Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Celebration

Asian New Year Festival

Hosted by Asian Student Union
Thursday, February 4, 6:00 - 9:00 p.m
Russel H. Kirkhof Center, Grand River Room, Allendale Campus

Join us for a spectacular festival that showcases the traditional Asian New Year celebration. The program highlights the richness and diversity of Asia and features Asian cuisine and traditional performances from Asian ethnic groups, including a dragon dance, Chinese martial arts, national dance and cultural fashion show.

The Racial Realities of Asian Americans in Higher Education

Samuel D. Museus, Ph.D., associate professor of Higher Education and Student Affairs at Indiana University Bloomington; founding director of Culturally Engaging Campus Environments (CECE) Project
Wednesday, February 8, 4:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Russel H. Kirkhof Center, Grand River Room, Allendale Campus
LIB 100 & LIB 201 Approved.

In this lecture, Dr. Museus will explore the various ways in which Asian Americans are racialized in contemporary U.S. higher education and society, and the impact that these racial realities have on their higher education experiences and outcomes. The lecture will include discussion of how the model minority myth perpetuates problematic misconceptions of Asian Americans, an overview of how Asian Americans are positioned within larger racial discourses in society, the ways in which Asian Americans experience everyday racism in higher education, and thoughts about how Asian Americans are engaging in activism to advocate for justice and equity.


Alex Myung, director and animator
Thursday, February 9, 4:00 - 5:30 p.m.
Russel H. Kirkhof Center, room 2215/2216, Allendale Campus


Join us for a special screening of the animated short film, Arrival, by Alex Myung. "A true coming of age story, Arrival follows one boy's journey into adulthood, and the messy, complicated relationships that go with it. The story of the film pulls from Myung's past relationships. It portrays a uniquely modern LGBTQ couple, exploring the highs and lows that come with feeling guilty for loving the right person."  Stay with us after the film for a Q&A and discussion with Alex Myung! 


Curtis Chin, movie writer, producer, and director
Tuesday, March 14, 3:30 - 5:00 p.m.
Russel H. Kirkhof Center, Grand River Room, Allendale Campus
LIB 100 & LIB 201 Approved.

The gap in educational opportunities for different racial ethnic students in America continues to persist in public schools.  In New York City, where Blacks and Hispanics or Latinos make up 70% of the city’s school-aged population, they represent less than 5% at the city’s most elite public high schools while Asian Americans make up as much as 73%. This documentary follows a sample of students of color 8th graders as they fight for a seat at one of these schools. Their only way to get in to these elite schools is to ace a standardized test. Tested features the voices of education experts such as Pedro Noguera and Diane Ravitch as it explores issues including access to a high-quality public school, affirmative action, and model-minority myth.

Curtis Chin has written for ABC, Disney Channel, and Nickelodeon, and won awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, and the San Diego Asian American Film Foundation.  As a community activist, he co-founded the Asian American Writers Workshop and Asian Pacific Americans for Progress. His first film, Vincent Who? has screened at nearly 400 colleges, NGOs and corporations in four countries.  Curtis is currently a Visiting Scholar at New York University.  After the showing of the documentary, Chin will facilitate a short dialogue and engage in Q&As. 

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

Hosted by Asian Student Union
Saturday, March 18, 9:00 a.m - 4:00 p.m
DeVos Center, Loosemore Auditorium, Pew Grand Rapids Campus

LIB 100 & LIB 201 Approved.

The conference is free and open to the public.  To register, login Facebook event page,    Please contact Kathy Bui, or Kaitlin Chauv, with questions.  Lunch will be provided. Business attire is recommended.

"Conversation and Reading with Bich (Beth) Minh Nguyen"

Sponsored by English Department, History Department, Kutsche Office of Local History, Office of Multicultural Affairs, Writing Department, and Writers Series

Thursday, March 23, 4:00 - 5:15 p.m.
Russell H. Kirkhof Center, room 0072, Allendale Campus
LIB 100 & LIB 201 Approved.

Join us for a reading with acclaimed author Bich (Beth) Minh Nguyen. Her memoir, Stealing Buddha’s Dinner, documents her experiences growing up in Grand Rapids after her family migrated from Vietnam. She is also the author of two novels, Short Girls (an American Book Award winner in fiction) and Pioneer Girl. Her work explores themes concerning the Vietnamese and Asian American experiences. Nguyen will read from new work, a series of essays on high school, music, and the Midwest. This event will provide an opportunity to consider how Asian American literary scholars inform conversations on the Asian American experience in the twenty-first century.

Vietnamese Newcomer Documentary Screening. LIB 100 / 201 APPROVED!

Date and Time: Wednesday, April 19, 2017 1:30 PM - 2:45 PM

Location: Kirkhof Center » RM 2266

The project examines the legacy of Vietnamese refugees in West Michigan. Arriving in three distinct waves over the 1970’s, 80’s, and 90’s, Vietnamese
refugees have left their mark on the social and business climate of the community. 

Interviews collected through a Heritage grant from the Michigan Humanities Council have been distilled into a short documentary that will be followed with conversation and talk back.


Asian Faculty and Staff Association, Asian Student Union, Delta Phi Lambda, East Asian Studies, Division of Inclusion and Equity, Kutsche Office of Local History, Liberal Studies Department, Milton E. Ford LGBT Resource Center, Office of Multicultural Affairs, and WGVU Public Media

Events are free and open to the public.  For information on parking or for individuals requiring special accommodations, please contact us at (616)331-2177 or email us at:

Previous Celebrations

Page last modified April 11, 2017