Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Celebration

Sacred Sites Tour: Masjid At-Tawheed

Partnered with Campus Interfaith Resources
Friday, January 26, 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Meet in the Office of Multicultural Affairs, 1240 Russel H. Kirkhof Center, Allendale Campus by 11:00 a.m.
Transportation and lunch will be provided

RSVP is required at

LIB 100 & LIB 201 Approved

Join us in the Sacred Sites Tour at the Masjid At-Tawheed, a mosque in the greater Grand Rapids area. Participants will get a behind-the-scenes tour of the mosque and view the jumu'ah prayer. Then, engage in a discussion with the leaders about Islam and the history of the mosque as well as conversation around intersectionality and the role of Islam in the Asian culture.

Sacred Sites Tour: West Michigan Hindu Temple

Partnered with Campus Interfaith Resources
Friday, February 2, 5:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Meet in the Office of Multicultural Affairs, 1240 Russel H. Kirkhof Center, Allendale Campus by 5:30 p.m.
Transportation will be provided

RSVP is required at

LIB 100 & LIB 201 Approved

Join us in the second installment of the Sacred Sites Tour and visit the West Michigan Hindu Temple, located in Ada. Participants will meet with the leaders of the temple, tour the temple, learn about Hinduism and Jainism, engage in a discussion to deepen understanding of this faith tradition, and learn about the role of Hinduism in the Asian culture.

Asian New Year Festival

Partnered with Asian Student Union
Saturday, February 10, 6:00 - 9:00 p.m
Russel H. Kirkhof Center, Grand River Room, Allendale Campus

Enjoy a spectacular festival that showcases the traditional Asian New Year celebration. The event highlights the richness and diversity of Asia by featuring an assortment of Asian ethnic cuisine and traditional performances including a dragon performance, Chinese martial arts, cultural fashion show and a variety of Asian ethnic dances.


Stacie Tamaki, miniature origami artist
Monday, February 19, 2:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Mary Idema Pew Library, Multipurpose room, Allendale Campus

LIB 100 & LIB 201 Approved

Stacie Tamaki is a miniature origami artist who has found a way to educate and raise awareness on issues of racism and injustice through art and storytelling.  Tamaki has showcased her work at the annual ArtPrize since 2014.

In this workshop, Tamaki will showcase her ArtPrize entry, “Acceptance” -  a collection of origami peace cranes.  The artist will begin by telling stories around the meaning of:

“Acceptance” it isn’t about the past as much as it is a plea for today and the future.

“Internment” represents injustice and the willingness of others to look away, to quietly accept or openly justify that which is wrong. It includes a photo of the artist's family held unjustly for three years at the Heart Mountain Wyoming internment camp stripped of their civil rights, home, belongings, and dignity.

"Kintsugi" in Japan, when something breaks it isn't ruined, it doesn't become worthless trash. Instead broken pottery mended with gold, becomes more interesting because now it has a story. The brokenness isn't beautiful, it's how we heal, who we can become, that holds the potential for beauty.

"Filled with Love” each of the filled with love cranes contains a tiny paper heart tucked inside of it. The hearts represent the artist's family's hearts, that they chose love over hate and didn't leave the camp carrying any prejudices of their own against those who had put them there. 

Following her storytelling, the audience will have an opportunity to learn from the artist and participate in a hands-on activity on crane folding. Origami paper will be provided. 

Hmong Memory at the Crossroads

Partnered with Modern Languages and Literatures
Wednesday, February 28, 2:00 - 3:30 p.m.
Charles W. Loosemore Auditorium, Pew Campus
Safoi Babana-Hampton, producer, co-writer, co-director, professor Michigan State University will facilitate Q&As and discussion following the movie

LIB 100 & LIB 201 Approved

Liachoua Lee, a Hmong-American from Rochester Hills, Michigan, revisits his past as a former refugee and son of Hmong veterans of the French Indochina War (1946-1954), and of the American Secret War in Laos (1961-1975), by revisiting places that carry traces of his personal history and the emotional scars left by the war. Lee’s story begins in Detroit, Michigan, then takes him to France, a place where he and his family sought asylum before immigrating to America, and ends in an emotional return to the homeland Laos for the first time in 40 years. The film documents Lee’s re-reading of key chapters of his refugee history, re-creating memories of wartime as experienced by the child he was then.

Growing up Hmong at the Crossroads

Wednesday, February 28, 6:00 - 7:30 p.m.
Charles W. Loosemore Auditorium, Pew Campus
Safoi Babana-Hampton, producer, co-writer, co-director, professor Michigan State University will facilitate Q&As and discussion following the movie

LIB 100 & LIB 201 Approved

Four children of former Hmong refugees embark from their home in Minnesota on a milestone journey to trace their family history in Laos, Thailand and France. In their earnest search for their cultural roots, Justin, Joshua, Bella and Maipa open a door into the world of children born to former war refugees and what it means to grow up Hmong in the diaspora. This film gives a glimpse of the unique struggles the children of this generation work through to relate to their parents’ cultural heritage, to make sense of their historical memory, to construct and perform a sense of place in the community and in the world, against the backdrop of politically troubled times, increasing social anxieties and the global spread of xenophobic sentiments.

Managing and Addressing Micro-aggression: Tools and Strategies

Hsiao-Wen Lo, Ph.D., licensed psychologist
Monday, March 12, 3:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Russel H. Kirkhof Center, room 2215/2216, Allendale Campus
LIB 100 & LIB 201 Approved

This workshop is designed for participants to understand the cognitive, emotional and behavioral impact of micro-aggression. They will also learn tools and strategies to more effectively manage these impacts and to address the situation in ways that advance social justice.

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

2018 Theme: Breaking Barriers in Education and Employment

Partnered with Asian Student Union
Saturday, March 17, 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 Rodrigo Mata, or Jason Chen, with questions. Lunch will be provided. Business casual attire is encouraged.

Cancer and Mindfulness: the Spirit of the Philosophy of Cancer

Okio Hino, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Molecular Pathology and Medical Science and Chief of Department of Pathology and Oncology, Juntendo University School of Medicine in Japan

Thursday, March 22, 2:30 - 3:30 p.m.
Cook-DeVos Center for Health Sciences, room 123, Pew Campus
LIB 100 & LIB 201 Approved

Dr. Hino earned his Ph.D. at the Tokyo Medical and Dental University.  In addition to teaching, he currently serves as the President of Cancer Philosophy Clinic, which he founded in 2008. Previously, he worked as a visiting scientist at Division of Gastroenterology and Liver Diseases, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Fox Chase Cancer Center in the United States; and as the Chairman of Department of Experimental Pathology, Cancer Institute, Japanese Foundation for Cancer Research in Japan.  He received numerous awards including "Award of the Japanese Society of Pathology”,  "Scientific Award of Japanese Foundation for Cancer Research” and “Princess Takamatsu Cancer Research Fund Prizes”, just to name a few, for his distinguished contribution to research on liver cancer and kidney cancer. 

This talk will center around his recently published research article "Cancer Philosophy: Thinking Cancer Cells Deeply” in the Juntendo Medical Journal. Dr. Hino has conducted extensive research and embarked upon the individuality and diversity of cancer. Apart from being a cancer pathologist, he considers himself an intellectual who frequently uses analogies of cancer to explain his outlook on life. Dr. Hino deems importance to finding out the common or most fundamental traits of cancer cells to better understand the mindfulness of humanity. He believes that we humans play up the future - a sign of our inner desire to avoid reality. Dr. Hino hopes that in a complex world with many incomprehensible factors and endless puzzle pieces, the philosophy of cancer will help to shed light on the path to the future.


Asian Faculty and Staff Association, Asian Student Union, Campus Interfaith Resources, Delta Phi Lambda, East Asian Studies, Division of Inclusion and Equity, Kirkhof College of Nursing, Milton E. Ford LGBT Resource Center, Modern Languages and Literatures – French, Office of Multicultural Affairs, University Libraries, Office of the Vice Provost for Health, 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

Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Celebration Contact

Connie Dang
Office of Multicultural Affairs
Grand Valley State University
Phone: (616) 331-2177

Page last modified September 21, 2018