Asian Heritage Month 2023

May 01, 2023
In Japanese culture, the wave symbol, or seigaiha, is symbolic of life-giving water, peace, and good luck, and can also represent power or resilience. It was originally used on ancient Chinese maps to depict the sea and later adapted for use on Japanese clothing. This interpretation was done by SFU designer Carolyn Liew.

May is Asian Heritage Month. This year, across the university we celebrate Asian history, culture and contributions to SFU—find a guide to activities at SFU and in the local community below.

Be sure to check this page throughout the month as we add new events and additional updates.


Cross-Cultural Mental Health: Research and Practice Forum

May 5 | SFU Public Square and SFU Surrey 

Join us to learn, share, and network with researchers and practitioners interested in improving the cultural safety and relevance of evidence-informed mental health practices.

This event will feature a partnered research project led by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) that developed and evaluated Culturally Adapted Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to improve community mental health services for Canadians of South Asian origin. Dr. Farooq Naeem, Clinician Scientist and Principal Investigator, will provide a keynote address.

Food insecurity in asian communities: community-led initiatives and actions 

May 12 | SFU Faculty of Health Science and the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC)

Join us to hear from frontline community leaders who are taking action to address food insecurity in Asian and other communities in the Lower Mainland.

Roundtable Discussion: "A Hundred Years Later: Asian Racialization and the Violence of Inclusion"

May 15 | Presented by the Canada Research Chair with generous support from SFU’s David Lam Centre; Institute for the Humanities; Department of Geography; Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies; Global Asia Program

Coinciding with the centenary this year of the (anti-) Chinese Immigration Act in Canada, roundtable participants will reflect on the contradictions of Asian racialization in the context of contemporary crises: What are the broader structural violences that have been exacerbated rather than resolved in the political shift from formal racial exclusion to inclusion in dominant settler societies? How has “inclusion” deepened forms of Asian exclusion? How do these complex dynamics operate in multiethnic and multiracial communities across North America?

Places, Histories, Communities: Exploring Queer Asian identities through Zine-Making

May 27 | Presented by UBC Hong Kong Studies Initiative, SFU Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies, SFU Institute For Transpacific Cultural Research, and Queer Reads Library

As queer Asian individuals, how do we carve out our own space in official history? How might we write alternative histories, create our own senses of place and belongings, build communities, and make sense of our identities? In this interactive workshop co-presented by UBC Hong Kong Studies Initiative, SFU Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies, SFU Institute For Transpacific Cultural Research, and Queer Reads Library, artist-writer Rachel Lau will guide us through the process of zine-making as a way to rewrite queer Asian narratives and places.


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