PDS Celebrates AAPI Month


Upper School APIDA Gathering (Photo/PDS Flickr)

Michelle Xu, Online Features Editor

On May 10, the Asian Pacific Islander Desi American affinity group (APIDA) hosted its annual celebratory gathering to uplift the voices and honor the identities of Asian Americans in the PDS community. The timing highlights Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, which takes place during the month of May. For many Asian Americans at Princeton Day School, May marks a special time of the year where students, teachers, and faculty alike gather to celebrate the rich cultural history of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

Science Department Chair Jason Park is one of the faculty advisors for the APIDA affinity group. He believes that AAPI month “is a very important way to shed awareness on the unique identity and contributions” of Asian Americans. Mr. Park also notes that PDS honors AAPI month by creating a space and time to celebrate Asian American students as well as giving them a venue to share their stories or talents. He is grateful for the sense of belonging and community that PDS provides for Asian American students to fully embrace their cultures. Mr. Park explains that his favorite part of being Asian American is the idea that he has “a family immigration story that is also shared across so many different people and communities.”

Senior Kyler Zhou is a co-head of the APIDA affinity group and led the preparations for the gathering. Zhou feels that AAPI month is a major time of the year for Asian Americans. Reflecting on the impact AAPI month has had on his life, Zhou states: “It is a time for me to think about the culture and identity I have been raised in, and feel appreciative of what my ancestors have done for me.” Additionally, Zhou is appreciative of the APIDA affinity group’s annual Upper School gatherings that showcase the diverse perspectives of Asian American members. “It does wonders,” Zhou says, noting that the gathering not only educates students and faculty on the difficulties of being Asian American, but also what the Asian community takes pride in.

In previous years, the growing visibility of Asian American voices and the recognition of AAPI month shed light on the challenges Asian Americans faced, but also highlighted how diverse the community truly is. The gathering hosted by APIDA was another important step towards breaking down stereotypes and celebrating differences within the AAPI community.