EWU Celebrates AANHPI Culture and Heritage

May 2, 2023

Throughout the month of May, a series of campus events will provide opportunities to learn more about the rich history and culture of Asian American Native Hawaiian Pacific Islanders (AANHPI), while experiencing some of their traditions and learning more about the challenges and inequities they face.

In advance of May’s events, the AANHPI Heritage Month committee, chaired by Pui-Yan Lam, a professor of sociology and justice studies at EWU, along with representatives from various Eastern departments and community partners, have been working to create programs, events and initiatives focused on the AANHPI community.  

These events include film screenings, author Q & A panels, speakers, staff/faculty workshops, and the eagerly anticipated annual Lu’au and inaugural Spring Market.  

“It is important for the EWU community to see these types of events and focus on this small segment of the population,” says John Hoffschneider, associate director of the Multicultural Center. 

Check out the EWU Multicultural Center website for Zoom links and tickets to the club’s annual Lu’au. If you have any questions, please contact John Hoffschneider at jhoffschneider@ewu.edu.


May 1 – 31 | AANHPI Month Materials Display | John F. Kennedy Library Lobby EWU Cheney Campus 

The display will feature some of the library’s recent books on AANHPI histories and cultures, including children’s books from the Curriculum Center.

View the collection of EWU Library AANHPI resource suggestions here.   

For more information, please contact Qing Stellwagen at qstellwagen@ewu.edu and Steven Bingo at sbingo@ewu.edu


May 1 (Monday) | Screening of Dear Corky and Panel with Filmmaker Curtis Chin | Magic Lantern Theatre, 25 W. Main Ave. Spokane | 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.   

The event will include a screening of the film Dear Corky, a documentary about the influential Asian American photographer Corky Lee, who documented decades of significant moments in Asian American communities.

Author and filmmaker Curtis Chin will talk about the making of the film and answer questions from the audience. There will also be a pre-show featuring a trailer from a project by Frances Mortel for Refugee and Immigrant Connections of Spokane.

This event is co-sponsored by EWU and APIC-SpokaneFor more information, please contact Dr. Pui-Yan Lam at plam@ewu.edu


May 2 (Tuesday) | Book Talk with Author Curtis Chin: Everything I Learned, I Learned in a Chinese Restaurant | PUB 317/319 EWU Cheney Campus | noon – 1:30 p.m. 

Filmmaker and author Curtis Chin on his memoir, Everything I Learned, I Learned in a Chinese Restaurant.

Curtis Chin’s book is about coming of age and coming out. It traces the author’s journey through 1980s Detroit as he navigated rising xenophobia, the AIDS epidemic and the Reagan Revolution to find his voice as a writer and activist — all set against the backdrop of his family’s popular Chinese restaurant. 

The book, which features plenty of Chinese food, Motown vibes and crack cocaine, will be published by Little, Brown in the fall of 2023.

This event will be live-streamed on Zoom.  For more information please, contact Dr. Pui-Yan Lam at plam@ewu.edu


May 6 (Saturday) |  Native Hawaiian Pacific Islanders Club presents: Lu’au 2023 | Pavilion Reese Courts EWU Cheney Campus | 3 p.m. 

An evening in the Pacific! Members of the NHPI Club will be performing Polynesian, Melanesian and Micronesian dances to celebrate and share their heritage with EWU and the surrounding community. This event not only includes a show, but Polynesian dishes and catering.

Get tickets here. For more information, please contact Rosary Sami at rsami1@ewu.edu


May 11 (Thursday) | From the Public Schools to Public Service, with CNMI Secretary of Labor Leila Fleming-Staffler  | PUB 319 EWU Cheney Campus | 12 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. 

Secretary of Labor Leila Fleming-Staffler is a politician and former educator from the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands (CNMI), a small U.S. territory in the Pacific, and a member of the Democratic Party. Staffler represented Precinct Five in the 22nd Commonwealth House of Representatives, and was a part of the first all-female tandem to run in the CNMI 2022 gubernatorial election. Despite not winning that race, she was nominated and confirmed to serve as Secretary of Labor. Secretary Staffler has dedicated over 20 years to public service, doing what she can to improve conditions for the residents of the CNMI.

Prior to her role in the government, she served as an educator in the CNMI Public School System from 2001-2020. She has taught for Tinian Jr. Sr. High School (Tinian) and transitioned to Kagman High School (Saipan). While at Kagman High School, she moved to administration. Serving first as vice-principal before her promotion to principal in 2013. In 2020, she resigned from her position at KHS to run for the CNMI House of Representatives.

Secretary Staffler will talk about her journey from the small islands in the Pacific, her college education in the Pacific Northwest, returning to work in the classroom and transitioning to her role in government.


May 18 (Thursday) | Diversity Essentials: How to Better Serve the AA-NH/PI Students @ EWU | PUB 317 EWU Cheney Campus | noon – 1 p.m. 

This workshop will be facilitated by Pui-Yan Lam, professor of sociology and justice studies at EWU. In the workshop, Lam will take an intersectional approach to looking at complex and diverse Asian American populations, will help audience members learn about identity development among Asian American students, and will discuss strategies to help address common challenges faced by Asian American students.

Please register for the workshop here.  For more information, please contact Dr. Pui-Yan Lam at plam@ewu.edu


May 25 (Thursday) | Asian Student Association Spring Market | Arévalo Campus Mall, EWU Cheney Campus | 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. 

The Asian Student Association (ASA) presents their inaugural Spring Market. This baked goods fundraising event will feature Asian pre-packaged snacks, a silent auction and other items to raise funds for the student organization. Other student organizations will also be present with booths providing similar items for sale.

For more information, please contact Anna Pugh at apugh2@ewu.edu


May 31 (Wednesday) | EWU & the Asian Student Experience | PUB 319 EWU Cheney Campus | noon – 1:30 p.m. 

This program provides a panel of those who will speak on the Asian/Asian American, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander student experience at Eastern Washington University.

Students will share their experiences at EWU to highlight and bring attention to the unique needs of this community. Staff, faculty and students are encouraged to come and learn from the panelists’ shared experiences, which will provide a greater understanding of this particular community.

For more information, please contact John B. Hoffschneider at jhoffschneider@ewu.edu