APIDWA Heritage Celebration

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  • What does "APIDWA" stand for?

    Asian - People with ancestral and cultural ties to the East and Southeast region of Asia.

    Pacific Island - People with ancestral and cultural ties to the Indigenous/Native communities in the nations/territories in Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia (including Natives of Hawaii and Alaska).

    Desi - People with ancestral and cultural ties to South Asia (India, Pakistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar, etc.)

    West Asian - People with ancestral and cultural ties to the countries that are commonly referred to as the "Middle East" that are geographically located in the Asian continent.

  • Why not use "Asian" or "AAPI"?

    Technically anyone with community ties to the countries and/or indigenous/nomadic tribes in the Asian continent could call themselves "Asian." However, Western imperialism, perception, and influence transformed the word to first only represent East Asian countries (Korea, China, and Japan) and later to include Southeast Asian countries (Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Phillipines, etc.), thus leaving out members who identify with the entire other half of the continent and the island nations in the pacific.

    Recently, the term "AAPI" (Asian-American & Pacific Islander) has become a common identifier for the community. Although it includes the pacific island communities/nations, the term continues to lack significant reference to members of the Desi and West Asian communities and disregards non-US affiliated community members who are still impacted by similar challenges faced by the entire community.

  • Isn’t National Asian and Pacific Island Month celebrated in May?
    Yes, the national celebratory month dedicated to the APIDWA community is observed in May in the United States. However, since the primary academic year at the University of Richmond ends in late April, APIDWA students are left without a cultural celebration month. This is why APIDWA Heritage Month is celebrated from March 15 - April 15, to ensure that it does not impact other cultural heritage or history months.
  • How can I help plan for APIDWA Heritage Month?

    Any person or group interested in supporting APIDWA Heritage Month can send an email to Dani Dho-Roberts in the Student Center for Equity & Inclusion. 

    **Preliminary planning for APIDWA Heritage Month usually begins in early October.