New Jersey City University President Andres Acebo, head of one of the most diverse schools in the country, reminded the NJCU community and others that Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, being celebrated in May, is about more than just the AAPI community.
“Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month — a time to celebrate the rich histories and cultures of over 50 different ethnic groups, many of which are represented in our NJCU family and throughout the communities here in Jersey City and Hudson County,” he said in a note to the community.
“This diversity brings a wealth of perspectives and experiences that enrich our communities and make them stronger. Our AAPI community has shaped American history for centuries and, every day on our campus, we see the promise and gifts of that community unfold.”
NJCU will have several events marking the month, as it always does.
The theme for this year’s observance is “Advancing Leaders Through Opportunity.”
Acebo hopes the events can be unifying as well as educational.
“Together, let us highlight the achievements of AAPI individuals who have already made a significant impact in art, government, business, health care, education, technology and other areas that are shaping our future,” he said. “Let us also come together to challenge and fiercely defend against the scourge of discrimination and violence that far too often afflicts our AAPI community as it perseveres, breaks barriers and creates opportunities for future generations that elevates our greater society.”
As part of NJCU’s commitment to equity and inclusion, the school said it strives to reduce bias and increase opportunities for the AAPI community, regardless of their social or personal circumstances, through access to quality education, training and mentorship programs to foster a more inclusive work environment and community.
Diversity may be the most defining characteristic of the school.
“Our institution has long recognized that our strength lies in our diversity,” Acebo wrote. “After all, NJCU is a microcosm of our community at large, and Jersey City is the most ethnically diverse city in the United States.
“As such, our university community has always been characterized by a culture that embraces and celebrates our differences.
“The AAPI community has made significant contributions to NJCU’s cultural and social fabric, and I am proud to join our students, faculty, staff and our community in celebrating AAPI Heritage Month.”