A vital part of our mission is leadership. LEADERSHIP IS MAKING CHANGE.
This month: Celebrating Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Following our Leadership is Making Change post, which was written in response to the many stories of racial inequality that plague our country, the Office of Student Involvement and Leadership Development at Worcester State University made a vow to provide support for and education about marginalized cultures and identities. Marginalized populations are defined as “groups and communities that experience discrimination and exclusion (social, political and economic) because of unequal power relationships across economic, political, social and cultural dimensions.”  The Making Change series features monthly posts that share historical backgrounds, educational resources (to read, watch, and listen), and activism opportunities centered around a specific culture, identity, or community.

Our goal with our April Post is to Celebrate Asian American and Pacific Island Heritage Month, A rather broad term, Asian/Pacific encompasses all of the Asian continent and the Pacific islands of Melanesia (New Guinea, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji and the Solomon Islands), Micronesia (Marianas, Guam, Wake Island, Palau, Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Nauru and the Federated States of Micronesia) and Polynesia (New Zealand, Hawaiian Islands, Rotuma, Midway Islands, Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Cook Islands, French Polynesia and Easter Island). This year’s celebration is particularly important for recognizing the contributions and influence of Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans to the history, culture, and achievements of the United States while condeming the rise in racism and hateful actions towards the Asian American community due to the misguided and hateful rhetoric during the Covid 19 pandemic. We recognize the painful impact it is having on our Asian and Asian American community and commit to continue to protect and uplift this community at Worcester State

We strive everyday to educate our students to be impactful campus and community leaders. Leadership begins with education. This resource list is not exhaustive, but will provide the opportunity to begin the journey of educating yourself and those around you.

Start Here

National Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
12 Ways to Celebrate
Free Webinar Series for Asian Pacific Islander Month
About the Month


To Watch

The Struggles Of Being An Asian American
Youtube
In honor of Asian Pacific Heritage Month, we wanted to close out this time with a discussion on what it means to grow up Asian American. We speak with several women who share their experiences and wisdom gained from it.

Never Have I Ever
Netflix
The complicated life of a modern-day first generation Indian American teenage girl, inspired by Mindy Kaling’s own childhood.

Kim’s Convivence
Netflix
While running a convenience store in Toronto, members of a Korean-Canadian family deal with customers, each other and the evolving world around them.

Finding Ohana
Netflix
On Oʻahu for the summer, two siblings from Brooklyn connect with their Hawaiian heritage — and their family — on a daring quest for long-lost treasure.

I Am Not Your Asian Stereotype
TEDx
When journalist Assia Boundaoui investigates rumors of surveillance in her Arab-American neighborhood in Chicago, she uncovers one of the largest FBI terrorism probes conducted before 9/11 and reveals its enduring impact on the community.

Fresh Off the Boat
Hulu
ABC’s comedy, based on Chef Eddie Huang’s memoir, focuses on the son of Chinese immigrants trying to fit in after his family moves to Orlando.

How You See Me
YouTube
“Chinese are not the same as Japanese, are not the same as Koreans, Filipinos, or Thai, or Indians…” We talked with people from a variety of Asian cultures about how they think the world sees them. How does the world see YOU? Do you feel defined by your skin color, gender, or maybe even your religion?

Asian Enough? | David Huynh
YouTube
Asian-American actor, David Huynh, is working to bring awareness to the lack of Asian representation and visibility in film and theater.

Seoul Searching
Netflix
During the 1980’s, the Korean government created a special summer camp for “gyopo” or foreign born teenagers where they could spend their summer in Seoul to learn about their motherland. While the intentions of the program were honorable, the activities of the teens were not. The program was eventually cancelled after a few years because the government simply could not control the youth. Seoul Searching is a teen comedy and coming of age film, based on a true story about one of the summer camps that took place in 1986.

Crazy Rich Asians
YouTube
The story follows New Yorker Rachel Chu (Constance Wu) as she accompanies her longtime boyfriend, Nick Young (Henry Golding), to his best friend’s wedding in Singapore. Excited about visiting Asia for the first time but nervous about meeting Nick’s family, Rachel is unprepared to learn that Nick has neglected to mention a few key details about his life. Not only is he the scion of one of the country’s wealthiest families, but also one of its most sought-after bachelors. Being on Nick’s arm puts a target on Rachel’s back, with jealous socialites and, worse, Nick’s own disapproving mother (Michelle Yeoh) taking aim. It soon becomes clear that the only thing crazier than love is family, in this funny and romantic story sure to ring true for audiences everywhere.


To Listen

Asian Enough Podcast‬
From the Los Angeles Times, “Asian Enough” is a podcast about being Asian American — the joys, the complications and everything in between. In each episode, hosts Jen Yamato, Johana Bhuiyan, Tracy Brown and Suhauna Hussain of the Times invite special guests to share personal stories and unpack identity on their own terms. They explore the vast diaspora across cultures, backgrounds and generations, and try to expand the ways in which being Asian American is defined.

Feeling Asian
Welcome to Feeling Asian! A podcast where two Asians talk about their feelings. After a lifetime of holding in their emotions (shoutout to Korean moms!), comedians Youngmi Mayer and Brian Park are ready to let them all out. Each week, Youngmi and Brian dive into topics that range from sex/dating to umm…not sex/dating stuff, and invite their interesting friends along the way. Who knew catharsis could look so Asian?

Add to Cart 
Join the hosts of Add to Cart, comedian-writer-director Kulap Vilaysack and veteran journalist SuChin Pak, in a subversive take on consumerism. Each week, they have honest, revealing (sometimes TMI) conversations about all the big and little things they’re adding to, or removing from, their carts. They decide what’s worth the monetary/emotional investment, and what’s not. From beauty products and health trends, to celebrities and philosophies they’re passionate about, our hosts dig into anything we buy into and what it says about who we are.

Southern Fried Asian
Southern Fried Asian is a new podcast from The Nerds of Color hosted by Keith Chow. Typically, stories about Asian Americans are centered on the experiences of those who grew up on the coasts — New York, Southern California, the Bay Area — where communities of different Asian American subgroups have lived for many years. On this podcast, though, we’re gonna look at a region of the country that isn’t typically associated with these stories and unpack what it means to be Asian American in the American South.

Long Distance
A podcast about stories in the Filipino diaspora hosted by Paola Mardo. Each episode moves beyond typical immigrant narratives to share thoughtful tales of love, loss, history, and humor through audio documentaries and creative approaches to storytelling with sound. Visit LongDistanceRadio.com to learn more.

Dear Asian Girl
Introducing the newest addition to Dear Asian Youth! Hosted by Alina Rahim, Genesis Magpayo, and Naina Giri, Dear Asian Girl is a podcast focused on uplifting, highlighting, and supporting Asian girls everywhere. With the lack of representation amongst Asian girls in social media, it’s important that we as Asian girls support one another and bring awareness in order to be at the forefront of this change. For Asian Girls, by Asian Girls.


To Read

We encourage you to utilize your local library or independent bookstore. Books can also be requested through the Worcester State Library when classes are back in session. Students may be eligible to access some of the titles below with a free 2-month Kindle Unlimited trial subscription or free Audible trial.

Not Quite Not White
by Sharmila Sen
At the age of 12, Sharmila Sen emigrated from India to the U.S. The year was 1982, and everywhere she turned, she was asked to self-report her race – on INS forms, at the doctor’s office, in middle school. After her teen years trying to assimilate, she is forced to reckon with the hard questions: What does it mean to be white, why does whiteness retain the magic cloak of invisibility while other colors are made hypervisible, and how much does whiteness figure into Americanness?

Heart and Seoul
by Jen Frederick
As a Korean adoptee, Hara Wilson doesn’t need anyone telling her she looks different from her white parents. She knows. Every time Hara looks in the mirror, she’s reminded that she doesn’t look like anyone else in her family. Hara goes to Korea looking for answers, but what she gets instead is love—a forbidden love that will either welcome Hara home…or destroy her chance of finding one.

Dear Girls
by Sara Farizan
Ali Wong’s heartfelt and hilarious letters to her daughters (the two she put to work while they were still in utero) cover everything they need to know in life, like the unpleasant details of dating, how to be a working mom in a male-dominated profession, and how she trapped their dad.

The Marvelous Mirza Girls
by Sheba Karim

To cure her post-senior year slump, made worse by the loss of her aunt Sonia, Noreen decides to follow her mom on a gap year trip to New Delhi, hoping India can lessen her grief and bring her voice back.In the world’s most polluted city, Noreen soon meets kind, handsome Kabir, who introduces her to the wonders of this magical, complicated place. With the help of Kabir—plus Bollywood celebrities, fourteenth-century ruins, karaoke parties, and Sufi saints—Noreen discovers new meanings for home.But when a family scandal erupts, Noreen and Kabir must face complex questions in their own relationship: What does it mean to truly stand by someone—and what are the boundaries of love?

Every Day Is a Gift: A Memoir
by Tammy Duckworth
The biracial daughter of an American father and a Thai-Chinese mother, Duckworth faced discrimination, poverty, and the horrors of war—all before the age of 16. As a child, she dodged bullets as her family fled war-torn Phnom Penh. As a teenager, she sold roses by the side of the road to save her family from hunger and homelessness in Hawaii. Through these experiences, she developed a fierce resilience that would prove invaluable in the years to come. Duckworth joined the Army, becoming one of a handful of female helicopter pilots at the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom. She served eight months in Iraq before an insurgent’s RPG shot down her helicopter, an attack that took her legs—and nearly took her life. She then spent thirteen months recovering at Walter Reed, learning to walk again on prosthetic legs and planning her return to the cockpit. But Duckworth found a new mission after meeting her state’s senators, Barack Obama and Dick Durbin. After winning two terms as a U.S. Representative, she won election to the U.S. Senate in 2016. And she and her husband Bryan fulfilled another dream when she gave birth to two daughters, becoming the first sitting senator to give birth. From childhood to motherhood and beyond, Every Day Is a Gift is the remarkable story of one of America’s most dedicated public servants.

Crying in H Mart: A Memoir
by Michelle Zauner
In this exquisite story of family, food, grief, and endurance, Michelle Zauner proves herself far more than a dazzling singer, songwriter, and guitarist. With humor and heart, she tells of growing up one of the few Asian American kids at her school in Eugene, Oregon; of struggling with her mother’s particular, high expectations of her; of a painful adolescence; of treasured months spent in her grandmother’s tiny apartment in Seoul, where she and her mother would bond, late at night, over heaping plates of food.As she grew up, moving to the East Coast for college, finding work in the restaurant industry, and performing gigs with her fledgling band–and meeting the man who would become her husband–her Koreanness began to feel ever more distant, even as she found the life she wanted to live. It was her mother’s diagnosis of terminal cancer, when Michelle was twenty-five, that forced a reckoning with her identity and brought her to reclaim the gifts of taste, language, and history her mother had given her.

31 Ways to Celebrate in May and Beyond
‘We have a place’: For these UMass Memorial employees, AAPI Heritage Month comes with gratitude and appreciation for history
NMG Exec Stefanie Tsen Ward on Why People in Positions of Power Must Speak Up to Combat Asian Hate
11 Moments From Asian American History That You Should Know
ASIAN AMERICANS ADVANCING JUSTICE–L.A. LAUNCHES BYSTANDER INTERVENTION INITIATIVE TO COMBAT ANTI-ASIAN HARASSMENT
The mental health of Asian Americans takes a hit with racism on the rise


To Act, Support, & Learn More

Asian Americans Advancing Justice
National Association of Asian Professionals
The Center for Asian Pacific American Women
U.S. Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce
Asian Pacific American Medical Students Association
Asian American Legal Defense & Education Fund (AALDEF)


Campus Resources

Counseling Services
Office of Multicultural Affairs
Student Involvement and Leadership Development 
Student Affairs

Resource list compiled by Linzy Martinez, Assistant Director, Office of Student Involvement & Leadership Development

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