The Yale School of Management 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 celebrate the wide diversity across the Asian diaspora as well as explore the distinctiveness of the Asian American experience.
This year, Yale observed Pan-Asian American Heritage in March to allow students to celebrate before leaving campus in May. The University’s Asian American Cultural Center (AACC) launched a series of events focused on celebrating Asian Pride, Power, and Possibilities, in alignment with the national theme of Advancing Leaders and Having a Seat at The Table. SOM was proud to partner with AACC to cosponsor a keynote discussion with Dr. Jenny T. Wang titled “Asian American Identity and Mental Health.”
Our school-focused celebration focused on elevating AAPI voices and contributions within our community. The digital walls in Evans Hall highlighted prominent AAPI figures and their unique stories as part of SOM’s “Champions of Change” campaign. SOM’s Office of Inclusion and Diversity hosted several events, including a book swap, where community members were encouraged to enjoy books purchased from an Asian-owned bookshop that center Asian stories, and educational talks by Asian PhD students at Yale who shared their research with the community.
The Asian American and Pacific Islander Association, a student affinity group, hosted a variety of events, including special meals, movie nights, Asian art tours, and cross-Yale mixers to celebrate the richness of the Asian diaspora across the Yale community. Pranjali Kumar, a leader in the South Asia Club and a fellow for the Office of Inclusion and Diversity, shared the following reflection regarding these cultural celebrations:
“I had the privilege of organizing an event featuring teas from Chai Diaries and a movie screening of Joyland during Yale’s Pan-Asian Heritage Month celebrations. These events offered an insightful exploration of South Asian culture, featuring a diverse array of tea varieties and providing a captivating look at the complexities of gender roles in the region. It was inspiring to see how Yale celebrated Pan-Asian Heritage Month with a variety of events that brought our community together, providing opportunities for us to learn from each other and celebrate our diversity. These events truly reflect the inclusive and welcoming nature of the Yale community.”