Arcata High’s Diversity Clubs- The Asian American & Pacific Islander Club

Marisa Mendosa, Art Director

15th February, 2021

(Graphic Credit: Marisa Mendosa)

AAPI was co-founded by seniors Maya Scanlon, Meiwan Gottschalk, and myself, Marisa Mendosa, towards the end of the 2019-20 school year. Scanlon, the AAPI president, noted one of the main contributing factors for her wanting to get involved was COVID, specifically stating, “the rhetoric changes in society that have focused mainly on Asian people, as well as feeling like we’re placed in the model minority stigma or stereotype.” 

She recognizes that the fear of these stigmas and stereotypes has led to a divide between students of color and the administration and a lack of trust. She believes that cultural and diversity clubs such as AAPI can lend themselves to rebuilding that trust.

Scanlon describes that club as it “focuses on Asian American and Pacific Islander holidays, history, and overall culture.” She stated that she wants to highlight “specific things that happen in our small community that aren’t normal or are normalized and shouldn’t be normal.”

One major goal Scanlon has for AAPI is to organize a creative and informative presentation of information for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in May. “I really want to do something special for that entire month… since May is our last full month of school.” Including quotes and videos and information, Scanlon is ambitiously planning what the club will do to celebrate the heritage of AAPIs.

Being a senior, Scanlon also encourages underclassmen to join in order to continue the progress of the club. With all the officers of the club being seniors, she really wants to be able to pass on the club to dedicated individuals.

As for this year, she hopes that we will be able to go back in person and that “it’ll be nice to have people around you who understand what you’re going through.” Though for now, AAPI is meeting every other Thursday at 1:00 p.m. on Zoom with the link posted in the bulletin before each meeting. For more information about the Asian American and Pacific Islander Club, follow their Instagram page @ahs.aapi.