The official student newspaper of The Hockaday School

The Fourcast

The official student newspaper of The Hockaday School

The Fourcast

The official student newspaper of The Hockaday School

The Fourcast

Ms. Day speaks to Hockaday students as well as other students in the Dallas area as part of her role to involve Hockaday students in the community and lead them to fulfill their purpose.
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Instead of lazily lounging by the pool this summer, taking advantage of an academic break is the best usage of the months when we don't have...

Senior Splash Day
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May 13, 2024

Students, student organizations, and alumni celebrate AAPI month in May

In May of 1979, following years of effort from Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii and Representative Frank Horton of New York, the United States celebrated its first Asian/Pacific Heritage Week. 

The week, intended to be a time to acknowledge and celebrate the contributions of the AAPI community within the US, soon became AAPI Heritage Month in 1990 after Congress requested a presidential proclamation that would extend the week. 

Hockaday students within the AAPI community regard May as a time of celebration and togetherness.  

“It’s an opportunity for us to all reunite together to appreciate different Asian cultures and traditions,” Senior Yoyo Yuan, president of the Asian Student Association (ASA), said. “For everyone who isn’t part of the community, it’s a chance to experience our culture personally, learn more about it and learn to appreciate it.” 

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For this year’s AAPI Heritage month, ASA’s leadership is celebrating with a club-wide get-together.   

“We plan on watching some Asian films and enjoying ramen, which is a big part of the Asian community,” Yuan said. “It’ll be a time for us to be together and celebrate two parts of our culture.” 

The South Asian Student Association (SASA), founded in 2021, will have an end-of-year meeting to reflect upon their experiences and upon SASA’s progress.  

As SASA has grown, its leadership team has put effort into finding ways to celebrate the month with members.  

Junior Anya Ahuja, a co-president of SASA, said, “I just want this gathering to celebrate all of us as Asians, especially because there’s still the misconception that countries like India and Nepal aren’t in Asia. For that reason, I really want to do something specifically for SASA during May to affirm that we have the right to celebrate this month.” 

Outside of student groups, students also celebrate AAPI Heritage Month through their passions.  

Junior Emily McShane, an award-winning multimedia artist, stays in touch with both her Hong Kong and American heritage through her artwork.  

“In my illustrations, I enjoy taking inspiration from Chinese illustrations and traditional Chinese stories,” McShane said. 

She sees AAPI month as a unique time of year where she gets to share parts of her culture with others while thinking more about representation within the AAPI community. 

“I really want to see more Asian voices in mainstream movies or animations,” McShane said. “I also want to be in those spaces that are making movies or animations and be able to tell stories from a different perspective.”  

Similarly, through her radio show and community involvement, Ahuja works for the benefit of her community.  

“Most of what I do is really focused on South Asians,” Ahuja said. “I try to uplift and spotlight those who are doing something admirable, whether that’s community service or acting or entrepreneur work or even if they have an opinion on a topic, and most of the time I’m looking for Asian or South Asian youth.” 

For both SASA and ASA, this cultural exchange extends beyond AAPI Heritage Month.  

Within ASA, leadership regularly hosts conversations that surround serious topics, like their recent meeting regarding the implications of affirmative action for members of the Asian American community.  

However, their leaders also make time for levity in gatherings, like their annual boba social.  

“As a group, we like to inform the Upper School about Asian awareness issues and the Asian model minority myth,” Yuan said. “It’s really crucial for everyone to understand and be aware of these microaggressions, but I think it’s also helpful when we highlight more of the fun parts of our traditions.” 

Ahuja, who has had older cousins and mentors at Hockaday, said that she is grateful for the support she’s found within Hockaday’s AAPI community and thanks the founder of SASA for including her. 

“Jayna and Nina Dave along with Eesha founded SASA,” Ahuja said. “They invited me to be part of SASA leadership even though I was a freshman and helped me get so involved.” 

She additionally credits her Big Sis for giving her support and inspiration.  

“My Big Sis, Cassie Liu, is also such a powerhouse of a woman. She is so inspirational. She, like every AAPI student or faculty member that I’ve met, has had something to teach me, which I think is really important,” Ahuja said.  

Similarly, Yuan has felt empowered and guided by the students within Hockaday’s AAPI community who came before her.  

“As a member from past years, I learned so much from the former leadership team,” Yuan said. “I learned a lot from them, but especially in moments when we hosted the AAPI month assembly.”  

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About the Contributor
Anjy Fadairo
Anjy Fadairo, Assistant Web Editor