In Honor of AAPI Heritage Month

May 5, 2023

In Honor of AAPI Heritage Month

Dear CSSW Community,


May begins the celebration of Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, a time to acknowledge the myriad contributions to culture, complex histories, and ongoing achievements of people of Asian and Pacific Islander descent in the U.S. The AAPI community represents vast diversity, consisting of more than 50 different ethnicities and over 100 languages spoken. Each individual and community under the AAPI umbrella has very different and unique experiences that we honor not only during this month, but always.


Last week, our own CSSW Professor Qin Gao released findings of a cutting-edge research project, launched barely a year ago, that looks specifically at the demographic, economic, health, and socio-political conditions of today’s Chinese American population – a population that has too often been pushed to the margins for far too long. The “State of Chinese Americans Survey” will deepen our understanding of the many factors that influence the well-being of Chinese Americans today – which I am certain will shed light on many policies and practices that result in barriers to opportunity, experiences of discrimination, and increased risk of mental distress in this oft-overlooked and under-studied population. I want to thank Dr. Gao and the entire research team for their outstanding efforts on this project.


It is indisputable that the violence and discrimination against AAPI folks has not abated. This is completely reprehensible, and should serve as an urgent reminder to continue to educate ourselves and advocate for our AAPI community at CSSW and far beyond.


Please find a list of resources to learn more about how you can do your part in dismantling systemic inequities and widespread racism towards AAPI individuals and communities. You can also find a link to the Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Bookshop page for stories and other selections available for all age groups. We must do all we can to turn the tide, and eliminate the perpetuation of hateful rhetoric and policies.

In community,

Melissa Begg

Dean & Professor

Karma Lowe

Senior Associate Dean for DEI, Enrollment & Community Engagement