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The Scarlet & Black

Feven Getachew
Feven Getachew
May 6, 2024
Michael Lozada
Michael Lozada
May 6, 2024
Nathan Hoffman
Nathan Hoffman
May 6, 2024
Harvey Wilhelm `24.
Harvey Wilhelm
May 6, 2024

AAA holds cultural week

Students+fold+origami+designs+togethjer+during+an+event+hosted+by+the+AAA+for+APIA+Week.+%0A%0APhoto+by+Shadman+Asif.
Students fold origami designs togethjer during an event hosted by the AAA for APIA Week. Photo by Shadman Asif.

This past week, Grinnell’s Asian American Association (AAA) hosted an Asian and Pacific Islander American (APIA) Week as a celebration of the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month of May. 

The week consisted of a variety of activities that involved a wide range of students.

“Some of the events … are more intuitive [and they] explore more intellectual avenues to talk about Asian American issues,” said AAA co-chair Michelle Kim ’14. “Some of the other events are more social, in that we are trying to get to know more people on campus. We are trying to get ourselves out there.” 

The week began on Sunday with a study break reception in the Grill to meet members of the AAA and make origami. 

Other events included a Skype session with Terry K. Park, an activist and editor of Hyphen magazine—a magazine devoted to discovering what is part of the Asian American identity “by accident, by tangent or by happenstance,” a screening of the documentary ‘Linsanity’ on Asian American NBA star Jeremy Lin and a professor panel to share their perspective on different Asian American issues. 

The events will continue into this weekend. AAA will be hosting a barbeque on Saturday, May 3 at 5:30 p.m. in Younker courtyard and a badminton tournament on Sunday, May 4 beginning at 1:00 p.m. in the Auxiliary Gym.  

“[The purpose of the week is] to raise more awareness that there is an Asian and Pacific Islander Month and also … to formulate more discussion, especially on … the Asian American experience,” said AAA member and incoming cabinet member Sophie Wright ’17. 

AAA members also hoped to maximize student participation and involvement in the week by involving other campus groups in the week’s planning. 

Students fold origami designs togethjer during an event hosted by the AAA for APIA Week.  Photo by Shadman Asif.
Students fold origami designs togethjer during an event hosted by the AAA for APIA Week.
Photo by Shadman Asif.

The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee was involved in advertising and planning the screening of ‘Linsanity’ on Tuesday evening, and Spanish House and the Korean Club helped organize the barbeque planned for Saturday evening. 

The group also hopes that that week will help spread the word about the Asian American Association and its presence and value on campus. Members expressed that the AAA is a good avenue for discussing and becoming comfortable with Asian-American identity. 

“[The AAA] is really good at building community and identity,” said AAA Member and future cabinet member Mari Holmes ’17.  “Sometimes being Asian-American is really difficult … and it’s nice to have a community where you can talk about what does it means to be us.” 

Still, the group and the week’s events are not limited to Asian American and Pacific Islander students. The AAA invites all students to participate in this week’s events and other AAA events in the future. 

“AAA and APIA Week events are not limited just to people who are of Asian American or Pacific Islander heritage,” Kim explained. “They are open to anyone who is interested, and we welcome people who aren’t Asian American or Pacific Islander to attend these events. We’d really like everyone to get involved.”

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