Spotlight on: NYU Asian, Pacific Islander, and Desi Alumni Network (APIDA)
May 19, 2023
Community. Togetherness. Leadership. These are just a few words that represent what the NYU Asian, Pacific Islander, and Desi Alumni (APIDA) Network is to its members and communities. Hear from APIDA leadership, Jerome Viloria (GPH ’19) (he/they) and Felicity Duran (GPH ’19) (she/hers), about how and why alumni should get involved.
When asked about the NYU Asian, Pacific Islander, & Desi Alumni (APIDA) Network, Jerome Viloria (GPH ’19) (he/they) and Felicity Duran (GPH ’19) (she/hers) emphasize community, togetherness, and leadership. Their goal as APIDA leaders is “to foster a network of like-minded NYU alumni who are dedicated to supporting the communities that raised us.”
The NYU Asian, Pacific Islander, & Desi Alumni (APIDA) Network connects alumni who identify within the Asian, Pacific Islander, and Desi communities, to NYU, and to one another. Through various social, cultural, educational, and community service events in the New York City area and beyond, the APIDA Network offers community and connection for NYU Alumni. The APIDA Network also works in conjunction with the NYU Office of Global Inclusion to advance University-wide DEI initiatives.
In celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we asked the co-presidents of the APIDA Network to share more with fellow Violets about who they are as a group, how it has evolved since its inception, and how other alumni can get involved.
How long have you been part of the APIDA Network and why do you continue to show up?
Jerome Viloria (GPH ’19) (he/they) and Felicity Duran (GPH ’19) (she/hers): We have been leading the APIDA Network since 2020. We continue to show up for the community because APID-identifying folks have been largely underrepresented and underserved throughout the history of the United States, and we want to change that narrative starting here at NYU.
What are some of the ways the NYU ADIPDA Network has evolved since its inception?
Jerome and Felicity: Since its inception, the NYU APIDA Network has expanded outside of internal events and has welcomed collaborations with other organizations. The APIDA Network has worked to emphasize community, togetherness, and leadership through new ways of celebrating who we are, especially during AAPI Heritage Month.
What are some of the events or initiatives that you’re most proud of?
Jerome and Felicity: One of our running events we’ve had success with is our “Heart of Dinner” events! “Heart of Dinner” is a Chinatown-based non-profit that focuses on meal delivery to isolated Asian elders, particularly with the advent of COVID-19. It’s an accessible, laid-back event in which our attendees can connect with each other while contributing to meaningful work.
Are there any exciting events or programs coming up for your fellow Violets to look forward to?
Jerome and Felicity: Join us on Thursday, June 8, for our Volunteer Interest Meeting! We will meet at the NYU University Development and Alumni Relations Office, just 15 minutes north of Washington Square Park. At this meeting you will learn more about future events and how you can get involved as a dedicated APIDA volunteer. We look forward to meeting you in-person!
What are some of the ways folks can show support or be involved with Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month?
Jerome and Felicity: Support local AAPI/Desi businesses and communities! Volunteer where needed, and celebrate the cultures and histories we come to share.
How can alumni get involved with the NYU APIDA Network?
Jerome and Felicity: Join our club (by joining the Asian, Pacific Islander, and Desi Alumni Network listserv) and come to our events!