Niles West Celebrates AAPI Heritage Month

May 4, 2023

Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month began May 1st, and Niles West’s clubs and classes are prepared to observe the month. If you are looking to observe the month with West, there are some dates and activities to be on the lookout for.

Asian cultural music began playing during passing periods on May 1, and a balloon arch of all the AAPI flags will be located in the main hallway past Door 1.

May 12 is Niles West AAPI Feast, where all of West’s AAPI clubs are planning different meals to serve. They will be located in the student commons during all lunch periods so you can sample different AAPI foods.

On May 17, a double-period performance will take place in which Archy Jamjun, Niles West alum, will be the guest speaker. Jamjun is also bringing in other professional storytellers, including Elizabeth Gomez, Sonal Aggarwal and Jitesh Jaggi to share stories and open the performance up to a Q&A (question and answer) period.

Niles West’s Pan Asian Student Association has been preparing a full calendar for the month of May, inviting viewers to attend different AAPI clubs including Korean Club, Chinese Club, South Asian Student Association, Filipino Club and Japanese-Anime Club.

The calendar has information on when to attend the AAPI clubs of Niles West, a variety of outside events for every day of the month, and videos to watch.

“Some of the other club members and I researched Asian events going on in the Chicagoland area for people in the Niles West community to go attend and enjoy,” PASA member, sophomore Nichelle Thomas said.

In addition to clubs, classes at Niles West are also planning ways to observe the month.

“To kick off the month, Mr. Lee and I are bringing our [Asian American Studies and Asian American Literature] classes to Chinatown to participate in the first annual Chinatown cleanup to kick off the month,” World Languages teacher and sponsor of PASA and Chinese Club Wileen Hsing said. This event is on May 5 and is hosted by the Chinese American Service League. It is open for anyone to register.

Outside of field trips, classes have in-class activities planned as well.

“For modern world [history classes] I do ‘Heroes for History Month,’ so for May we will do an Asian American Heritage assignment where students will have an opportunity to look up Asian American figures,” social studies teacher sponsor John Lee said.

Make sure to check out the events inside and outside the school community to help observe and celebrate AAPI heritage month this May.

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