Celebrating Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month 2023

Please join the Graduate Division and the UCSF community in celebrating AAPI Heritage Month this May! Find opportunities to participate and to learn more below.


All month long
AAPI Heritage Month Virtual Backgrounds

Provided by the Multicultural Resource Center.

May 3, Noon – 1:15 p.m.
Film Screening Not Your Model Minority and Discussion with Filmmaker Jon Osaki
The UCSF Asian Pacific American Systemwide Alliance (APASA) and the Office of Diversity and Outreach's Anti-Racism Initiative presents a critically acclaimed documentary Not Your Model Minority and Q&A discussion with the filmmaker, Jon Osaki, to deepen the understanding of the model minority myth, how it is detrimental in creating partnerships amongst minority groups, and examine ways to build power and progress toward addressing systemic racism in the U.S. Registration in advance required.

May 11, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
AAPI Heritage Month Trivia at Staff Resource Day

Join APASA in-person at Mission Bay on Gene Friend Way for an engaging trivia event and prizes at Staff Resource Day.

May 16, 10 – 11 a.m.
AAPI Mental Health Resilience - in conjunction with Global Accessibility Awareness
APASA in partnership with the Office of Disability Access and Inclusion (ODAI) and the ODO Anti-Racism Initiative are pleased to present a lunchtime forum on AAPI Mental Health Resilience. UCSF staff members Diane Ngo and Dr. Hoa Su will talk about their mental wellness journeys and the importance of centering access to healthcare and digital equity for the AAPI community. This event will also feature Dr. Thao Tran, director of the Chinatown North Beach Mental Health Services, and a psychiatrist in the San Francisco Department of Public Health. 

May 17, noon - 1 p.m.
Mental Health Workshop (Acceptance Therapy)
Join the United Filipinx Association (UFA) and APASA, staff cultural and diversity organizations, as committee leaders and members Errol Feria, LMFT and Alexandra Thurston, PsyD lead a workshop introducing concepts and skills from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy to improve overall well-being and mental health. Through didactic and experiential exercises, you can learn how to act from your values, enhance psychological flexibility, and live more in the present moment.

May 22, noon - 1 p.m.
AAPI Leadership Panel
APASA invites all members of the UCSF community to join us for our third annual AAPI Leadership Panel during AAPI Heritage Month for this dynamic conversation around identity and career trajectory with the following leaders:

  • Maye Chrisman, MBA, Vice Dean, Administration and Finance, School of Medicine
  • Clarice Estrada, MPA, Executive Director, Business Service Center, Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor & Provost
  • Monica Gandhi, MD, MPH, Professor and Associate Division Chief, Infectious Diseases and Global Medicine, Zuckerberg SF General Hospital
  • Tung Nguyen, MD, Associate Vice Chancellor for Research Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Anti-Racism, Office of Research

May 24, noon - 1 p.m.
Status of Asian Pacific Americans at UCSF (Zoom link coming soon)
Presented by the UCSF Asian American Pacific Islanders Coalition (AAPIC), this event informs our community on the current status of Asian Pacific Islanders in the UCSF community. In addition to the presentation, there will be a panel representing different API groups at UCSF to speak about the work they do. More information forthcoming.

May 30, 12:10 - 1 p.m.
Fireside Chat: Breaking Down Stereotypes and Increasing Understanding (Zoom link coming soon)
This virtual Fireside Chat, hosted and moderated by School of Nursing's Dean Catherine Gilliss in collaboration with the Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Outreach and APASA, will provide the opportunity to hear from UCSF leaders about the structural barriers they believe we face at UCSF and how we can work collectively to eliminate these barriers. Panelists include:

  • Tung Nguyen, MD, Associate Vice Chancellor for Research Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Anti-Racism
  • Shelby Decosta, MHA, Chief Strategy Officer, Senior Vice President of UCSF Health
  • Kay Poland, JD, Complaint Resolution Officer, Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination
  • Janet Shim, PhD, MPP, Chair of SON Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Interim Chair of the Institute for Health & Aging

Beyond the month of May
ConversAsian: A Community Space for AAPI Students
Join mental health provider Alexandra Thurston, PsyD, and Health Education and Promotion Coordinator Rumpa Yeasin, for a drop-in supportive space for students who identify as part of the Asian/Asian American Pacific Islander communities, including individuals with multi-racial/ethnic identities. Participants are invited to connect, engage, and build solidarity as we explore shared topics and experiences ranging from family dynamics, impostor phenomenon, shared joy, and allyship in this community-centered space.


Each month, the JEDI team makes content recommendations to create dialogue with those interested in following along. Here's what they have on their minds and in their hearts this May for AAPI Heritage Month:

Cover image: Zen and the Art of Saving the Planet by Thich Nhat Hanh


Zen and the Art of Saving the Planet
by Thich Nhat Hanh
“To meditate is to be aware of what is going on…Once you know what is going on, you’re motivated by the desire to do something to relieve the suffering – both in you and around you.”
Having a clear understanding of your personal and collective awareness will allow you to focus on your community and the inequities that persist in it. This quote helps me to focus on better supporting my community and its needs.

– Dr. D'Anne Duncan, Assistant Dean for Diversity and Learner Success


Cover image: Lantern Stories Project in San Francisco


"In celebration of AAPI Heritage Month, I would like to highlight the Lantern Stories project in San Francisco’s Chinatown. This art installation by Yu-Wen Wu features 29 lanterns illustrated with stories of the Chinese community in San Francisco. From immigration during the California Gold Rush to the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act and Angel Island to AAPI activism in the time of COVID-19 as well as stories of entrepreneurship, life, traditions, and notable figures, this project sheds light on the experiences of the Chinese American community in San Francisco over the years. You can read more about Lantern Stories here or visit in person on the 600 block of Grant Avenue!"

- Jessica Ip, Diversity Programs and Events Coordinator


Cover image: The Next American Revolution by Grace Lee Boggs

Cover image: From a Native Daughter by Haunanii-Kay Trask

"For Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, there are two folks/ideologies that I wanted to uplift. First, Grace Lee Boggs in the book The Next American Revolution wrote a chapter titled “A Paradigm Shift in Our Concept of Education” which has been helpful for me to think through what type of education I aspire to create. Boggs articulates an education that “transforms human relations” by eliminating the hierarchal model of producing “morally sterile technicians” and building a space of creativity, horizontal learning, and community building.

"Secondly, I would like to highlight the work of Haunani-Kay Trask who helped me understand some of the history of Hawai’i in the book From a Native Daughter: Colonialism and Sovereignty in Hawai’i. Generally, my belief is that the great majority of people in the United States are unaware of the history of Hawai’i and what has now led to the exploitative industry that is tourism on this land. After visiting Hawai’i and seeing its beauty, Haunani-Kay Trask has challenged me to rethink if I could ever again in good faith visit Hawai’i given the historical background of how this came to be and the current demands by native Hawaiian people."

– Zachary Smith, Diversity and Outreach Program Manager


"Cover image: Logo for Asian Prisoner Support Committee (APSC)"

It is my wish to highlight the meaningful work of the Asian Prisoner Support Committee (APSC) in honor of AAPI Heritage Month this year. APSC is an Oakland-based organization that provides direct support to Asian and Pacific Islander prisoners, facilitates Ethnic Studies programs at prisons, and brings attention to injustices that AAPI communities, especially Southeast Asian communities, face along the educational-prison-deportation pipeline. As with many communities of color in the U.S., Southeast Asian children who fled war become marginalized similarly: failed by the educational system, multigenerational poverty, racial profiling, and mass incarceration. The school-to-prison pipeline may result in deportation and family separation for immigrant youth who haven't naturalized. Check out ARRIVING: Freedom Writings of Asian and Pacific Islanders on the APSC website to learn more about the stories written by API individuals in prison, detained by ICE, or recently released from prison. In addition, check out stories from impacted family members.

- Shinyi Hsieh, Rosenberg-Hill Graduate Research Fellow, 2022-2023


Learn more: Check out asianpacificheritage.gov. Brought to you by The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, as they pay tribute to the generations of Asian and Pacific Islanders who have enriched America's history and are instrumental in its future success.

Get Involved


Asian Pacific American Systemwide Alliance (APASA)
The Asian Pacific American Systemwide Alliance (APASA) at UCSF was formed in 1988 to address issues impacting the Asian Pacific community and continues to promote professional and social relations within UCSF, as well as the rich and diverse cultural heritage of all Asian communities.  APASA works with other minority organizations to address issues of equality, fair labor practices and diversity at UCSF. Learn more about APASA.

United Filipinx Association (UFA)
United Filipinx Association (UFA) is an organization that is grounded in the value of ‘kapwa’ - “interconnectedness” – a core Filipinx value. UFA serves as a reference to all Filipinx at UCSF, forming a community where no one is left behind. UFA commits itself to be a stakeholder inrepresenting the Filipinx voice and in shaping the culture of belonging, equity, and diversity at our institution. This aim is realized through open sharing of resources, social gatherings, and various workshops to foster personal and professional development. Learn more at filipinx.ucsf.edu.

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