Skip to main content

Asian, Pacific Islander, and Desi American (APIDA) Heritage Month

May is Asian, Pacific Islander, and Desi American (APIDA) Heritage Month, when the Northwestern community celebrates the diverse APIDA community on campus. The Northwestern APIDA community hosts a variety of speakers, events, shows, workshops, and performances throughout the month in addition to all the Multicultural Student Affairs hosts. Learn about MSA events below:


Solidari-Tea Language Discussion

Thursday, May 6th 5:00 PM - 6:15 PM CDT

Join Multicultural Student Affairs (MSA) for APIDA Solidari-Tea as we dive into the unique nuances and implications of language in the Asian Pacific Islander Desi American community. How does language shape identity and community? How does language transform when we navigate certain spaces? No prior knowledge is required to participate in Solidari-Tea — our discussions offer a safe space for students to learn about, from, and with each other. We welcome everyone to bring their favorite tea, coffee, and snacks with them to this virtual conversation. The event is intended for current Northwestern students.

Anyone Can Knit! A conversation with Justin Kim '11

Tuesday, May 11th 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM CDT

Korean-American Kangmin Justin Kim is one of the most sought-after countertenors of his generation. He has earned accolades in roles of the Baroque repertoire, contemporary music and in Mozart’s trouser parts at the most prestigious opera theatres and festivals such as The Royal Opera House Covent Garden, The Staatsoper Berlin, Vienna State Opera and Glyndebourne Festival. 

Join MSA and Northwestern Alumni Association (NAA) in this casual and cozy virtual program, where you’ll learn about one of Justin’s other passions: knitting!  Justin will share his personal history with knitting and how it has influenced his professional life. He’ll also show some of his knits while sharing stories of surviving the pandemic one stitch at a time and Asian visibility in the knitting community.  For those who are considering knitting for the first time or have been discouraged in the past, this will be the perfect opportunity to pick up a set of needles and a skein of yarn as Justin will set you on the right track to your first project.  This event is open to the entire Northwestern community.

A Conversation with Isabel Sandoval

Thursday, May 13th 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM CDT 

Join MSA for a Q+A with Filipina auteur/filmmaker most known for their work in Lingua Franca (Netflix), Shangri-La (MUBI), Señorita & Apparition (Criterion Channel). Isabel is star of independent film who toys with genre conventions in her subversive portraits of women whose personal journeys are tangled up in complex sociopolitical realities. Learn more about Isabel through their previous Array interviewThis event is open to the entire Northwestern community.

Poetry for Transformative Change: A Performance and Workshop with Terisa Siagatonu

Friday, May 14th 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM CDT

Join MSA for a performance and poetry workshop with poet, educator, and community leader, Terisa Siagatonu. Through the use of poetry, Terisa will help participants explore, name, and honor grief to help make meaning and begin the healing process. Learn more about her work and how she uses poetry to advance social and transformative change. 

I Love Being Asian: A Zine Workshop with Malaka Gharib

Monday, May 17th 6:00 PM - 7:15 PM CDT

The MSA team is pleased to host Malaka Gharib, artist, journalist and writer for a special zine making workshop called, "I Love Being Asian". Participants will be able to learn the practice of storytelling via zines and how they can be used as a method of racial identity development and reflection. Gharib will guide participants through the steps of zine making and practice in real time. 

Netflix Watch Party x Black House Community Night (Namaste Wahala)

Wednesday, May 19th 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM CDT

Join a special APIDA Heritage Month and Black House Community Night collaboration for a Netflix watch party! In honor of APIDA Heritage Month, we will be watching Namaste Wahala, a romantic comedy which tells the story of an interracial romance and the joys and challenges of navigating cross-cultural familial expectations. Please pre-register by filling out this form and to be entered into a raffle for a movie night snack pack. This event is open to the entire Northwestern community.

Written Word as Healing Practice with Mimi Zhu

Thursday, May 20th 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM CDT

Mimi Zhu Xi Yuan is a queer, Chinese-Australian writer and organizer who helps folx through writing about concepts such as self-love, migration, identity, trauma, and ancestry. Mimi is dedicated to the practice of restorative community and self-healing. They have a newsletter called Write To Heal that houses their creative expression/writing practice, have worked collaboratively with grassroots collectives in New York City where they are based, and their first book 'Be Not Afraid of Love' is forthcoming in 2022 with Penguin Books. 

Through writing prompts, discussion, and reflections, this workshop will focus on healing, especially for queer and trans BIPOC folx. The purpose of this workshop is to empower student's to utilize the written word as a healing practice for manifesting self-growth, understanding our coalescing identities, and community building. We will be doing a giveaway at the end of the program of customized hoodies that excerpts from Mimi's poetics! This event is open to the entire Northwestern community.

Standing Above the Clouds Screening and Director Talk

Friday, May 21st 5:00 PM CDT

Join MSA for a special screening of Standing Above the Clouds, a short documentary that follows Native Hawaiian mother-daughter activists as they stand to protect their sacred mountain Mauna Kea from the building of the world's largest telescope. After the screening, director Jalena Keane-Lee will join us for a discussion on the filmmaking process and the ongoing  movement to protect the Mauna. This event is open to the entire Northwestern community.

Solidari-Tea: Climate Crisis in the Maldives with Nayifa Nihad 

Wednesday, May 26th 5:00 PM - 6:15 PM CDT

Join MSA as we host Nayifa Nihad, a Maldivian environmental activist and founder of Eco-Baddies, an online platform to connect eco-activists and recenter frontline communities in fighting climate injustice. A South Asian island nation situated in the Indian Ocean, the Maldives have been experiencing the severe and immediate impacts of climate change, from rising sea levels to warmer water temperatures causing coral bleaching, that are threatening the livelihood and futures of Maldivians. Nayifa will lead us in a conversation on the climate crisis in the Maldives and the importance of intersectional environmentalism in our fight against climate change. This event is open to the entire Northwestern community.

JubilAsian APIDA Senior Send-off

Friday, May 28th

JubilAsian is an annual MSA event that celebrates the Asian, Pacific Islander, and Desi American (APIDA) community on campus as part of May’s APIDA Heritage Month. For JubilAsian 2021, we are piloting our first-ever Senior Send-off video in order to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of Northwestern's graduates of Asian, Pacific Islander, and/or Desi descent. Participant registration is closed.
  • Check back on May 28th for the video celebration link!