Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage (AAPI) month

Dear Berkeley City College Community – 

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage (AAPI) month, recognizing the ways individuals of Asian American and Pacific Islanders descent have shaped and impacted American history and culture. Berkeley City College is proud of its strong AAPI representation in our student body, faculty, classified professionals, and administration. The diversity throughout the AAPI community contributes to the rich tapestry of the Berkeley City College community. 

While the influence of the AAPI community is often celebrated with food, fashion, and architecture, we must pause to recognize the great injustices this community faced and continues to endure in America. We remember the thousands of Chinese laborers who built the Transcontinental railroad, transforming the infrastructure of the nation while facing deadly working conditions and terrible wages. We remember the Japanese Americans who were subjected to internment camps during World War II, even while young family members were enlisted to fight in that same war. We remember the Native Hawaiians, whose kingdom was overthrown and its people exploited by American corporations before becoming a state in 1959. And over the past years, members of the AAPI community have been victims of racism and violence, and erroneously targeted amidst the global health pandemic  

Our BCC community is one of inclusion, appreciation, and aims to recognize the beauty and brilliance of diverse communities. May you take the time to recognize members of the AAPI community who modeled activism, leadership, and culturally rooted efforts, From Larry Itliong (Filipino American labor organizer) to Tony Lam (first Vietnamese American elected to public office as a city council member) and so many other influential community members, our BCC community is made more whole because of our AAPI community. AAPI students make up 21% of all BCC students, while 35% of classified professionals and 11% of faculty identify as AAPI. Our AAPI colleagues support all BCC students, but it must be recognized that their presence mirrors to AAPI students a sense of belonging that is valuable. I invite you to be in community and celebrate AAPI Heritage Month by supporting and attending the following AAPI L.E.A.D. events:  

  • Library Display of AAPI Books and movies available via our streaming film databases 

  • Thursday, May 5th there will be an exhibit of arts and crafts in Room 223 during college hour 

  • Panel discussion on AAPI Success Stories held on Zoom on May 11th 

  • Food festival in the BCC Atrium on May 26th 

I look forward to seeing you during the AAPI community events and encourage you to reflect on how you contribute to building an inclusive community that recognizes, honors, and celebrates our AAPI community in our classrooms, workshops, programs, and community spaces.  

In community,

Dr. Angélica Garcia

President, Berkeley City College