The APCC was established in 1991 as the Asian Cultural Center with the help and hard work of Asian/Pacific American (APA) staff and faculty. (2) For many years the Asian American community has been represented by various student groups and associations. (3) Often in collaboration with these other OSU APA groups and associations, the APCC strives to provide students leadership development opportunities and to act as “a space to engage students and members of the community around the Asian and Pacific Islander Experience.” (4) As of 2015, in its central location on campus, the APCC continues to uphold its mission and vision with an emphasis on social justice.
Every May the APCC celebrates Asian/Pacific American Heritage month; the first celebration at OSU was held in 1994. (5) As explained in an APCC newsletter, “Asian Pacific American Heritage month is a celebration...a period where we commemorate the lives and achievements of APA citizens throughout US history.” (6) Each year the APCC staff plan various activities throughout the month and everyone is welcome to celebrate. In 2005, the APCC hosted a “Henna Night” as an opportunity for attendees to learn values and practices of the tradition. The center also hosted a session on the history of racism in Oregon; they educated the community of the 1925 incident in which the Asian mill workers were forced out of Toledo, Oregon. (7) Notably, the month of May is not the only time when the APCC contributes to OSU’s college community; the center regularly collaborates with other groups to raise awareness of specific issues and promote good causes. In 2011, the APCC collaborated with the other campus cultural and resource centers to contribute to OSU’s World AIDS Day event to pay tribute to all victims and survivors of AIDS. (8) In February 2012, the center promoted Sexual Health Awareness Week February 14th to 21st to raise awareness of human trafficking, one of the most pressing issues in Asia. (9)
The APCC is more than just a cultural center, it is a home. And it is a welcoming home to more than just Asian and Pacific Islander community members. The goal of the APCC is to keep APA communities’ cultural traditions alive while sharing them with others. In support of this idea, Michelle Lee, Internal Coordinator 2011-2012, stated:
What I enjoy most about working at the center is that everyday there’s always something interesting that happens...[and] we always have so much fun while doing our best to represent and promote diversity. Never be afraid to come in and join the fun! Because there’s always something special that goes on. (10)
Photos and Sources Cited