Luther celebrates Asian American and Pacific Islander heritage

2022 ISAA Fashion Show in the CFL. Photographer: Armando Jenkins-Vazquez © 2022 Luther College

Luther College will celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) heritage and contributions in April with a series of lectures, as well as performances and a fashion show put on by Luther students. The college will host a residency for a Chinese musician, calligrapher and martial artist. While May is widely recognized as the national AAPI month, Luther will celebrate in April.

Jaye Hobart, class of 2011, will give the Don Kemp Memorial Lecture in Social Work at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 2, in Baker Commons. Hobart’s lecture will focus on her non-traditional social work journey through the nonprofit sector. Among her many board affiliations, Hobart serves the HANA Center, a Chicago-area nonprofit that aims to meet the needs of Korean, Asian American and multi-ethnic immigrants; and the Korean Adoptees of Chicago organization.

Luther will host a residency for Master Wu Zhongxian, an accomplished Qin player, calligrapher, and martial artist, from April 9–28. He’s also a Daoist practitioner. He’s offering a variety of workshops throughout April that are open to the public; to sign up for events, email Scott Hurley at

“Master Wu Zhongxian’s visit provides the community with opportunities to experience classical Chinese art forms such calligraphy, music and martial arts, as well Chinese religion and medicine,” said Scott Hurley, associate professor of identity studies.

Luther’s International Student Association and Allies (ISAA) in collaboration with the Asian Student and Allies Association (ASAA) will host their annual Fashion Show at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 13, in the Center for Faith and Life Main Hall. The show will feature a wealth of talent and diversity. Tickets are available to purchase online at and all proceeds from the show will be donated to Human Concern International to help the children of Gaza.

“For me, this is a time I get to shine a spotlight on my heritage and my community. Often, people in minority communities have a hard time seeing themselves represented in the media, in leadership roles, doing things we dream about,” said Adrianna Tam, assistant professor of music and faculty advisor to ASAA. “Dedicating time to celebrate people – as we do for other heritage and history months – hopefully means that folks feel seen and worthy of being seen, with more curiosity, conversation, and compassion.”

Venerable Chao Hwei, a Taiwanese Buddhist nun and activist, will give a talk from 7:30–9 p.m. Wednesday, April 17, via Zoom. The talk will focus on her social justice activism, which includes advocating for LGBTQIA rights and gender equality.

Sara Docan-Morgan will give a talk based on her book, In Reunion: Transnational Korean Adoptees and the Communication of Family, at 5 p.m. Monday, April 22, in Olin 102. She will discuss interviews with Korean adoptees who’ve reunited with their birth families, which reveals the complexities of family and identity, as well as how people define culture, family and self.

Small Island, Big Song, a collective of renowned First Nation artists from across the Pacific and Indian Oceans, will perform music for Luther College’s Center Stage Series at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 23 , in the Center for Faith and Life, Main Hall. Small Island Big Song is a music, film and performing arts project that unites artists from islands across the Pacific and Indian Ocean through artistic collaboration. Tickets are available to purchase online at

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