A person in a traditional Philippine dress walks in a procession
AAPI Heritage Month

16 resources for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Our City/Our Campus
  • Asian Studies Center

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, and the University of Pittsburgh joins the nation in celebrating the history of Asian people, culture and contributions to our country and institution.

The month of May was chosen to commemorate the first Japanese immigrants to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. Most of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants.

Previously, Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week was celebrated on May 4, 1979, before being annually designated AAPI Heritage Month in 1992. 

Below are campus and citywide resources for those seeking others who share their identity or looking to learn more about these diverse cultures and communities in Pittsburgh and beyond.

Pitt’s Office for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion has also compiled a list of resources to combat anti-Asian racism.

Campus Resources

Alliance of Queer Underrepresented Asians in Recognition of Intersectionality to Uphold Solidarity

AQUARIUS, which is for the Asian, Asian American and Pacific Islander queer community and their allies, offers support through advocacy and educational programming.

Alpha Sigma Rho Sorority, Inc.

Alpha Sigma Rho Sorority, Inc. is the first and only Asian-interest, nonexclusive sorority on Pitt’s campus. It’s founded on the pillars of academic excellence, interpersonal growth, moral development and strength in unity.

Asian Christian Fellowship

This college-based ministry seeks to promote a Christian community on Pitt’s campus.

Asian Pacific American Law Student Association

APALSA is committed to fostering an environment where Asian and Pacific Islander American Pitt Law students can candidly discuss and address legal issues faced by their communities.

Asian Student Alliance

ASA is a student organization that coordinates events for Asian and Asian American undergraduate students with the goal of developing and advocating for Asian American identity and increasing awareness about the AAPI experience.

Asian Studies Center

Founded in 1969, Pitt’s Asian Studies Center is a global resource for research and education about Asia. The center partners with more than 100 affiliated faculty from across the University to build connections and develop innovative research, fostering community engagement and creating rigorous academic programming.

Cantonese Student Association at Pitt

CSA at Pitt is committed to educating the campus community about Cantonese culture through social economic, educational, cultural and political programming.

Chinese Affinity Group

CAG, which launched in March 2016, is one of the first affinity groups established under the Office for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion at Pitt.

CAG offers University faculty and staff with social networking and career development opportunities. Those interested in joining or receiving information about the organization should email cagpitt [at] gmail.com.

[This Pitt poet talked about her Vietnamese heritage and how it plays a role in her work.]

Fresh Entertainment by Student Artists

FRESA celebrates Asian pop culture through song, dance and performances from South Korea, Japan and China.

Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers

SASE is dedicated to the academic and professional advancement of Asian STEM scholars and the core pillars of professional development, community service and celebrating cultural heritage.

South Asian Student Association

SASA seeks to develop its members into caring and informed global citizens by providing opportunities that foster leadership, promote scholarship and celebrate diversity.

Steel City Sapna

Steel City Sapna is Pittsburgh’s premier South Asian a cappella and Bollywood fusion competition.

Bonus: Tour the Nationality Rooms

Visit the Armenian, Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Korean, Philippine and Turkish rooms in the Cathedral of Learning to learn more about the cultures each represents. The spaces on the first and second floors allow visitors to experience the rich heritage of the communities who inspired and supported their creation. Get tour information.

Community Resources

Organization of Chinese Americans, Pittsburgh Chapter

This national civil rights advocacy and educational organization is dedicated to advancing the social, political and economic well-being of Americans of Asian and Pacific Islander descent. The chapter hosts programs for local youths and an annual Lunar New Year Banquet and offers a free medical clinic in partnership with UPMC and Tzu Chi Foundation to members.

Pittsburgh Asia Consortium

The Pittsburgh Asia Consortium is a collective of academic and nonprofit organizations that work to foster greater knowledge and understanding about Asia in and around the greater Pittsburgh area.

Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania

For over three decades, the Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania has served as the region's premier organization for educational, business and arts activities related to Japan and Japan-America relations.


— Kara Henderson, photography of the Philippine Room dedication celebration by Aimee Obidzinski