April 21, 2023
  • 5:00-8:00pm
  • ARTS 240/Breezeway

Thee college students, Tyler, Gabriel, and Annabelle, from different depths of cultural backgounds are struggling and finding their way through college life. Along the journey they meet and a friendship grows. As they open up about their individual traumas they begin to learn there is more to each other's stories than meets the eye. Presented by Kamalayan Alliance at CSUSM, join the annual Pilipino Cultural Showcase (PCS) and purchase tickets today at Eventbrite.

Ticket prices: $8 online presale/$12 at the door

Screen still from Emergence film

Cross-Cultural Cinema - "Emergence: Out of the Shadows"

  • Monday, April 24, 2023
  • 9:30-11:00am
  • Cross-Cultural Center (USU 3400)

Emergence: Out of Shadow Trailer

For Kayden, Jag, and Amar, awakening to and expressing their sexuality within conservative South Asian families was a lonely and terrifying experience. Denial, shame and despair haunted their youths, even threatening their lives. Yet, they’ve emerged. In the gripping feature documentary Emergence: Out of the Shadows, the disparate journeys of Kayden, Jag and Amar candidly converge around a shared sense of compassion and healing as they bravely convey their often heart-wrenching stories. Confronted with tradition and taboo in their Punjabi Sikh cultures, resisting silence, Jag’s parents and Amar’s mother choose love over rejection, offering courage and inspiration to individuals and communities struggling with acceptance. Tender, thoughtful and teary, Emergence: Out of the Shadows asserts a potent and transformative voice in support of marginalized queer youth and their families.

Dr. Jason Magabo Pereze, Poet Laureate of San Diego

National Poetry Month Reading by San Diego Poet Laureate

  • Tuesday, April 25, 2023
  • 11:45am-1:00pm
  • Cross-Cultural Center (USU 3400)

Dr. Jason Magabo Perez blends poetry, prose, performance, film/video, ethnography, and oral history to investigate Filipina/o/x American histories, state violence, colonization, migration, memory, and intimacy. Perez is the author of two hybrid collections of prose and poetry: Phenomenology of Superhero (Red Bird Chapbooks, 2016); and This is for the mostless (WordTech Editions, 2017). Formerly a featured artist at the New Americans Museum and community scholar-in-residence at San Diego Public Library, Perez has, for over 15 years, performed, lectured, and convened dialogues, panels, and workshops in public libraries, community centers, and K-12, college, and university classrooms. Dr. Perez currently serves as Program Director of Ethnic Studies at CSUSM and began his two-year appoinment as Poet Laureate for the city of San Diego in January 2023.

5Ds of bystander intervention image

Bystander Intervention to Stop Anti-Asian/American and Xenophobic Harassment

  • Thursday, April 27, 2023
  • 12:00-1:00pm
  • Zoom

Anti-Asian/American and xenophobic harrassment are on the rise across the US - and the world. In this virtual workshop hosted on Zoom, and co-sponsored by Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC), we'll learn how you can intervene effectivelyas a bystander withour ever compromising your safety.

This one-hour, interactive training will teach you right to Be's 5D's of bystander intervention methodology. We'll start by talking about the types of disrespect that Asian and Asian American folks are facing right now - from microaggressions to violence - using a tool we call the "spectrum of disrespect." You'll learn what to look for and the positive impact that bystander intervention has on individuals and communities. We'll talk through five strategies for intervention: distract, delegate, document, delay, and direct; and how to prioritize your own safety while intervening. We'll have time at the end for practice, and you'll leave feeling more confident intervening the next time you see anti-Asian/American harassment online or in person.

This training may not be ADA compliant. Questions about the online training should be directed to Right to Be.

All events are open to the general public. Parking fees may apply and all inquiries should be directed to Parking & Commuter Services.

Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month is presented through a collaboration by the Cross-Cultural Center, Arts & Lectures, Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Faculty & Staff Association, Ethnic Studies, Office of Inclusive Excellence, Tukwut Life, and the other Student Life Centers.