Celebrating community: Sac State APIDA Center opens, MLK Center expands


Lucas Monteros

Director of Educational Equity Access and Equity Strategist Dr. Chao Vang (left) shaking hands with Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Center coordinator Andrew Yang in the APIDA Center during its grand opening on Tuesday, Feb.28, 2023.

Hailey Valdivia

Cheers were heard down the hallways at Lassen Hall as music and laughter filled the room. This was a celebration of creating a space for the community to come together.

Sacramento State celebrated the opening of the brand new Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Center and the expansion of the MLK Center Tuesday.

The plans to open the APIDA Center began in 2020, according to APIDA Center Coordinator & Student Academic Success Counselor Andrew Yang.

“It’s very rewarding,” Yang said of the opening. “Three years of planning, three years of meeting with the committee, three years of checking out construction and to finally have it become a reality — to take physical and tangible form — it’s powerful.” 

With the opening of the APIDA Center, Grace Matayoshi, third-year double major in Asian Studies and Social work is excited for a space where students can come together.

“It is so exciting to have a place where APIDA identifying students can come to and have access to resources,” Matayoshi said.

The MLK Center also celebrated an expansion, an addition fourth-year economics major Xavier Pickens was ready for. 

“I really love how the MLK Center has expanded,” Pickens said. “My first semester here was really small, you know, we couldn’t only have 15 or so people; Now we can have up to like 50 to 60 people in here, depending on the day.”

Essence Bacon, a third-year studio art major, shared her excitement that the APIDA Center and the MLK Center had a joint celebration.

“There have been a lot of times when we have not been able to exist in certain spaces and have that comfortability,” Bacon said. “So, we create a table for ourselves and we’re allowed to do that for our community in partnership with other nationalities. That amalgamation of people in desperate times.”