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Asian/American Pacific Islander Heritage Month 2024

duke university asian american pacific islander heritage month logo


Tending Gardens

“The act of tending a garden involves the active and ongoing process of observing plants as they grow, and maintaining the garden in the appropriate conditions (U. of Aberdeen).”

When we think about our communities and the people who make them, we ought to think of them as gardens: worthy of thriving and growing successfully.

"Tending Gardens" as the theme of this year’s A/APIHM encompasses a range of metaphorical and literal meanings, emphasizing the care, cultivation, and nurturing of various aspects of life, society, or the self.

This can symbolize the process of personal growth and self-improvement. Just as a gardener nurtures plants, individuals nurture their own development through self-reflection, learning, and self-care.

Tending Gardens extends to the collective responsibility of nurturing communities and societies. It embodies the idea of fostering harmony, understanding, and social cohesion through mutual care and support. The cultivation of relationships within this A/API acronym and building cross-cultural compassion is critical.

Overall, the theme of Tending Gardens encapsulates the idea of nurturing, caretaking, and cultivating various aspects of life, from personal growth and relationships to cultural conservation and artistic expression. It invites reflection on our roles as stewards of A/API stories, legacies, and diverse communities, as they deserve.

A/APIHM 2024 Implementation Team:

Alex Espaillat, Assistant Director, Center for Multicultural Affairs

Lauren Denton, Associate Director, Center for Multicultural Affairs

Aakriti Bhattarai T'25, Co-President, Duke Diya

Akhilesh Shivaramikrishnan T'25, Co-President, Duke Diya

Carina Lei T'25, Co-President, Asian Students Association

Joy Tong T'25, Co-President, Asian Students Association

Ashley Bae T'24, President, Duke KAjok!

Calendar of Events

EventDate & TimeLocationHost(s)Link (if applicable)
A/APIHM @ Duke KickoffMonday, April 1
5 PM-7 PM
Abele QuadCenter for Multicultural Affairs, Asian Students Association (ASA), and Duke Diya
Asian American and Diaspora Studies (AADS) Open houseTuesday, April 2
2 PM-4 PM
Friedl Building - Room 120 (AADS new space!)Asian American and Diaspora Studies (AADS)
Empower U 101: Diya x North Carolina Asian Americans Together (NCAAT)Tuesday, April 2
6 PM-7:30 PM
The Edge Workshop Room, Bostock Library 127Duke Diya and Duke Votes
First Year Multicultural Trivia NightTuesday, April 2
7 PM-9 PM
The Coffeehouse (East Campus)Mi Gente, Asian Students Association (ASA), and Duke Diya
Racial Rage, Racial Guilt: The Uses of Anger in Asian AmericaWednesday, April 3
4 PM-5:30 PM
Bolton Family Tower Room (Brodhead Center, West Campus)Asian American and Diaspora Studies (AADS)
Literature Through Silence: A Lecture by Adania ShibliWednesday, April 3
5 PM-6:30 PM
East Duke 201 - Nelson Music Room
Asian American and Diaspora Studies (AADS)
Spring FestivalFriday, April 5
5 PM-7:30 PM
Bryan Center Plaza
(Rain location: The Landing, Bryan University Center)
Duke Diya
Work-in-Progress Showing followed by a ReceptionSaturday, April 6
2 PM-3 PM
Ark Dance StudioAsian American and Diaspora Studies (AADS)
'Light of the Setting Sun' (回光返照)
premiere- a documentary by Vicky Du
Saturday, April 6
4:30 PM
Full Frame Documentary Film Festival- Cinema 3

Durham Convention Center
(301 W Morgan Street, Durham, NC 27701)
Full Frame Documentary Film Festival
(documentary promoted by Asian American and Diaspora Studies (AADS))
Learn more
'Past Lives' Movie ScreeningSaturday, April 6
7 PM-9 PM
CSGD Programming Space, Bryan University Center Suite 100Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity (CSGD)'s APIQ In-Group SpaceN/A
ASA— AAPI Collage Night

*this event is for A/API communities
Monday, April 8
6 PM-8 PM
Gilbert-Addoms Down Under (GADU), East CampusAsian Students Association (ASA)
AAPI Heritage Month Keynote:

Mon, Apr 8, 2024
Doors open @ 5:45 PM

Event 6 PM-7 PM
McClendon Tower, Level 5DUU Speakers & Stage, Asian Students Association (ASA), Duke Diya, International Comparative Studies, Duke English Department and Asian American and Diaspora Studies (AADS)
I Talk To God and Meditate Too: A Conversation with a Baptist and a Buddhist (special guest: Buddhist chaplain Rev. Prasert Ammartek)Tuesday, April 9
6:30 PM
CSGD Programming Space, Bryan University Center Suite 100Duke University ChapelN/A
A Livestream Panel on Health in Palestine with Palestinian Health Professionals
Wednesday, April 10
2 PM-3:30 PM
A conversation with Professor Frances Hasso. Livestream link American and Diaspora Studies (AADS)
A/APIHM Zine Making: Tending GardensWednesday, April 10
6 PM-8 PM
CSGD Programming Space, Bryan University Center Suite 100Center for Multicultural Affairs with Ashley Bae T'24 and Joy Tong T'25
APSI Spring 2024 Speaker Series: Mae Ngai

'Corky Lee's Asian America: 50 Years of Photographic Justice, 1970-2020'
Thursday, April 11
4 PM-5:30 PM

*companion event right after
John Hope Franklin Center, Ahmadieh Family Conference Hall (Room 240)Asian/Pacific Studies Institute (APSI), Asian American and Diaspora Studies (AADS) program and the Department of History
Corky Lee's Asian America: 50 Years of Photographic Justice, 1970-2020 -- Exhibit OpeningThursday, April 11
5:30 PM-7 PM

*companion event right before ^^
John Hope Franklin Center Main Gallery
(2204 Erwin Rd, Durham, NC 27705)
Asian/Pacific Studies Institute (APSI), Asian American and Diaspora Studies (AADS) program and the Department of History
Margins V Launch PartyFriday, April 12
6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
McClendon Tower, Level 5Asian Students Association (ASA) and Asian American Studies Working Group (AASWG)
Poker NightSunday, April 14
6 PM-9 PM
Keohane AtriumAsian Students Association (ASA)
Book Launch: "Graveyard Empire: Four Decades of Wars and Intervention in Afghanistan"Tuesday, April 16
3:00 PM - 4:30 PM
Smith Warehouse, Ahmadieh Family Lecture Hall, Bay 4, C105
The event will be held in-person and can also be followed online.
Duke University Middle East Studies Center

Asian American and Diaspora Studies (AADS); Franklin Humanities Institute (FHI); History; International Comparative Studies (ICS)
The Poetics of Asian Refugee ExperiencesTue, Apr 16
6:30 PM –7:30 PM
CMA: A/API BASE (Bryan Center 037A)Define America and Asian Students Association (ASA)
A Panel on Literary Gaza with Palestinian writersWednesday, April 17
2 PM - 3:30 PM
Livestream link coming soon!Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies

African and African American Studies (AAAS); Asian & Middle Eastern Studies (AMES); Asian American and Diaspora Studies (AADS); Cultural Anthropology; Duke Human Rights Center at the Franklin Humanities Institute (DHRC@FHI); Franklin Humanities Institute (FHI); History; International Comparative Studies (ICS); Literature
Coalesce: UNC AASA x Duke ASA FormalThursday, April 18
9 PM- 12 AM
The Fruit (305 S Dillard St, Durham, NC 27701)Asian Students Association (ASA) and Asian American Students Association (AASA)[UNC]
ASA End of Year Picnic!Saturday, April 20
1 PM-3 PM
TBDAsian Students Association (ASA)TBD
ASA x PAWS: Puppies!
Monday, April 22
time TBD
TBD. Registrations required!Asian Students Association (ASA) and Duke PAWSTBD

Most of the events listed will be able to be found on DukeGroups! Some of these events may also have an "A/API Heritage Month" tag on the platform. For more on Asian/American Pacific Islander Heritage Month, check back soon.


(Celebrated at Duke during April)
May is Asian American/Pacific Islander Heritage Month – a celebration of Asians, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders in the United States. A broad term, AAPI 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). Typically celebrated in May, we at Duke choose to honor it in April to allow a full month of festivities and events on campus, reflecting on the histories, accomplishments, and diversity of the AAPI community. Student organizations, offices, and academic departments are all encouraged to host events and contribute to our annual calendar of events for A/APIHM!

AAPI stands for Asian American Pacific Islander and started formally being used in the 1990s as a category in the U.S. Census. The U.S. Department of Labor Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs defined Asian-Pacific Islander as "A person with origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East (i.e. East and Southeast Asia), Indian subcontinent, or the Pacific Islands." Around 2010 a newer term, “APIDA” has been used [in an effort to] be more inclusive of South Asians. APIDA stands for Asian Pacific Islander Desi American, with the Desi term representing South Asian identifying people (U of Wisconsin-Madison, 2023).

Resources on the terms:


*******To view at no personal/added cost, you must be a Duke-affiliated person with a valid netID login and access to Duke Libraries. If you are not, we highly encourage you to support these authors and their work in whatever ways you are able and willing.

  • Asian Athletes Network
  • Asian Students Association (ASA)
  • Duke Chinese Student Association (CSA)
  • Duke Chinese Theater (DCT)
  • Duke Diya (South Asian Students Association)
  • Duke East Asia Nexus (DEAN)
  • Duke KAjok! (Korean-American Student Association)
  • Duke Nepali Students Association (NSA)
  • Duke Pamilya (Filipino Students Association)
  • Hong Kong Student Association (HKSA)
  • Japanese Culture Club (JCC)
  • Korean Undergraduate Student Association (KUSA)
  • Pakistani Students Association (PSA)
  • Singapore Students Association (SSA)
  • Taiwanese American Student Association (TASA)
  • Vietnamese Students Association (VSA)
  • alpha Kappa Delta Phi (akDPhi) [MGC]
  • Lambda Phi Epsilon (LPhiE) [MGC]
  • Duke Chinese Dance Troupe **
  • Duke Deewana**
  • Duke Dhamaka**
  • Duke Lasya**
  • Duke Rhydhun**
  • Temptasians A Capella Group**
  • Duke Asian-Pacific American Medical Students Association [G/P]
  • Duke University Bangladesh Society [G/P]
  • Duke University Chinese Students and Scholars Association (DCSSA) [G/P]
  • Duke University Indian Students Association [G/P]
  • Korean Graduate Student Association (KGSA) [G/P]
  • Duke Taiwanese Student Association (DTSA) [G/P]
  • Asian American Studies Working Group (AASWG)^^


** selective membership

[G/P] graduate/professional

[MGC] Multicultural Greek Council

^^ AASWG is housed within AADS. Reestablished in 2016, the Asian American Studies Working Group (AASWG) is the latest iteration of the decades-long push for Asian/American Studies at Duke. In 2018, after years of mobilizing students, staff, and faculty, the Asian American & Diaspora Studies (AADS) program was established.

The organizations listed here aren't the only A/API identified/affiliated organizations! Find these organizations on Duke Groups or Instagram! Want your organization to be added to this list or need to make an edit? Please email

Thank you to our contributors who shared events, resources, and more.

Duke University A/APIHM logo designed by Aida Guo T' 26

Banner designs collaboration: Kristin LoBiondo Pfieffer, Communications Strategist, and Duke Student Affairs Communications

Stay tuned

Bryan University Center Plaza Banners

Heading to West Campus during the month of April? Check out the A/APIHM Banners that adorn the lightpoles as you pass through BC Plaza. Additionally, you can learn more about each banner highlight, below. Just click a topic to expand!

Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month Banner 1 featuring Asian Students AssociationThe Asian Students Association was founded at Duke University in 1981 to serve the social, political and cultural interests of Asian and Asian-American students. Their mission is:

  • To create an open space centered in care, a culture of intentional relationship-building, and inclusivity for Duke's Asian community. To form sustainable relationships, support, and be in solidarity with other campus affinity groups
  • To demand that Duke implement institutional change that creates an inclusive space for marginalized students
  • To be a communal learning space that is invested in the history of the Asian American as a political identity
  • To remain accountable and open to the general body's needs and interests, constantly growing and changing as an organization.


instagram: @asa.duke

duke groups: Asian Students Association

Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month Banner 2 featuring Duke DiyaThe idea of DIYA began in 1985 by 3 first-years, and has since evolved into Duke's largest South Asian undergraduate student organization, shedding light on culture, traditions, and values of the community. Presently, their mission is:

  • to promote South Asian cultural awareness on Duke's campus and enhance cross-cultural awareness between all cultural and student groups. Diya's membership includes (but is not limited to) students from the eight major nations of South Asia: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. Diya, which is a Hindi/Urdu word meaning "light," seeks to promote awareness and appreciation of South Asian culture and tradition through cultural, social, and community service events. It also hopes to provide opportunities for Diya members to meet and share a strong common collegiate experience throughout the year.

instagram: @duke.diya

duke groups: Duke Diya

Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month Banner 3 featuring an image of a globeThere are about 57 cultures under the umbrella of "Asian American & Pacific Islander" with over 300 different languages spoken. Learn more about the term in the "A/API?" section, above!

Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month Banner 4 featuring an image of a donuts and teaThere are more than 60 AAPI-owned businesses in the Raleigh /
Durham area! Learn more, here. Have any ideas to add? Let us know!

Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month Banner 5 featuring flowersThe Asian/Pacific Studies Institute (APSI) is the focal point of research and teaching on the Asia Pacific region at Duke Since 1981, APSI has been supporting a dynamic group of faculty with a broad range of interdisciplinary expertise in the humanities, social sciences, and medicine.

In addition to APSI, there are other academic spaces that discuss and cover some aspects of A/API identity:

Asian American & Diaspora Studies (AADS):

After decades of tireless student activism and faculty efforts, a minor in Asian American & Diaspora Studies was established in 2022. In partnership with the Department of Asian & Middle Eastern Studies, the minor is the interdisciplinary study of people of Asian descent in the U.S. – the history, culture and experiences.

Asian & Middle Eastern Studies (AMES):

Our department explores East Asian, South Asian and Middle Eastern cultures—primarily Arabic, Chinese, Hebrew, Hindi, Japanese, and Korean—through the lens of language and literature; social movements, nationalism and diaspora; popular culture and the media; gender, visuality and feminism; film theory, cinema and aesthetics; and the implications of religion on identity and globalization.