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April 5, 2024

Northwest celebrating Asian American, Pacific Islander Heritage Month with interactive activity, movie night

By Kayla Holman, communication assistant

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Northwest Missouri State University’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion will celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in April with an interactive activity and film screening.

Although May is designated in the United States as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month, Northwest is commemorating the month with activities in April before the University’s academic year concludes on April 26. The activities are free and open to the public.

“Each May, we celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month – an opportunity to learn about and pay tribute to the enormous and diverse contributions that Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have made throughout American history,” Dr. Jessie Peter, a senior Northwest coordinator of diversity and inclusion, said.

The University will host an interactive activity at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 11, in the J.W. Jones Student Union Boardroom, giving participants an opportunity to make traditional leis for Northwest students graduating this spring.

"At graduation ceremonies, it is customary to present a lei to the graduate," Peter said. "A lei is seen as a symbol of pride and accomplishment and a reminder of the bond between the giver and receiver. It also means good luck, hope and joy for the graduate’s future."

At 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 16, in the Student Union Boardroom, Northwest will show “Finding ‘Ohana,” a film about siblings who visit Oahu, Hawaii, and find a journal that takes them on an adventure to explore their Hawaiian heritage. 

Although it began as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week with a joint resolution passed by Congress and signed by President Jimmy Carter in 1978, the entire month of May was officially designated Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month in 1992 after Congress expanded the law and it was signed by President George H.W. Bush. The month commemorates the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, and the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. Today, the celebration honors the accomplishments of Asian Americans, Pacific Islander Americans and native Hawaiians.

For more information about Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month activities at Northwest, contact or 660.562.1105.


Dr. Mark Hornickel
Administration Building
Room 215