AANAPISI to host series of events

By Jo Robinson - Staff Reporter

Highline's AANAPISI program will celebrate and capture the achievements and culture of its students in a series of events this month.

"We really wanted to share our traditions with other cultures and really show people some things that you probably won't ever see again if you don't come," AANAPISI Director Ekkarath Sisavatdy said.

AANAPISI, the Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution program, serves all current students of Asian American, Native American, and Pacific Islander descent. 

The opening event is the Ava ceremony which is a Samoan tradition that is held in celebration or welcoming of visitors. This ceremony will be performed by Highline's Pacific Islander Club in Mt. Constance, Friday May 19, noon until 1 p.m.

Following immediately after the ceremony in the same room, will be APIASF [Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund] Scholars Reception from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. 

This event is to honor APIASF scholar winners for their achievements and resilience, acknowledge AANAPISI program participants, and to celebrate the programs graduating class, Sisavatdy said.

The last event that day will be a feast called Back To our Roots, with food, drinks, and dance performances from South Seattle College's Pacific Islander Club . The event will be held in Building 8 from 3 to 6 p.m. RSVP with Nestor Enguerra at nenguerra@highline.edu. 

There will be a workshop called Closer Look series part one: Southeast Asian Americans. 

This workshop will discuss the model minority myth, best practices of integrating Southeast Asian material, and scholars into curriculum.

This event will be hosted by Dr. Rick Bonus, a professor of American Ethnic Studies at University of Washington, on Tuesday May 23 in Building 2 from 2 to 3:30 p.m.

There will be a second workshop called Closer Look series part two: Pacific Islander Studies. Topics that will be discussed in this workshop are Pacific Islander communication styles, breaking cultural stereotypes, and addressing the achievement gap. 

This event will be on May 25 in Building 2, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. 

The final event will be an Asian American Pacific Islander student panel. Organizers hope this event will discuss identity, support, and cultural competency in the classroom and across campus. 

This event will be Tuesday, May 30 in Building 2 from 2 to 3 p.m.

All of these events are free and are open to the public. Anyone who attends both parts of the Closer Look series will receive a certification of completion.

Each event will stamp what organizers call a game board, which can be picked up at the event or in Building 9 room 225.

If a participant collects four or more stamps they will receive a surprise gift.

"The surprise gift and certificate of completion are both great additional benefits for coming, but I am most excited for the Ava ceremony, it is the most beautiful thing that you may ever see," AANAPISI Director Ekkarath Sisavatdy said.

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