Teaching Empathy and Understanding: Asian Pacific Islander American Communities, Our Celebrations, and Our Stories

A grandmother teaches her grandchild how to create rice cakes filled with sweetened red beans, a young girl and her cousins watching YouTube videos together as they gather with their family for their yearly New Year’s feast, a mochi-making tradition is shared on Instagram to online followers–these time-honored rituals of celebrating the New Year have been adapted and adopted to fit into our modern American households. From generation to generation and spanning nations, what aspects of our holidays stay the same?

Created in partnership with the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience, this upcoming teacher training will share a curriculum centering on the voices of Asian Americans who share stories of the holidays that they celebrate and how the holidays continue the connection to their heritage. Created as a curriculum for application in an elementary school setting, speakers will talk about how to teach the cultural diversity of Asian Americans in the United States through the lens of empathy and understanding.

Join us in a two-part program during which we’ll share how to bring the curriculum into the classroom as well as provide a historical and contextual framework for Asian and Pacific Islander immigration into America. We’ll go deeper into how the New Year’s Holiday can be a touchpoint for deeper conversations around individual students’ identities and how we can use the celebrations as a way to see how traditions change and adapt with new generations.

Speakers include:

Rahul Gupta has served as Director of Education and Tours at the Wing Luke Museum for 7 years. His efforts have moved the educational work of the museum toward utilizing dialogic engagement, emphasizing the power of oral history and storytelling, and enhancing the immersive experience for Social Studies, ELA, Arts, and SEL students.

Maya Hayashi, the Education Specialist at the Wing Luke Museum, will speak about her family’s Japanese American traditions and her work in developing the curriculum.

Doan Nguyen is a 2nd generation Vietnamese American, the Senior Tour Manager at the Wing Luke Museum, will be leading the virtual tour through the museum’s onsite historic spaces.