DePaul University Newsline > Sections > Blue Demon Spotlight > Celebrating APIDA Heritage Month: A Q&A with Sabs Salvador

Celebrating APIDA Heritage Month: A Q&A with Sabs Salvador

Salvador is program manager of DePaul’s APIDA Cultural Center

​​​Sabrina “Sabs” Salvador
Sabrina “Sabs” Salvador is the program manager for the Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Center (Photo by Keeton Holder/DePaul University)
As an undergraduate student, Sabrina “Sabs” Salvador found solace and community at DePaul in the Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Cultural Center​. Expecting to complete her master’s degree in college counseling and student affairs this spring, the nearly-Double Demon serves as the center’s program manager. In this Q&A, Salvador discusses APIDA Heritage Month and the university’s upcoming celebrations, as well as DePaul’s n​ew status as an Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution and what that means for the campus community.  

As a DePaul graduate, what drew you to stay involved on campus and take on this role at the cultural center? 

As an undergraduate, I was really involved in Asian Cultural Exchange​ at DePaul. As a freshman, that was the space where I found community and friends on campus. During my sophomore year, the identity-specific cultural and resource centers opened, and I fell in love with the programming, events and community our center provided me.  

I grew up in a predominantly white area, and DePaul is a predominantly white school. The APIDA Cultural Center gave me the chance to explore more of my own background and identity in ways I was not able to before. At the beginning of my graduate studies this role opened, and I saw an avenue to give back to the community and space where I really found who I am. And I’ve only grown to love it more and more! 

What is your favorite thing about the APIDA community at DePaul? 

Our APIDA community encompasses a wide range of backgrounds and cultures and does such an amazing job advocating for themselves and their peers. The student leadership within the community is wonderful. It’s empowering to watch these students strive to innovate, commit to outreach and foster the community’s growth on campus. 

May is APIDA Heritage Month. What does the cultural center have planned to celebrate? 

So much! So far, we’ve teamed hosted game nights featuring traditional Asian games, such as Ludo and Chinese Checkers, and an art gallery that will feature works from students in our community.  

Later in the month, we’ll host our annual Night Market event. Local APIDA small businesses and restaurants, as well as DePaul student organizations, will set up vendor stations in Lincoln Park. It’s gotten so popular over the years, and it’s great to witness the entire campus community come together to share in APIDA cultures. More events are lis​ted on our DeHub page

How can APIDA-identifying students get involved with the cultural center? 

The center is open during the academic year on Mondays-Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Students are welcome to come to the space, take naps, eat a meal, hang out with peers and use our various amenities such as the TV and Nintendo Switch. You can also find us on Instagram at @apidadepaul​. There is no membership needed to get involved with the APIDA Cultural Center – it is a physical space that welcomes students to foster a sense of belonging and community on campus. 

This quarter, DePaul earned its status as an Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution from the Department of Education. What does that mean for the DePaul community? 

At DePaul, 12% of the study body identifies as APIDA, which is big. This status allows DePaul the opportunity to access more resources to serve APIDA students, which raises up the entire campus community.   

As a member of the university’s AANAPISI Task Force, I am thrilled we’ve earned this status. We have been working on next steps, which include meeting with students and other stakeholders to identify needs and areas of growth to better serve the APIDA community on campus. Our students work hard to get things done and support each other, and the APIDA population at DePaul is growing. We want to make sure we are doing as much as we can as staff and faculty to increase access and opportunities for everyone. 

Learn more about the Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Center and its APIDA Heritage Month events here