Skip to main content
APIDA Heritage Month with roll of film displaying different APIDA events of the past

Asian, Pacific Islander, Desi American Heritage Month

What is APIDA Heritage Month?

In 1978, Congress passed a Congressional Resolution for Asian and Pacific Islander Americans to be celebrated during the first week in May. It was the anniversary of the first wave of Japanese immigrants to the U.S. as well as the completion of the transcontinental railroad, which was predominantly built by Chinese Americans. In 1992, the celebration was extended through the entire month of May.

Here at the University of Maryland, we hold APIDA Heritage Month (APIDAHM) during April instead of May to ensure that our APIDA community gets a full month to celebrate their culture and heritage before summer break begins. 2023 will mark the 31st year that APIDAHM has been a nationally recognized month-long affirmation of the experiences and contributions of APIDA communities. Learn more about APIDAHM 2023 as well as our past Heritage Month themes below!

Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Heritage Month (APIDAHM) 2023

The Office of Multicultural Involvement and Community Advocacy (MICA) of the Adele H. Stamp Student Union – Center for Campus Life is excited to announce the theme for Asian, Pacific Islander, & Desi American Heritage Month (APIDAHM) 2023 this April:

Memories in Motion

Memories seemingly live in our past. Yet, they inform so much of our present and shape so much of our future. They aren’t just the makeup of our individual experiences, but a confluence of our collective identity—they are our ancestors, our stories, our traditions. 

Memories can evoke so many different feelings for each of us. At times, they bring us joy and laughter, and other recollections might bring pain and sadness. But what is constant is that they move us to think, reflect, and act. To honor our past and how it shapes us. To heal what has yet to be explored. To remember what has been forgotten in service to the broken promises of the American dream. To transform what weighs us down to what lifts us up. And to work in solidarity towards liberation, as all our histories are interconnected. 

Memories have power. Let them move us to action.


APIDAHM Kickoff: Looking into the Future

When: Monday, April 3, 5 - 6:30
Where: STAMP, MICA Cozy Corner
Organization: MICA
Sponsors: Office of the Vice President of Student Affairs

Join us in the Cozy Corner for a conversation on the future of the APIDA Community here on campus, especially discussing the upcoming Cultural Centers. There will be food!

Memories in Motion Concert featuring Ruby Ibarra

When: Friday, April 7, doors open at 6 pm 
Where: STAMP, Hoff Theatre
Organization: MICA
Sponsors: Art for All, The Clarice, Office of Graduate Diversity & Inclusion, Office of the Vice President of Student Affairs

Ruby Ibarra is a Filipina American rapper, spoken word artist, and advocate from the Bay Area who creates art about her personal and political experiences around being a Filipina immigrant. The concert will conclude with a Q&A. Join us for a chance to engage with both her music and experiences as an advocate. 

Get your FREE ticket at

Make-A-Memory Craft Night

When: Wednesday, April 19, 5 - 8 pm
Where: STAMP, MICA Cozy Corner and Studio A
Organization: MICA
Sponsor: Studio A

Join us for a night of creativity with some of your favorite childhood crafts. Provided kits include turtle banks, picture frames, friendship bracelets, balloon animals, star strips, origami, and more! Not into crafts? Come anyways for the snacks and friendly company. 

Writing Workshop with Kimberly Nguyen

When: Thursday, April 20, 5 - 7pm
Where: STAMP, MICA Cozy Corner
Organization: MICA and AASU

Save the date for our collaboration with AASU to bring award-winning poet, Kimberly Nguyen, for a poetry workshop as part of APIDA Heritage Month's: Memories in Motion!

Kimberly Nguyen is a Vietnamese-American poet and the author of ghosts in the stalks and Here I Am Burn Me. She was a 2021 Emerging Voices Fellow at PEN America and is currently a 2022- 2023 Poetry Coalition Fellow.

Middle Eastern/Southwest Asian/North African Town Hall

When: Wednesday, April 26, 5 - 6:30 pm
Where: STAMP, Charles Carroll A 2203K
Organization: MICA

MICA is adding a Middle Eastern/Southwest Asian/North African Involvement Area! This will be a time to raise awareness about this new resource, connect with the community, and build together what we want to build this involvement area to look like (starting with what we want to call it!). Food will be available.

RSVP here:

Unity Gala

When: Sunday, April 30, 6 - 9 pm
Where: STAMP, Grand Ballroom
Organization: AASU x MICA
Sponsors: Office of Graduate Diversity & Inclusion, Office of the Vice President of Student Affairs

Unity Gala is an end of the year formal celebrating all APIDA organizations and clubs here at UMD. Join us to see some amazing performances, eat delicious food, recognize our graduating seniors, and so much more!

Take Back the Night & The Clothesline Project

When: Wednesday, April 12, 5 - 7 pm
Where: McKeldin Mall
Organization: CARE to Stop Violence
Sponsors: Sexual Assault Prevention Committee (SAPC)

Take Back The Night (TBTN) originated in the 1970’s as a response to the growing national conversation around violence against women. Today, TBTN is a chance to honor all survivors of sexual violence and recognize their collective strength. Join the CARE Peer Advocates in supporting survivors and learn more about how we can work together to counter rape culture. Additionally, The Clothesline Project (TCP) will be available at this event. TCP allows survivors and supporters the opportunity to share their stories, feelings, and experiences by designing a t-shirt to hang on the clothesline. TCP represents the stories and memories of survivors and empowers survivors to see that they are not alone, but surrounded by other survivors and supporters.

Follow CARE to Stop Violence on IG @careumd 

Mixed/Multiethnic Identities within the APIDA Community

When: Wednesday, April 12, 7 - 8 pm
Where: STAMP, Pyon Su Room
Organization: Multiracial Biracial Student Association

This dialogue event is meant to center the experiences of mixed/multiethnic identities within the APIDA community to celebrate this year’s APIDA Heritage Month. We will be diving into topics such as racial imposter syndrome, colorism, and identity building. The following event is meant to empower those within the multiracial and transracial adoptee communities to share their stories and take up space. All are welcome to attend and learn more about others’ experiences and stories.

Follow MBSA on IG @mbsa.umcp

2023 Chandni Kumar Annual Lecture on Asian Americans and Activism ft. Dr. Sam Vong and Thakur Mishra "Storytelling as Activism: The Bhutanese Diaspora and the Politics of Documenting Displacement"

When: Thursday, April 13, 5:30 - 7:00 with reception to follow
Where: Susquehanna Hall 1120
Organization: Asian American Studies Program (AAST)
Sponsor: Smithsonian National Museum of American History

During this year's CKAL, Dr. Binod Paudyal, AAST Lecturer, will join in a conversation between Dr. Sam Vong, Curator of Asian Pacific American History, and Thakur Mishra, Executive Editor at the Bhutan News Service. The three will touch upon community engagement within South Asian America and Bhutanese refugee communities in particular, public history, and how to bridge the work of local storytellers with cultural institutions like the Smithsonian. 

Follow AAST on IG @aastumd 

South Asian Health Equity Panel

When: Thursday, April 13, 6 - 7:30 pm
Where: Zoom
Organization: South Asian Student Association

Join us as we welcome a panel of experts on health professions and health disparities. They'll discuss their experiences as South Asians in the field, observations they've made, and more, and then we'll have a Q and A for attendees.

Follow SASA on IG @sasaumd 

Mr. Wiffleball

When: Friday, April 14, 7 - 10 pm
Where: STAMP, Hoff Theatre
Organization: Taiwanese American Student Association

An inter-Asian-org male beauty pageant! All proceeds and donations go to charity.

Follow TASA on IG @umcptasa 

Philippine Cultural Night

When: Saturday, April 15, Doors open at 5PM
Where: STAMP, Grand Ballroom
Organization: Filipino Cultural Association

Philippine Cultural Night (PCN) is the culmination of everything FCA and is our biggest event of the year! PCN incorporates all of our subgroups and includes a play, performances, and dances. Everything PCN is written, directed, choreographed, and performed and produced by FCA general body members.

Follow FCA on IG @fca_umcp 

Nepali Night

When: Saturday, April 15, 7 - 9 pm
Where: STAMP, Colony Ballroom
Organization: Nepali Student Association

Nepali Night is a celebration of Nepali culture as well as the Nepali new years. We will have a night of amazing performances to share Nepali culture.

Follow NSA on IG @umdnsa 

Night Market

When: Saturday, April 22, 7 - 10 pm
Where: McKeldin Mall
Organization: Taiwanese American Student Association

Night Market is meant to simulate an authentic Taiwanese night market. Join us for a night of food, games, and performances!

Follow TASA on IG @umcptasa 

Asian American Foodways at the UMD Campus Pantry

When: Tuesday, April 25, 12:30 - 1:45 pm
Where: UMD Campus Pantry (located on ground floor of the South Campus Dining building), 7093 Preinkert Drive, College Park, MD 20742
Organization: Asian American Studies Program (AAST)

In honor of APIDA Heritage Month at the University of Maryland, Dr. Jennifer Cho and students from AAST298G: Asian American Foodways will be leading an interactive cooking demo featuring uniquely Asian American ingredients. Samples will follow, and guests are encouraged to donate an Asian or Asian American food product in support of those who are experiencing food insecurity.

RSVP here!

Mehndi Night Fundraiser

When: Thursday, April 27, 6 - 8 pm
Where: STAMP, Grand Ballroom
Organization: South Asian Student Association

Come socialize and get your mehndi done anytime between 6 and 8 p.m. to help fundraise for SASA's future events and celebrate APIDA heritage month!

Follow SASA on IG @sasaumd

SASA Formal

When: FRIDAY, April 28, 7 - 10 pm
Where: Riggs Alumni Center
Organization: South Asian Student Association

Join SASA for our biggest social event of the spring! Dress up (South Asian attire is optional but encouraged) and get ready for a night of dancing, dinner, and socializing with the South Asian community on campus.

Back to Top