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2023 Asian Heritage Month: Resources & Events

May is Asian Heritage Month. Celebrated across Canada since the 1990s, it was officially recognized by the federal government in May 2002. In 2001, May was also declared South Asian Heritage Month in Ontario.  



Understanding Anti-Asian Racism: Conversations and Strategies for Change in Higher Education 

Presented by U of T’s Anti-Racism and Cultural Diversity Office 

May 24, 2023, 10:00 – 11:30am
Virtual, via zoom 

This event aims to deepen awareness of various manifestations of anti-Asian racism experienced by Asian and Asian Canadian communities, which have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Keynote speaker Dr. Henry Yu, Associate Professor, Department of History, University of British Columbia, will discuss the impact of pervasive myths and/or stereotypes such as the “model minority myth”, experienced by Asian communities, and the relationship with intersecting systems of discrimination. The discussion will also explore and share strategies to advance EDI and antiracism systems change work to address anti-Asian racism within higher education. 

> Click here to register 

Disrupting Anti-Asian Racism: Tools for Change 

Facilitator: Maria Lo, Hong Fook Mental Health Association
Presented by U of T’s Anti-Racism and Cultural Diversity Office 

May 1, 2023, 1:00 pm- 3:00 pm
Virtual, via zoom 

Learning Objectives: 

  • Explore and discuss the historical and current-day realities of anti-Asian racism; 
  • Deepen understanding of how anti-Asian racism interacts with other forms of discrimination; 
  • Share strategies and resources to identify and address anti-Asian racism in working and learning environments. 

Open to students, staff, and faculty at the University of Toronto. 

> Click here to register 

Restorative Art Therapy for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) Community & Their Allies 

Presented by U of T’s Anti-Racism and Cultural Diversity Office 

May 9, 2023, 10:30 am- 12:00 pm
Virtual, via Zoom 

This is a virtual art therapy workshop with a focus on marginalization, racism, inner strength, restoration, and solidarity for the Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) community and its allies at the University of Toronto. Facilitated by Ashley Kwan and Phuong Nguyen, the workshop is a space for checking in with yourself and your community – to support and to feel supported. 

Open to students, staff, and faculty at the University of Toronto who identify as members of Asian community and allies. 

> Learn more and register 

Amplifying Community Voices: A Forum on Anti-Asian Racism 

Organized by the researchers from the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work at the University of Toronto, in collaboration with Hong Fook Mental Health Association (HFMHA), Chinese Canadian National Council – Toronto Chapter (CCNCTO), Scarborough Youth United (SYU), and The Asian Canadian Living Archive (TACLA). 

May 16, 2023, 9:00am – 4:00pm
Register by May 1.
In Person 

This one-day community forum provides an opportunity to learn, reflect, and identify action steps. It will feature presentations of research findings led by the University of Toronto team, reflections on community organizing led by CCNCTO, youth-led presentations of social media campaigns, digital storytelling projects, and other knowledge mobilization initiatives. Participants will also get to share challenges, strategies, and network with other attendees who are interested in implementing change and developing a community-oriented solution to anti-Asian racism that is affecting our youth every day. 

 This event is open to all service providers, educators, community stakeholders and students interested in addressing anti-Asian racism.

> Learn more and register 

Rejuv Movement Session 

Facilitator: Reshmi Chetram, award winning, Indo-Caribbean Canadian performing artist, dance educator and cultural producer 

Presented by U of T’s Anti-Racism and Cultural Diversity Office 

May 30, 2023, 1:00 pm- 2:00 pm
In person: Multi-Faith Centre, 569 Spadina Avenue 

A 1-hour restorative movement session that is done to a slow to medium pace. Blending Indian classical dance gestures, breath and self-reflexology, this class is designed to bring participants to a state of balance, deep relaxation and allow their mind and body to restore. Participants will leave feeling a sense of renewal, release and restoration. 

Open to: Students, staff, and faculty at the University of Toronto who identify as members of Asian community. 

> Learn more and register 


Asian Heritage Month at U of T

Read the memo from Heather Boon, Acting Vice-President, People Strategy, Equity & Culture.

Asian Heritage Month Toolkit 

The Government of Canada created a digital toolkit to help Canadians including partners and stakeholders promote Asian Heritage Month content and activities. 

2020 in Hindsight: Intergenerational conversations on Anti-Asian Racism during the COVID-19 pandemic 

This community research report by FIFSW researchers and the Canadian Chinese National Council, Toronto Chapter (CCNCTO) focuses on first-person accounts of experiences of anti-Asian racism and stories of resistance. It also clearly outlines Calls to Action — for governments, for schools, for those in the social work and human services fields, and others — to address anti-Asian racism on the ground. Authors: Izumi Sakamoto, Kennes Lin, Jessie Tang, Hogan Lam, Bernie Yeung, Amy Nhkum, Evelyn Cheung, Kedi Zhao, Patricia Quan.  

Related CCNCTO reports: 

Student art

Home is a makeshift haven, by Saira Khan

Photo of a spread in Saira Khan's zine. Text in purple and gold reads: "I have many names for Home. they morph into one another on my tongue." The page on the right hand side shows orange, yellow, purple, read and pink bubbles with words written in them.

“Through my zine, I have expressed the contested notions of home and belonging as experienced in my journey of migration from Pakistan to Canada,” writes Khan. “The concept of home has changed over the years for me and overlaps with my experiences of marginalization, migration, acculturation, and identity formation. I touch upon the themes of transient nature of belonging and my positionality in a settler-colonial state.”  Click here to read more and view the project.

We will be sharing more stories + student projects in honour of Asian Heritage over the month of May.

Do you have an event or resource you would like to share? Email!