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Honoring Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month at Yale SOM

Assistant Dean of Inclusion and Diversity Kristen Beyers highlights the ways Yale SOM has been celebrating AAPI heritage.

Yale SOM recognizes the historical and cultural contributions of individuals and groups of Asian and Pacific Islander (AAPI) descent to the United States. The AAPI umbrella term includes a broad range of cultures from the entire Asian continent—including East, Southeast, and South Asia—and the Pacific Islands of Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia. As we honor this important month in the United States, we aim to highlight the wide diversity across the Asian diaspora as well as explore the distinctiveness of the Asian American experience.

Yale’s celebration of AAPI heritage began in March and will continue through May. The university’s Asian American Cultural Center (AACC)—the third oldest center of its type—recently celebrated its 40th anniversary with the installation of a commemorative mural on the center’s building as a symbol of its rich history of justice and advocacy. Learn more about the significance of this mural, called Finding Home.  

SOM’s school-focused celebration aims to elevate AAPI voices and contributions within our community. This month on campus, our digital walls in Evans Hall will be covered with prominent AAPI figures—a mix of historical national figures and current members of our community—as part of SOM’s “Champions of Change” campaign. SOM’s Office of Inclusion and Diversity has partnered with students to curate a list of our favorite Pan-Asian authors and will provide copies of these books to the community for summer reading to encourage more sharing of stories and voices. View the list here.

Awareness programming is another way we are honoring AAPI heritage. Events have been focused on education and raising awareness to promote the sharing of cultural traditions across the Asian continent, to dispel and de-mystify cultural assumptions and myths, and to acknowledge the harm that the AAPI community uniquely faces amid the rise of anti-Asian sentiment and violence.

One of SOM’s newest affinity clubs, the student-run Asian American and Pacific Islander Association (AAPIA), plays a crucial role throughout the year in helping to celebrate and increase awareness of the Asian experience at Yale. AAPIA holds community and social events including special meals, dances, and karaoke to celebrate the richness of the Asian diaspora and also co-hosts events with other student groups and affinity clubs. Recently, members of AAPIA took to Instagram to share what their heritage and identity mean to them. Check out some highlights from their Insta stories.

AAPI Heritage Month is one example of Yale SOM’s many efforts to celebrate the richness of our community. I invite you to learn more about our commitment to inclusion and diversity at SOM by visiting our Celebrating Diversity page.

Kristen M. Beyers
Assistant Dean of Inclusion and Diversity
Yale School of Management
Edward P. Evans Hall
165 Whitney Avenue
New Haven, CT 06520