Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Awareness Month

Asian American Awareness Month 2021

In honor of the 15th anniversary of AARCC and the 20th anniversary of Asian American Awareness Month (AAAM), which occurred in 2021,  the Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Awareness Month (APIDAAM) Committee of 2021 thought it was important to center the idea of “legacy.” Legacy was chosen by the Committee to commemorate the history of struggle taken up by students, faculty, and community members in making the existence of AARCC, Asian American Studies, and APIDAAM possible. It is this legacy of activism and community empowerment that the Committee hopes to remind folks of today and hear our voices.

Complementary to this idea of legacy is the subtitle, “Our Resilience, Our Resistance, Our Voices!” “Our resilience” and “Our resistance” seek to uplift the history of struggle and resilience against oppressive systems and to dispel stereotypes like the model minority myth. “Our voices” is meant to convey the importance of having our voices heard, especially during this pandemic, and foster awareness and action toward the struggles of mental health and anti-Asian violence that have affected the APIDA community, especially following the violence in Atlanta. With this theme, we invite you to attend events this April hosted by incredible students and community organizations that seek to educate and encourage you to act in ways that embody Legacy: Our Resilience, Our Resistance, Our Voices!

History of Asian American Awareness Month at UIC

The first Asian American Awareness Week at UIC was organized by the Coalition for Asian American Studies in March 2000. They also held a protest and rally to lobby for an Asian American Studies program, a cultural center, and an academic support network.

In March 2001, the Coalition for Asian American Studies expanded the event into Asian American Awareness Month.

For Asian American Awareness Month in 2003, members of the Chancellor’s Committee on the Status of Asian Americans joined the planning committee. Events spanned the months of March and April.

For AAAM in 2003 and 2004, the Chancellor’s Committee was the host organization for the planning committee. In 2005, that role was passed to the Asian American Resource & Cultural Center. The Planning Committee is comprised of students representing different student organizations as well as engaged individuals. AARCC’s role in this planning continues to be student-centered and AARCC staff member supports by having meeting space and keeping students on deadline.

As of 2018, the planning of Asian American Awareness Month is coordinated by the UIC Center for Student Involvement with support from AARCC. If you are interested in getting involved, please contact UIC Center for Student Involvement studentinvolvement@uic.edu or call 312-312-413-5070.