PanAsia is a student organization committed to exploring Asian / Asian American Pacific Islander identity and culture, as well as relevant political and social issues. To this end, PanAsia hosts a festival in the spring that focuses on:
i. Experiencing Asia and Asian America at its cultural core through music, drama, film, art, cuisine and literary media.
ii. Exploring issues that mold the political, social, and cultural mindset of Asians and the Asian diasporas within the U.S. through exhibitions, panel discussions and lectures.
iii. Distinguishing and solidifying the importance of each ethnic and cultural background that makes up the Asian American population in the U.S.
iv. Understanding the Asian American experience within society, especially the pressures of discrimination and cultural dislocation faced by minority groups.
In addition, PanAsia coordinates several events and initiatives throughout the year as part of its continuous outreach effort.
PanAsia founder Jay Monteverde once said:
One of the greatest concepts behind PanAsia is unity. As individual organizers, and as individual ethnicities, we can only do so much. But with PanAsia, and with a Pan Asian identity, we can shout together in a unified voice that people of Asian descents are three-dimensional human beings, with stories and histories that reflect the full range of human experience. We will celebrate, learn, and teach about our lives, our experiences; we will not be relegated to two-dimensional stereotypes; nor will we remain the invisible, nameless 'other' any longer.
Mr. Monteverde's statement on the importance of unity highlights what individuals can do to contribute to the greater whole. Together as a political entity, Asian Americans have the potential to build an undeniable presence. At the same time - in building that political solidarity - it is important that the individual ethnic groups retain their uniqueness and not be compressed into a homogeneous bloc, since each group has its own history and challenges. PanAsia hopes to offer a springboard for greater insight and dialogue on the issues facing Asia and Asian America.