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GVSU events will celebrate Asian Pacific heritage

  • The celebration will kick off with a traditional Asian New Year Festival January 31.

Posted on January 22, 2013

Asian women in leadership roles, a traditional dragon dance and media portrayals of Asians in the U.S. will be highlighted during Grand Valley’s annual Asian Pacific American Heritage Celebration.

Sponsored by Grand Valley’s Office of Multicultural Affairs, the celebration will take place January 31-March 23. The events are free and open to the public.

Asian New Year Festival
January 31, 6-9 p.m., Grand River Room, Kirkhof Center, Allendale Campus
The traditional celebration will highlight Asian cuisine, performances including a dragon dance, Chinese martial arts and a fashion show.

Vietnamerica: A Family’s Journey
February 6, 6-7 p.m., Cook-DeWitt Center, Allendale Campus
Gia Bao (GB) Tran, a young Vietnamese author and artist, will tell stories of his family’s history fleeing Vietnam during the fall of Saigon and being raised in the U.S. as a son of immigrants. 

Internationalizing Families, Internationalizing Communities and the Children Navigating these Unchartered Waters

February 11, 3-4 p.m., room 2215, Kirkhof Center, Allendale Campus
Christen M. Pearson, associate professor of English linguistics, will discuss the language barriers involved when American families adopt children from other countries.

Asian Representation in the Media
February 12, noon-1 p.m., room 2263, Kirkhof Center, Allendale Campus
Grand Valley student Christine Vo, vice president of the Multicultural Greek Council, will give a presentation about restrictive media portrayals of eastern and southeastern Asians in America.

Exploring Taiwan and Korea’s Physical and Cultural Environments

February 21, 4-5 p.m., room 2215, Kirkhof Center, Allendale Campus
Kin M. Ma, assistant professor of geography/planning, will share his summer 2012 experiences in Taiwan and the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea.

Learning Chinese - How to Make it Easy

February 26, 11 a.m.-noon, room 2263, Kirkhof Center, Allendale Campus
Curtis Smith, professor of Chinese and coordinator of the Chinese Language and Literature program, will explore easy ways to learn the Chinese language.

Asian American and Pacific Islander Women in Higher Education
February 27, noon-1 p.m., room 1201, Kirkhof Center, Allendale Campus
Connie Dang, director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs, and Shaily Menon, associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, will discuss the growth of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) representation in higher education. They will also discuss factors that affect the underrepresentation of AAPI women in leadership roles and creative ways to build an inclusive leadership team.

R.I.C.E. Conference: Realizing and Addressing Issues in our Culture and Education

March 23, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Loosemore Auditorium, Pew Grand Rapids Campus
This conference will educate and raise awareness of Asian issues that impact the community. Complimentary breakfast and lunch will be served.

Supporting sponsors of the celebration include Grand Valley’s Area Studies, Asian Student Union, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Delta Phi Lambda, East Asian Studies, English Linguistics and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages programs, Geography/Planning, Inclusion and Equity Division, Modern Languages and Literatures, Women’s Center and WGVU Public Media.

For more information, visit

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