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 communities.
This year, the APIDAAM planning committee thought it was crucial to focus on IDENTITY "Passing the Torch". Within this theme, we will be discussing the idea of identity in our communities and how that contributes to us as individuals. “Passing the torch” symbolizes the legacy we don’t necessarily leave behind but hand it off to the next generation. The torch symbolizes the guidance of our ancestors, traditions, and the stories of our lives and identities that will shape the future. The torch is important because it symbolizes our light from the past generation and our guide to the next generation. In recent years, especially during the pandemic, the Asian community has endured unfortunate events and increasingly widespread violence against the community. In times like these, we often lose sight of who we are, and it is important to regain that focus.
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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 email@example.com or call 312-312-413-5070.