Dear COA family,
The Department of Ethnic Studies in collaboration with the Office of the President would like to wish our community a Joyful Celebration of the Asian Pacific Islander and DESI American (APIDA) Month.
During Asian American, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander and Desi Heritage Month, College of Alameda is celebrating the diversity, achievement, and remarkable contributions of APIDA members and communities. This annual celebration in addition to recognizing the historical, economic, and cultural contributions of individuals and groups of Asian and Pacific Islander descent, it is also a reminder that our country continues to see persistent racism and hate crimes against these communities. As such this is a time for celebration and a call to action to end racism and discrimination and to embrace in celebration and advocacy. As the APIDA organizer professor Julie Saechao states, these events are also an effort to “challenge the dominant racialized narrative that the APIDA community is a monolithic culture”.
As COA kicked off Asian Pacific Islander Awareness and Celebration Month, I would like to congratulate APAHE on an amazing conference and convening. COA was privileged to be a Platinum Sponsor for this event and was represented by a robust team of faculty, classified professionals, administrators, and students.
Among so many leaders in the AANHPI community like Frank Chong, Rowena Tomaneng, Wyman Fong, etc., I would like to celebrate the COA APIDA leadership team: Ava Lee Pang, Marissa Nakano, Julie Saechao, Cady Carmichael, Amy Lee, Natalie Rodriguez, Chungwai Chum, Danny Nguyen, Andrew Park, Angela Kimble, Fathia Mohammed, Louis Martirez, Dave Nguyen, Marivic Lizardo, Vincent Catacutan among so many other COA family members.
COA was also represented at the San Francisco City Hall celebration of AAPI Heritage Month by the amazing dance team led by Professor Danny Nguyen. Thank you, Professor Nguyen and the COA Dance team, for such an excellent performance.
In addition, there was a strong participation of COA faculty, classified professionals, and administrators at the PCCD AAPI Mixer, and our own Ms. Chungwai Chum kicked off that great event that took place on May 1st, 2023.
Also, last week we were informed by the Chancellor’s Office and Central Office (Foundation for California Community Colleges) that COA has been identified as one of the 40 colleges to receive AANHPI SAP funding to “to provide culturally responsive services to enhance student educational experiences and promote higher education success for low- income, underserved, and first-generation Asian American Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander (AANHPI) students and other underrepresented students. For 2022-2023, we will receive $162,000 through Apportionment (P2-June 2023).
Furthermore, Dr. Mildred Lewis, Interim Vice President of Student Services in collaboration with Dr. David Lee, Director of the AANAPISI Program at Laney College, and the executive teams and faculty and staff at both Laney College and COA are working to obtain a collaborative grant to best serve our AAPI and SWANA students.
As we continue to celebrate the APIDA heritage month, let’s all come together as a community and remember Ronald Takaki’s advice that “the study of diversity is essential for understanding how and why America became what Walt Whitman called a “teeming nation of nations.”
― Ronald Takaki, A Different Mirror
Dr. Diana Bajrami
College of Alameda