May marks Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month, which celebrates the histories of Americans hailing from across the Asian continent and from the Pacific islands of Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia. The month honors the people who have enriched America’s history and are instrumental in its future success.
Being part of a community means actively engaging the unique perspectives of our many members on their own terms and through their own voices. The following programs, resources, and involvement opportunities represent only a portion of what Rutgers has to offer as a beloved community and are not intended to be an exhaustive list. It’s all part of the university’s commitment to have students, alumni, faculty, staff, and partners work together to embody, reflect, and respect the complexities of all our parts.
Find out how Rutgers’ faculty, students, and publications are advancing knowledge and giving a voice to issues that impact the community.
Rutgers Asian American Cultural Center (AACC)
The center works to foster a safe, inclusive, and supportive environment for all Rutgers University students and community partners by providing programs and initiatives focused on issues relevant to the Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) community. The AACC offers a myriad of social, cultural, and educational opportunities to contextualize, highlight, promote, and critically examine the unique histories, traditions, and cultural identities within the APIDA diaspora.
Online Expo: Asian America Through Art Exhibition
This series of projects depicts APIDA issues through digital and physical art. Rutgers APIDA students and allies in the AACC’s junior internship program and the Asian American Identities and Images Living Learning Community have worked throughout the semester to discuss topics like xenophobia, immigration, Islamophobia, cultural and ethnic identity, and colorism, and how they impact, influence, and engage APIDA populations today.
Works featured on the website include paintings, illustrations, photo mosaic collage and video, writing, and other media representations of topics including beauty standards, colorism, mental health among Asian Americans, immigration, the intersectionality of identity, and more.
Alumni Profile: London-Based Chef Reflects on Foundational Experiences at the Asian American Cultural Center
Laurence Louie,’09, a second-generation Chinese American, was a chef in London in 2021 when he shared his reflections on his experiences at the Rutgers Asian American Cultural Center (AACC) in hopes of inspiring current students to visit the AACC as well. You can check out some of his cooking tips and recipes on his YouTube channel, Laurence Louie: Have you eaten yet?. Or keep tabs on the construction of his own new restaurant just outside of Boston on @rubatofood on Facebook.
Alumni Profile: A New Direction (From Engineering to Environmentalism)
Learn about TaeHo Lee who graduated from Rutgers University–New Brunswick in 2019 with a degree in environmental policy, institutions, and behavior. Here, he shares his participation in planet-friendly clubs and organic farming, as well as how he participated in the Cook Organic Gardens shortly after graduation. He also was a student assistant at the Rutgers Asian American Cultural Center.
Video: Pan Asian Lunar New Year (PALNY) Celebration 2022 (Dance, Singing, Skits, and More)
This hour-long video showcasing voices of six student interns of the Rutgers Asian American Cultural Center shares photos and discussion on some cultural traditions associated with the Pan Asian Lunar New Year Celebration. It includes performances by the Rutgers dance groups Haru (K-pop), Natya (Indian dance), RU Chinese Dance Troupe, and RAAG (an award-winning South Asian acapella group), as well as skits explaining PALNY traditions and short presentations on the many clubs and organizations serving Asian American students at Rutgers.
Connect with Rutgers alumni, expand your social and professional networks, or offer advice to students by getting involved with an alumni group that is meaningful to you.
Rutgers University Alumni Book Club: The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi
Now is a great time to join the Rutgers University Alumni Book Club, a free program for members of the Rutgers community, now more than 1,880 readers strong! For the March 18 to May 20 reading period, the club is reading The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi. Vivid and compelling in its portrait of one woman’s struggle for fulfillment in a society pivoting between the traditional and the modern, The Henna Artist opens a door into a world that is at once lush and fascinating, stark and cruel.
Alumni Clubs and Networking Opportunities
- Rutgers Club of Indonesia. Rutgers Club of Indonesia promotes education, networking among its members, and support of Rutgers by engaging alumni in Indonesia. To learn more, email the president, Is Nugroho, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Rutgers India Network. The Rutgers India Network brings together the Rutgers community across regions in India to advance personal and professional goals. To learn more, contact Aman Trehan, EJBG’17 via email at email@example.com or visit their website.
Support a Fund
Connect with the causes and communities at Rutgers you care about most by supporting the advancement of research, access, and awareness. You can search for any type of fund you would like to support and make a gift to make an impact. Here are a few examples:
Asian American Cultural Center Programs
This fund supports programs at the Rutgers Asian American Cultural Center, which works to foster a safe, inclusive, and supportive environment for all Rutgers University students and community partners.
This fund supports activities focused on interdisciplinary Asian Studies provided by the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures. These activities include seminars, annual conferences and symposia and lectures by visiting scholars.