May 2021 marks the 20th anniversary of the Senate of Canada’s Declaration of May as Asian Heritage Month, a Motion tabled by The Honourable Dr. Vivienne Poy, the first Canadian of Asian descent to be appointed to the Senate of Canada.
With 30 countries and many distinct regions and communities making up the Asian diaspora in Canada, this month offers an opportunity to honour and celebrate the contributions of diverse campus community members at Waterloo and beyond.
This month is also an opportunity to acknowledge the rise in anti-Asian hate in Canada and abroad, and work to end this hate. In Canada, Asian folx with diverse and intersecting identities have faced greater risk of harmful, racist incidents over the last year, particularly young women. 59% of reported incidents were made by women and we know women are less likely to report. The report recently published (PDF) by Project 1907 and the Chinese Canadian National Council makes recommendations, including using an intersectional equity lens when developing supports, tools and resources to protect the most vulnerable.
Take advantage of the many resources and events in Waterloo and beyond this May:
Virtual Events for Families, Kids and Young Adults
Celebrating Asian Pacific Heritage Month with Picture Books + Self-love | Tue, May 18, 2021, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM. Picture book authors Shelly Anand + Joanna Ho discuss self-love in celebration of Asian Pacific Heritage Month
Asian Heritage Month: Youth Cooking Demonstration | Saturday, May 22, 2021 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM. Celebrate Asian Heritage Month with the Kitchener Public Library (KPL) and Chef Thompson Tran from the Wooden Boat Food Company. Learn more about Vietnam through its food, as Chef prepares a classic enjoyed by everyone: Vietnamese Coconut Chicken Noodle Soup. KPL recommends you plan to attend this event, and then make the recipe at your own pace afterwards. KPL will share the recipe with you prior to the event. Registration is open to children 7 to 15 years old, and their families.
Paueru Mashup: Contemporary Community Dance Celebrating Japanese Culture | Various dates available in May, and the group encourages you attend them all to use skills you learn in each new class! Thursday, May 6, 5 to 6 pm; Thursday, May13, 5 to 6 pm; Thursday, May 20, 5 to 6 pm; Thursday, May 27, 5 to 6 pm. Learn the Paueru Mashup, a community dance drawing on elements of Radio Taiso and Tanko Bushi. Commissioned by the Powell Street Festival Society with music created by Onibana Taiko and movements by Company 605, this high-energy dance is accessible for all ages and abilities. No dance experience necessary!
During the month of May, through the Kitchener Library, request a DiscoveREAD bundle that contains 3 items that highlight works by Asian authors, creators, actors, and so forth. This service is for readers who are 15 years or older.
Sign up for the Waterloo Library’s weekly newsletter in honour of Asian Heritage Month, which is launching May 10
Addressing Anti-Asian Racism: A Resource for Educators (PDF) While this resource was developed by The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) and the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario, it is an excellent resource for all educators and parents.
General Virtual Events
Opening Ceremony, Asian Heritage Month Festival 2021 | May 2, 2pm
South Asian Heritage Month 2021 - Panel Discussion | May 12, 4-6 pm. The annual South Asian Heritage month (SAHM) campaign is part of Council of Agencies Servicing South Asians’ (CASSA) ongoing work to mobilize the South Asian communities' voice and action towards Canadian and global justice by creating spaces for conversations, learning/unlearning, and bridging gaps within and between communities. This year's SAHM theme is: COVID-19 Heroes.
Asian Heritage Month: Explorations of identity, perceptions and belonging | May 25, 1pm - 2:30pm. The President’s Anti-Racism Taskforce (PART) invites you to attend Explorations of Asian Identity, Perceptions and Belonging, in honour of Asian Heritage Month. This virtual event will feature a moderated panel discussion that explores Asian-Canadian identity and anti-Asian racism, particularly in light of the rise in hate crimes over the past year.