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Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Awareness Month

Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Awareness Month (APIDAAM), previously known as Asian American Awareness Month (AAAM) celebrates this title change to create an inclusive awareness month focused on all Asian-identifying and Pacific Islander-identifying communities.

For Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Awareness Month, we have decided to select the theme, Rising from the ashes: Embracing the fire within us by empowering and overcoming.

Last year our theme was passing the torch from one generation to another. This year we would like to build off of that by not only recognizing the past but also embracing the future and the changes that come with it. Over the past few years as a community, we have suffered both racial and social injustices. As these injustices attempt to smother our strength, we have fought as a united community against each one. Although we have come a long way, it is now our time to embrace the fire within ourselves. That fire is our spirit, our Phoenix. We as a community need to use our voices, passions, talents, and faith to embody the power within us all. This can range from accepting our cultures in everyday life, sharing our foods and traditions with the world, and taking on challenges headfirst in our communities. There is no limit to the power that ignites our greatest strengths. The fire within us never dies out; instead, we rise from it and spread, creating a cloud of hope and power that can overcome any obstacles.

Colorful pink and purple design with an image of flame reading “Identity, Passing The Torch

Mark your calendars!

Join us at these events! Heading link

History of Asian American Awareness Month at UIC Heading link

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 or call 312-312-413-5070.

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