Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


APIDA Heritage Month emphasizes, uplifts stories of past, future

Events throughout April bring campus APIDA community together

The University of Wisconsin recognizes and celebrates April as the annual Asian Pacific Islander Desi Heritage Month, with various events hosted by the APIDA Planning Committee.

This year the APIDA Planning Committee organized over 10 different events to honor those within the APIDA community and to share their different cultures, backgrounds and identities with one another, as well as other students in the UW community, according to Student Affairs

The theme “Voices Intertwined: Stories That Shape Us” is a two-part theme meant to give students the opportunity to explore the different stories and narratives encompassed under the wide umbrella that is the APIDA identity, APIDA Student Center Program Coordinator Kevin Wong said. 


“We’re really making sure to pay attention to highlight, emphasize and uplift all of the various different stories that we have and how heritage is not just a product of the past, [but also] what we are aspiring to in the future and how all of that comes together,” Wong said.

The APIDA Planning Committee is divided into four subcommittees, with each one planning two or three of the events throughout the month. The subcommittees held brainstorming sessions to determine what kinds of events they should host and ultimately chose events from those sessions that they believed would hold the most impact on students, APIDA Subcommittee Liaison for Community and Networking Nicole Escobia said. 

Yom HaShoah commemorates, remembers victims of the Holocaust

This year, the planning committee kicked off the month with an APIDA Heritage Festival April 1. It consisted of a community weaving project where every attendee worked to create a unified textile piece meant to illustrate the diversity and various voices of the APIDA community, according to UW News

Esocbia’s subcommittee focused on creating events that brought the community together. Holding both the “A-Speed-A Dating” and “Empowering APIDA” events, the subcommittee believed these would leave longer, lasting impressions with people, Escobia said. 

The mid-month A-Speed-A-Dating event was designed to bring students together to allow them to build relationships and find new friends on campus, Escobia said.

The Empowering APIDA event, scheduled for April 20, will have a panel of APIDA professionals and alumni that students will have the opportunity to speak with and ask questions to. This event is meant to build a bridge between the panel and students to share their stories of growing up as part of the APIDA community, Escobia said.

“We want them to have that camaraderie with each other and have those networks of support because, you know, they’ve been here, they know what it’s like and they can give the best advice or guide others,” Escobia said. 

The panel is also meant to let students network with the speakers and find alumni who might’ve been in similar programs during their time at UW, Escobia said.

UW students drive campus efforts to reform campus mental health response

As these are only two of the 11 events held throughout April, the APIDA Planning Committee has worked hard to create a month that intertwines their voices and stories to share with the APIDA community, as well as the campus community. 

APIDA students, including Sophia Zheng and Pue Shwe Thin, believe that these events are a great way for them to meet new people and friends that share similar backgrounds and identities. 

“This represents a safe place because when I came here, for the whole first semester I was stuck in a place that I didn’t belong to, and I was struggling with imposter syndrome and everything because of this, so these events remind me of home it’s a safe place for me,” Thin said.

APIDA Heritage Month is open to everyone on campus. The events are a way to share and celebrate APIDA as a whole, as well as the individual differences of those within the community. Students are encouraged to go to the different events that the APIDA Planning Committee has organized, Escobia said. 

The committee has worked diligently to organize and present students with a month full of celebration, learning and growth for the future. 

“We want to make those lasting connections so students feel supported because all of us here do this for everyone else,” Escobia said. “We just want people to enjoy the hard work that we have put into it. I think that’s really important and along with every theme that we have each year, we really try to hit home what power we have on campus so that we can support each other and grow and not feel super isolated.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Badger Herald

Your donation will support the student journalists of University of Wisconsin-Madison. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Badger Herald

Comments (0)

All The Badger Herald Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *