APIDA Heritage Month includes talk by bestselling author Chanel Miller

Chanel Miller
Chanel Miller

Chanel Miller — author of The New York Times bestselling memoir Know My Name — headlines Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) Heritage Month at Colorado State University.

The annual monthlong celebration returns with in-person events and activities, recognizing APIDA as well as Southwest Asian and North African (SWANA) heritage. APIDA Heritage Month starts on March 31 and April 1 with SWANA food at the Foundry on Laurel Street and concludes on April 21 with Miller’s virtual keynote.

Between the two bookends, organizers will host an art exhibition as well as talks on trans-racial adoptee experiences and indigeneity and Hawaiian activism. Organizers also will commemorate Ramadan during the month, among other activities.

APIDA Heritage Month is organized by RamEvents with the Asian Pacific American Cultural Center at CSU.

APACC Student Success Coordinator Rachel Wada, who joined CSU in January, explained this year’s theme focuses on the arts to celebrate and connect the diversity of cultures represented within APACC.

“APACC represents different communities,” Wada said. “A lot of that is shown through the different events we are hosting. We always try to strive to uplift populations that are invisible in the Asian American APIDA identity. I hope throughout the month, folks will be able to get an idea of just how diverse the APIDA and SWANA communities are, because that’s something that’s often ignored.”

Wada cited this year’s keynote speaker, Miller, who identifies as multiracial, as one instance of intersecting identities.

Miller’s memoir, Know My Name, reveals herself as being “Emily Doe” in People v. Turner, a high-profile case in 2015 in which a former Stanford student was convicted by jury trial of three counts of felony sexual assault.

Miller’s victim impact statement from the case was posted on BuzzFeed, where it instantly went viral — viewed by 11 million people within four days. It was translated globally and read on the floor of Congress.

Know My Name was listed as a New York Times Book Review Notable Book and a winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award. It also was named a best book of the year by Time, The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, NPR and People, among others.

CSU APIDA Heritage Month calendar

APACC’s mission is to provide a safe and supportive space for Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, Southwest Asian, North African, Middle Eastern, Southeast Asian, Desi, adopted, mixed race, Asian American students and other historically marginalized communities. The center is focused on building community, working to remove barriers and providing access to resources to support students in finding fulfillment and success while at CSU and beyond.

For the latest information on APIDA Heritage Month, visit apacc.colostate.edu.

Thursday, March 31
SWANA Food at The Foundry (lunch and dinner)
The Foundry

Friday, April 1
SWANA Food at The Foundry (lunch)
The Foundry

Sunday, April 3
Meow Wolf Trip with Eriko Tsogo
9 a.m.
Meow Wolf Denver

Thursday, April 7
Green Mask Project Art Exhibition and Ramen Mixer
6 p.m.

Friday, April 8
Ramadan Iftar
7:30 p.m.
Johnson 222

Tuesday, April 12
APIDA Trans-Racial Adoptee Experiences panel
4 p.m.

Thursday, April 12
Indigeneity and Hawaiian Activism: Kapulei Flores
5:30 p.m.
LSC Grey Rock Room and Zoom

Thursday, April 21
Keynote Speaker: Chanel Miller
6 p.m.