On Tuesday, May 3, Holy Cross celebrated Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month with a special assembly organized by the Asian American Pacific Islander Student Association. The presentation included information created by members of the club on topics such as Asian representation in the media and music, and mental health issues in the AAPI community. The presenters also gave a fun pop quiz about Asian celebrities.
The club members shared how Asian representation in media has been damaged by the tropes of “yellowface” and caricatures. They also noted that although Asian-Americans are still vastly underrepresented in the media despite being a growing population.
Two types of Asian representation in music were reviewed in the presentation—K-Pop and Chinese Opera (Xiqu). K-Pop is a newer form a popular music that is spreading more widely in the United States. In recent years, Korean K-Pop performers have collaborated with performers in the United States with great success. Xiqu, which combines music, dance, martial arts, costume, acrobatics and literature, has a deep history, first appearing in the Han Dynasty (206 BCE--220 CE). Still performed today, the genre includes defined roles for males and females.
The assembly concluded with information about statistics relating to mental health challenges within the AAPI community. The presenters reported that AAPI community have the lowest rate of individuals seeking help due to several issues such as fear of negative stigma from community members and concerns about confidentiality. Factors such as the “model minority” stigma and the COVID-19 pandemic also affect the challenges with mental health within the AAPI community. The club suggested ways that individuals can help such as continuing to be informed, continuing to speak about the need for better mental health, and offering support to those who need help.