APIDA faculty and staff reflect on growing recognition of Asian, Pacific Islander, and Desi Americans

April is APIDA Heritage Month at UW–Madison, a time when the campus community celebrates and uplifts the many diverse histories, cultures, and ethnic groups that make up the Asian, Pacific Islander, and Desi American community on our campus.

As we observe this year’s “Courage in Community” theme, Chief Diversity Officer LaVar J. Charleston invited APIDA-identifying members of UW’s faculty and staff to share short videos reflecting on what it means to them to see the contributions and accomplishments of the APIDA community increasingly recognized in Wisconsin and beyond.

Look for new videos in our APIDA Heritage Month series throughout the month of April. You can find them on this page, or on our YouTube and Instagram accounts. Browse all of UW’s APIDA Heritage Month events.

Anju Reejhsinghani, assistant vice provost for strategic diversity, equity and inclusion administration, says that while the visibility and recognition of Asian Pacific Islander Desi American people have increasingly received is gratifying to see, APIDA people’s worth is not defined by how others see them.

Soyeon Shim, dean and professor in the School of Human Ecology, talks about why APIDA Heritage Month is important to her.

Yeohyun Ahn, assistant professor of graphic design in the School of Education, talks about how she is glad to see the growing visibility and recognition of the many contributions and accomplishments of the APIDA community in Wisconsin.

Gabe Javier, associate vice chancellor for Student Affairs, shares how hard it was for him to find mentors and role models as a Filipino American growing up in the Midwest, and how seeing the accomplishments of APIDA people being recognized gives him hope for the future.

Professor Lori Lopez talks about how important it is to see and listen to Asian American scholars in response to anti-Asian violence.