Asian Pacific Islander American Heritage Month kicks off

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Asian Pacific Islander American Heritage Month is officially underway, and to kick it off, the Center for Diversity and Intercultural Affairs held an event in the Lowman Student Center mall area on May 1.

The event offered free t-shirts to those who stopped by. They were also handing out pamphlets detailing facts about historical figures: Mahatma Ghandi, Amy Tan, and King Kamehameha. The pamphlets also included facts about Asian- Pacific Islander Heritage Month, the Asian American community in the United States as well as a recipe for Beef Yakitori. There was also an origami activity offered.

One of the student workers for the diversity council, Ashley Lewis, said she wanted to go to the event to expand her understanding of various cultures other than her own.

“I wanted to learn about diversity and also work with people from different backgrounds,” Lewis said.

Chisom Orji, who has been a part of the Diversity Council for three years, said he has taken advantage of the different cultural events over the years.

“I just enjoy learning about different cultures every month, and being able to help with being open minded which I think is very important,” Orji said.

Another Diversity Council member, Matthew Dancy, attended the event because it gave him a chance to connect with other cultures and see how we can all live in harmony.

“It is important for me to be informed about the world’s culture as well as the individual’s culture on this campus and how I can relate to them and how they can relate to me,” Dancy said. “We can have an understanding of each other, so we can all coexist.”

The Diversity Council was established in 2005 to provide an equal-opportunity environment within the Sam Houston State University campus and promotes diversity in all aspects of life.

This heritage month originated as a congressional bill in 1977 and became an official annual celebration in 1978. It was assigned to the month of May as commemoration for the immigration of the first Japanese citizens to the United States in 1843.