Rise Together: Celebrating Our AAPI Community

   Andrews Homepage: Feature Small | Posted on April 8, 2021

Dear friends,

As many of you may know, the United States has designated the month of May as a time to recognize and celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month.

"While they share some experiential commonalities, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are a vast and diverse community, some native to the United States, hailing from Hawaii and our Pacific Island territories," said President Barack Obama, as he recognized the significance of this heritage month. "Others trace their heritage to dozens of countries. All are treasured citizens who enrich our Nation in countless ways, and help fulfill the promise of the American dream which has drawn so many to our shores."

Unfortunately, since AAPI Heritage Month in May of each year falls during Andrews University’s summer semester and break, we have not typically had a specific official on-campus celebration during that month.

We’d like to approach that differently this year, and the Office of Diversity & Inclusion is collaborating with our Center for Faith Engagement, the Proximity Vespers team, as well as our Andrews Filipino International Association, our Southern Asia Student Association, our Andrews Society of Indonesian Students, and our Korean American Student Association to jointly host and present a series of events that I hope and pray will help us appropriately honor, celebrate and affirm Asian American and Pacific Islander heritage and culture. We are also grateful that the BSCF Impact team agreed to provide the Howard Performing Arts Center space for Proximity Vespers this Friday.

I hope you can join us at any (or all) of the events and especially for our "Rise Together" vespers this Friday evening. Here’s a list of this month’s events:

April 9: "Rise Together"
AAPI Heritage Vespers

  • Proximity Vespers (Livestream also available on YouTube and Facebook)
  • Howard Performing Arts Center, 7:30 p.m.
  • Seating is limited due to COVID-19 restrictions.

April 10: Pottalk
An AAPI Talk & Potluck (this event will be a follow-up and continuation of our March 22 town hall program, which focused on the need to successfully #StopAsianHate in our world and here in our own communities)

  • University Towers, 4:30 p.m. (Livestream also available on Zoom)
  • Seating is limited due to COVID-19 restrictions.
  • Pre-packaged food will be given to attendees on their way home.

April 10: "Once Upon a Time … in Bollywood"
A South Asian Celebration presented by SASA filled with songs, entertainment, snacks and more.

  • Newbold Auditorium (Buller Hall), 7 p.m.
  • Tickets are available here. All proceeds from the event will go to support the AAPI Community Fund.
  • Seating is limited due to COVID-19 restrictions.

April 16: "Tagumpay" Pilipino Culture Night 2021 presented by AFIA
Pilipino Culture Night (PCN) is an annual event AFIA holds to share Filipino culture through performative mediums. This year’s performance will be an original play written by one of our students!

  • Howard Performing Arts Center, 5 p.m. (doors open at 4:30 p.m.)
  • In-person & livestream tickets can be purchased here.
  • Due to University COVID-19 guidelines, seating is limited due to current COVID-19 restrictions for performances in the Howard Performing Arts Center. As a result, in-person attendance to this Pilipino Culture Night is limited to current University students, faculty and staff, and those living in the same household.
  • This production contains intense scenes and the use of a strobe light. Viewer discretion is advised.
  • Food, AFIA merchandise, and playbills will be sold after the play.
  • Proceeds from PCN will be donated to the organization Stop AAPI Hate.

I am so excited about celebrating and honoring AAPI heritage and culture with our entire Andrews University community.

This celebration is especially important now as we seek to understand and confront ongoing racism and violence against our Asian American and Pacific Islander communities here in the United States and throughout our world.

This incredible series of programs would not be possible without the talent, commitment, and creative energy of our AAPI students and employees.

As we prepare for this month of celebration, reflection and understanding, I want to specifically thank each one of you in those communities for taking the time and effort to invite us into your cultural spaces—especially right now—so that we can better understand, celebrate and appreciate who you are and what it is you experience on an everyday basis.

Once again, I invite our entire campus family to join us over the course of the next few weeks as we take the time to intentionally celebrate and fully honor the AAPI members of our community.

Grace and peace,

Michael Nixon
Vice President for Diversity & Inclusion

   Michael Nixon