Food for Thought, a Lunch-on-Us series, is a weekly noontime discussion focused on topics relevant to the Asian American community. Past discussions include topics such as nutrition, mental health, sexual health, and media representation of Asian Americans.

Our spring Food for Thought program starts on Feb 6, 2024 and will run through April. 

Spring 2024 Calendar


Tuesdays from 12-1 pm at 1210 W. Nevada St, Urbana, IL
Free lunch for attendees
Topics/schedule are subject to change.

  • February 6 - Courage to Tell Stories
    Presented by: Lisa Kwong, Indiana University 
  • February 13 - About the AACC Internship - Former Interns Tell All 
    Presented by:  Tingting Rui, Yanira Quezada, Prthivi Nese, Will Yepsen
  • February 20 - Surviving Japanese American Incarceration: Striving for equality and eliminating racism 
    Presented by:  Alice Murata, Northeastern Illinois University
  • February 27 - Language Identity and Rights: Remember the 50th Anniversary of Lau v Nichols
    Presented by:  Trish Morita-Mullaney, Purdue University
  • March 5th -  Marginalized to Margin of Victory: The Rising Power of the AAPI Vote
    Presented by: - Christine Chen, APIA Vote
  • March 12th – Spring Break
    No programming - AACC facility will be closed
  • March 19th - Beyond Stereotypes: Understanding Student Perceptions of East Asians
    Presented By: Angela Lyons, Da Eun Kim, Qiaoyi Nie, UIUC
  • March 26th - Broadening the Spectrum: Body Image & Eating Disorders from a Cultural Perspective
    Presented By:  Emma Aculado, Gabby Drong, Counseling Center
  • April 2nd – Everything I Learned, I Learned in a Chinese Restaurant: A Memoir
    Presented by: -  Curtis Chin, Community Organizer and Documentarian
  • April 9th – Creating Communities of Support for Asian Undocumented Students
    Presented by: - Ross Wantland, Yadira Alonzo, Kristina Serrano, UIUC
  • April 16th - Community Archiving as Agency: Documenting Chinese Immigrant Women's Experiences in the US
    Presented By: Yingying Han, UIUC

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This program is funded by the Student Cultural Programming Fee.
When recorded, virtual programming can be accessed via the AACC's Media Space Channel.

For any event-related questions, please email



Fall 2023

  • September 5 - Investing in Career Development as an International Student    Presented by: Pankaj Desai, The Career Center
  • September 12 - Japanese American Activism: From Barbed Wire to Reparations
    Presented by: Rob Buscher, Artist-Activist
  • September 19 - What’s Old is New: The Ink Paintings of Shozo Sato
    Presented by: Maureen Warren, Krannert Art Museum
  • September 26 - Breaking Down the Stigma: Suicide Prevention in the AAPI Communities
    Presented by: Chris Lofton and Megan Fernandes, Counseling Center
  • October 3 – Sexuality Across Cultures
    Presented by: Danisha Moore, McKinley Health Center
  • October 10 - Your Chinese Drag King, Tea Shott
    Presented by: Tea Shott, Drag King
  • October 17 - Study Abroad in East Asia through UIUC
    Presented by: Chelsea Swick, International Program at LAS
  • October 24 - Too Muslim to be American: The Racialization of American Muslims"
    Presented by: Asena Karipek, doctoral student in Sociology
  • October 31 - Communicating Across Language Difference
    Presented by: Kimberly Yau, Office of International Student and Scholar Services
  • November 7 - Celebrating Diwali: The Festival of Lights
    Presented by: Indian Graduate Students Association
  • November 14 – Unmasking Diet Culture: Exploring an Asian Perspective
    Presented by: Stewart Montgomery, McKinley Health Center
  • November 21- No Food for Thought
    Fall Break
  • November 28- Bruce Lee's Enduring Legacy, 50 Years After His Death
    Presented by: Santanu Rahman, Founder of Austin Kung-Fu Academy
  • December 5- Sanctity of Water
    Presented by: Sowmya Anand & Nazanine Agassi, Spirit of India/Ascend Art360

Food For Thought Calendar 2023

Summer 2023

  • June 13 – Asian Americans and Our Role in the Affirmative Action Debate
    Presented by: Will Yepsen, AACC Intern
  • June 20 – Decoding Cultural Norms at Work
    Presented by: Joy Das, Illinois Leadership Center
  • June 27 – A Short History of Asian Americans and the Republican Party
    Presented by: Dr. Vivian Yan-Gonzalez, Asian American Studies
  • July 4 – No Food for Thought (Federal Holiday)
  • July 11 – What's a Zine?
    Presented by: Maria Emerson, University Library
  • July 18 – The Imposter Phenomenon
    Presented by: Emese Poszet, Counseling Center
  • July 25 – Heart to Heart: How to Start End of Life Conversations
    Presented by: Summer Xia Yu Chen, School of Social Work

Spring 2023

  • January 31 – Yoga and Health: Evidence from Scientific Studies
    Presented by: Dr. Neha Gothe, Department of Kinesiology and Community Health
  • February 7 – Funding Study Abroad in Asia with the National and International Scholarships Program
    Presented by: Nicole Nowbahar, National and International Scholarships Program
  • February 14 – Nikkeijin Illinois: An Exhibition on the Japanese American Experience
    Presented by: Jason Finkelman, Guest Curator, Spurlock Museum
  • February 21 – Sex Ed 101: Understanding My Sexuality
    Presented by: Danisha Moore, McKinley Health Center
  • February 28 – Red Thread Reflections on International Adoption from Asia
    Presented by: Callie Goering, AACC Intern
  • March 7 – Asian/Asian American Representation in Comic Books
    Presented by: Shannon Cheng
  • March 14 – No Food for Thought (Spring Break)
  • March 21 – Exploring Interracial and Intercultural Dating
    Presented by: Prthivi Nese, AACC Intern
  • March 28 – Anti-Asian Hate and Public Statements
    Presented by: Dr. C. Aujean Lee, University of Oklahoma
  • April 4 – We Are the Ones We've Been Waiting For
    Presented by: Dr. Mimi Nguyen, Women and Gender Studies
  • April 11 – Centering Community Voices Through Community-Based Exhibitions
    Presented by: Jessica Rubenacker, Wing Luke Museum (Seattle, WA)
  • April 18 – A Discussion on Turning Red and Intergenerational Trauma
    Presented by: Kelly Liu, AACC Intern

Fall 2022

  • September 6 – Suicide Prevention Week: Supporting Students in Distress and Mental Health Tips
    Presented by: The Counseling Center
  • September 13 – Debunking DACA in the AAPI Community: Myths and Facts
    Presented by: Erika Vergara, New American Welcome Center
  • September 20 - Stumbling Blocks to Intercultural Communication
    Presented by: Kimberly Yau, International Student and Scholar Services
  • September 27 - Keep your Stress in Check: Learn Positive Steps to Managing your Stress and Wellbeing for the Academic Year
    Presented by: Anna Pryde-Wait, McKinley Health Center
  • October 4 - I Ain't No FOB: Exploring FOBism in the Asian American Community
    Presented by: Dr. Kenneth Wang, Fuller Theological Seminary
  • October 11 - Something to Talk About: Asian Americans, Communication, and Relationships
    Presented by: Dr. Teresa Mok and Gina Yu
  • October 18 - Diwali Holiday and Traditions
    Presented by: Indian Graduate Students Association
  • October 25 - Appreciating or Appropriating Asian Cultures
    Presented by: Dr. David Chih, AACC
  • November 1 - Maria Orosa and the Decolonial Promise of Philippine Native Food Science, 1916-1945
    Presented by: Dr. Christine Peralta, Amherst College
  • November 8 - No Food for Thought (All-campus Holiday)
  • November 15 - Be Like Water: Combating Anti-Asian Hate During COVID-19
    Presented by: Dr. Russell Jeung, San Francisco State University