CSUN’s University Library has spearheaded a special video project in honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Students, faculty, staff and community members are invited to submit videos responding to questions about identity. Yi Ding, librarian at the University Library, says while the project is open to everyone, no matter what their race, there is a particular emphasis on collecting stories from people of mixed-race.
“For students and community members of mixed-race ethnicity, their stories don’t really get heard very often,” said Ding. “We want to highlight and make those stories visible.”
There is a Google form that participants can use to upload videos. The form includes questions participants can answer, such as “How do you describe your cultural and ethnic heritage and backgrounds?” “What parts of your identity do you choose for yourself?” “What parts of your identity are determined for you by other people or by society?” Participants can pick and choose among the questions. Ding says she contributed to a similar video project sponsored by the library in 2018, focusing on the importance of homemade food in celebrating heritage. She said it was a powerful experience.
“I felt that sense of belonging and that feeling of being connected to CSUN and to the other AAPI members on campus,” she said. “I felt the power of sharing my story.”
Videos will be accepted through May 22. Librarians plan to post them by the end of May on the library’s YouTube channel. Ding says organizers would like to expand this type of video project in the future to celebrations of Black History Month and Women’s History Month.