Skip to main content

Asian American And Pacific Islander Heritage Month

What is APAHM?

While Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM) is officially celebrated in the month of May, Vanderbilt celebrates APAHM in the fall semester from October to early November. It is the official celebration that honors the history, cultural diversity, and unique contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI).

A rather broad term, Asian/Pacific encompasses all of the Asian continent and the Pacific islands of Melanesia (New Guinea, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji and the Solomon Islands), Micronesia (Marianas, Guam, Wake Island, Palau, Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Nauru and the Federated States of Micronesia) and Polynesia (New Zealand, Hawaiian Islands, Rotuma, Midway Islands, Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Cook Islands, French Polynesia and Easter Island).


At Vanderbilt University, the Student Center for Social Justice & Identity curates a calendar of events related to Asian/Pacific heritage, featuring programs from across campus and the Nashville community.

The most up-to-date digital calendar of events is available online at

The print version of the calendar is available below, for pick up in the Multicultural Lounge (Sarratt 335), or for PDF download: APAHM Calendar 2019-3


Annual APAHM Contributors

The Asian American Student Association’s purpose is to promote awareness of Asian and Asian-American cultures and issues within the University, the local community, and beyond, in order to foster a campus community more inclusive to AAPI identities. Founded in 1986, AASA strives to establish a sustaining culture of activism regarding Asian and Asian-American identity, moving beyond established stereotypes and providing a platform for students to celebrate their heritage and find their voice for change.


This year, AASA will be exploring the theme of “Extraordinary” in the context of the simultaneously unique and common experiences that Asian Americans share. Each individual eats, drinks, and breathes the same, but tastes, smells, and feels differently. This year’s APAHM theme aims to identify those moments that feel both ordinary and extraordinary so that we can redefine our perspectives on them. What is the proper balance between these antonymic yet necessary parts of our lives? How can we treasure these moments and not take them for granted? “Extraordinary” seeks to legitimize the unique experiences of each individual while placing it within the context of the greater Asian American experience as a whole. This year, APAHM celebrates the power that is hidden within both the ordinary and the extraordinary.


PISO serves the undergraduate community at Vanderbilt University by providing opportunities for students observe, participate, and share in authentic aspects of Filipino culture. These include cuisine, couture, performing arts aesthetics, music, etc.


Keep Calm and Curry On

Date: Thursday, 10/10

Time: 6:00PM – 7:00PM

Location: Alumni Hall 202 – Memorial Hall

In collaboration with Undergraduate Political Science Association and AASA, come grab a bowl of curry and join AASA, PISO, and UPSA in this interactive digital presentation/workshop as they discuss the role of the AAPI community living in extraordinary times of political change, instability, and navigating the current political sphere.

SACE is an organization made up of over 200 Vanderbilt undergraduates dedicated to representing, celebrating, and sharing South Asian culture at Vanderbilt and in the greater Nashville area. Throughout the year, we host various social and cultural events.

The Diwali Showcase

Date: Saturday, 11/9

Time: 7:00PM – 9:00PM

Location: Langford Auditorium

The Diwali Showcase, SACE’s largest and most popular event, honors the Hindu festival of lights. Every year over 200 students band together to prepare dances in a multitude of Indian dance genres, including Classical, Bhangra, Bollywood, Raas, and Fusion. With over 200 performers every year, this event attracts over 1000 guests from the Vanderbilt and surrounding Nashville community.

Founded in 2007, the mission of VUCA is to promote Chinese culture and facilitate Chinese language learning across the Vanderbilt community. VUCA welcomes everyone who is interested in Chinese language or culture. We host events to welcome students to Chinese culture and to engage them through meaningful activities. Our events are a great opportunity for participants to enjoy not only the culture, but also each other’s company. Participants at our events and Language Lab learn something new about the country, the language, and the culture each time they come.


VUCA MasterChef 2019

Dates: Friday 10/18

Time: 4PM – 6PM

Location: Rec Center Kitchen

A cooking competition that aims to enhance cultural awareness and spread Chinese culture. Contestants will be cooking Chinese food and having the audience present taste it and give feedback. Winner gets special prizes!