Arab Heritage Month and Asian/Pacific Islander American Heritage Month are being celebrated on our campus. Many of the events will highlight struggle, achievements and resistance within these communities currently and historically. Arab Heritage Month ends April 11 with the Jack Shaheen lecture illustrating the damaging consequences of ethnic stereotyping. In addition, the Asian/Pacific Islander American Heritage Month ends with VSA Pho night and UAAO Pie-in-the-face fundraiser, which is to fundraise next year’s High School Conference, GenAPA, Heritage Month, and MAASU.
I attended some of these events and they were extremely educational, helpful towards understanding histories different than my own and also changed my perspectives on history. Attending these events solidified my understanding of the importance of heritage months on college campuses. If you are a student with a different background, attending some of these events can contribute toward building a more inclusive campus that reflects the experiences and histories of a diverse student body. These events also allow solidarity building between different student groups towards striving towards social justice within higher education. Heritage months through MESA (Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs), you can experience spaces for students to voice and express their traditions and identities on campus and it is truly a beautiful experience.
Contributed by Maritza Duran, Expect Respect Program Assistant