The Student News Site of Newton North High School

The Newtonite

The Newtonite

The Newtonite

Follow Us on Twitter

Asian American Culture Day highlights AAPI experiences

Cat Torosyan
AACC students pose with activist Cynthia Yee after her panel

Asian American Culture Day, organized by English teachers Charlene Beh and Michele Leong, along with the Asian American Culture Club (AACC), provided students with insight into Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) heritage and adversities Thursday, April 4.

The day consisted of an AAPI panel discussion of educators and leaders in Newton during a-block, a student panel discussion in g-block, and an AAPI activist panel discussion during e-block. 

“AACC puts on Asian American Culture Day every year to celebrate and highlight the different identities and experiences within the AAPI community, and to spread awareness about the AAPI community,” said sophomore Malia Thompson-Leong, a PR manager of the AACC.  

The AAPI Educators and Leaders in Newton panel consisted of South Principal Tamara Stras, Underwood principal Suzie Talukdar, Burr principal Mindy Johal, and Assistant Superintendent of Newton Public Schools Student Services Casey Ngo-Miller.

Discussion topics ranged from parental expectations to cultural pride. Many board members, particularly Ngo-Miller and Talukdar, described feeling as though they needed to hide their heritage growing up to assimilate to American cultural norms. 

“You are the only one who knows what you truly want and who you truly are,” said Stras. 

During g-block, an AAPI student panel gave reflections on their experiences as part of the community, according to Thompson-Leong.

The AAPI activists panel during e-block consisted of UMass Boston teacher Liza Talusen and author Cynthia Yee.

Yee encouraged protesting laws that aren’t equitable and shared a story of her family being forced to move to a more dangerous part of Chinatown due to a highway being built. 

“Activism is about putting yourself on the line for what is right,” said Talusen. 

Donate to The Newtonite
More to Discover
About the Contributors
Hannah Zizlsperger
Hannah Zizlsperger, News editor
Cat Torosyan
Cat Torosyan, News editor
Donate to The Newtonite