Asian Pacific American Cultural Center to host conversations about culture, oppression

Haley Candelario

The Asian Pacific American Cultural Center will hold weekly roundtable conversations called Chai to Understand.

The conversations will center around heritage, identity, culture and oppression, and will occur every Wednesday at 5 p.m. in the APACC office in the Lory Student Center’s room 333.

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Amanda Thompson and Syd Sahota, co-facilitators for Chai to Understand, said the discussions are a revamped version of APACC’s Tea Time discussion series.

According to Thompson, the student and professional staff members held weekly Tea Time discussions about controversial topics and how those themes apply to both historic and current events.

The weekly discussions will vary between planned topics and open discussions, Thompson said. Previous planned discussions focused on the parallels of Islamophobia and how Asian Americans were treated in World War II, and what it means to be a student of color living in the residence halls.

Sahota said another planned discussion they are hoping to have will be about the impact and legality of slurs and derogatory imagery used in popular media, representation of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the media, and being a multiethnic individual.

Sahota said the discussions are important since they bring awareness to Asian and Pacific Islander culture.

“I grew up with a strong sense of identity surrounding my culture and heritage, and celebrating identities is part of how I was raised,” Sahota wrote in an email to the Collegian. “Bringing awareness around our history as well as celebrating our culture is something I feel is important, empowering and necessary.”

Sahota said the discussions will bring awareness to Asian American and/or Pacific Islander identities.

“We don’t talk a lot, if at all, about Asian American and/or Pacific Islander identities,” Sahota wrote. “Our histories are largely erased and if they are discussed, they are not presented accurately.”

Thompson hopes the discussions will encourage students to learn more about the history and culture of Asian Pacific Islander identities.

“I think it’s important to be aware of what has happened in the past and what is still happening now many years later,” Thompson wrote. “Hopefully these discussions will leave individuals empowered and inspired to learn more about Asian Pacific Islander identity and culture.”

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Thompson and Shatoa encourage all Colorado State University students to attend the discussions.

Collegian reporter Haley Candelario can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @H_Candelario98.