Past Events

AAPI Solidarities: A Night of Poetry, Conversations, and Community

Tuesday, April 16, 2024 | McLaren Conference Center

In April 2024, USF's AAPI Center welcomed poets Isa Borgeson and Drew Va'i around their work as artists and educators in the San Francisco in celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. In exploring the theme of creative solidarities, we are guided by one of the late Grace Lee Boggs' fondest questions: "What time is it on the clock of the world?" It is, in many ways, a hard time on the clock of the world; and it is also a time where we are seeing so many beautiful, transnational solidarities being forged from grief and shared struggle, and opening the way to transformation for our communities and our world.

Isabella “Isa” Borgeson (she/they) is a queer, mixed race, filipino american poet and community organizer from Oakland. Isa was named a “Best New Poet” of 2018. She has received fellowships from Voices of Our Nation Art Foundation, the Poetry Incubator through Crescendo Literary, and AIR Serenbe as their Spoken Word Artist with a commitment to Community and Collaboration (SWACC!) Fellow. In 2020, Isa was named a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellow. Their poetry is influenced by years of organizing in the aftermath of super typhoon Yolanda. Isa is passionate about using storytelling as a tool for documenting resistance in her communities across the pacific, a homeland from Oakland to Tanauan.

Andrew (Drew) Van Va’i is a Samoan and Tokelauan educator from San Francisco, California. He represents the villages of Ofu and Fitiuta in American Samoa, as well as the island Fakaofo in Tokelau. He holds a master’s degree in Ethnic Studies from San Francisco State University where his thesis focused on the experiences of Pacific Islander men in community college.

None of this is possible without community." –Drew

Drew is currently a faculty in the Ethnic Studies Department at Chabot College where he teaches the first course focused on Pacific Islanders, Ethnic Studies 6. When he is not teaching, he is supporting students as an advisor working alongside the Nesians Unite Learning Community at Chabot. He also runs a peer mentoring program called Students Supporting Students at City College of San Francisco.

Beyond the realms of academia, Drew is an established writer who has taught and performed poetry across the world. Much of his work centers on being Pacific Islander and growing up in San Francisco.

Spring 2024 AAPI Faculty & Staff Social

Tuesday, March 26, 2024 | Pa'ina Restaurant & Lounge

In March 2024, AAPI-identified faculty, librarians, and staff were invited to celebrate the launch of the AAPI Center, USF's first AANAPISI program. We were thrilled to be in community with colleagues from across the university and sharing about new initiatives in support of AA&PI student success that will launch in the new academic year. We hope to continue creating spaces like this in the near future in partnership with the Asian and Asian American Staff/Faculty Council and the Office of Antiracism, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion!