Events By Quarter

The Reason I Jump

Cup of Culture

The Reason I Jump

MCC Theater

Based on the best-selling book by Naoki Higashida, later translated into English by author David Mitchell (Cloud Atlas), The Reason I Jump is an immersive cinematic exploration of neurodiversity through the experiences of nonspeaking autistic people from around the world. The film blends Higashida's revelatory insights into autism, written when he was just 13, with intimate portraits of five remarkable young people. It opens a window for audiences into an intense and overwhelming, but often joyful, sensory universe.

Moments in the lives of each of the characters are linked by the journey of a young Japanese boy through an epic landscape; narrated passages from Naoki’s writing reflect on what his autism means to him and others, how his perception of the world differs, and why he acts in the way he does: the reason he jumps. The film distills these elements into a sensually rich tapestry that leads us to Naoki’s core message: not being able to speak does not mean there is nothing to say.

The film will have Closed Captioning enabled. 

In celebration of Autism Acceptance Month, audience members will have the opportunity to enter raffles to win a copy of The Reason I Jump, or a copy of Loud Hands: Autistic People, Speaking, a project of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network. Loud Hands is a collection of essays written by and for Autistic people. Spanning from the dawn of the Neurodiversity movement to the blog posts of today, it catalogs the experiences and ethos of the Autistic community and preserves both diverse personal experiences and the community’s foundational documents together side by side.

Co-Sponsors: Commission on Disability Equity, Disabled Students Program, Koegel Autism Center



Race Matters Series

Cameroon: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow

Elisabeth Ayuk-Etang, Gilda Forbang, Glaydah Namukasa, William F. Ndi, and Aloysius Ngalim

MCC Theater

The symposium centers Cameroon, a unitary multi-party republic comprised of four geographic regions and numerous ethnic groups, with a developing market economy based on petroleum, agriculture, and a growing services sector. It brings together Cameroon scholars and researchers to discuss literature, history, culture, and the dynamics of Cameroon’s current crisis and surrounding regions. 

Co-sponsors: Walter H. Capps Center, UCSB Global Engagement, Orfalea Center for Global & International Studies



MCC Lounge

Middle Eastern, North African, South Asian Resource Center and the MCC present: Bazaar

Get a blast of Middle Eastern, North African, and South Asian music, fun, and culture at this year's Bazaar brought to you by the Multicultural Center and EOP’s MENASARC! Join us for a day of festivities and cultural celebration with participation from various organizations and creatives, delicious food, FREE self-care goodies, and so much more. We especially invite YOU to celebrate the Arab community as we highlight their rich and prevalent culture during April as it is National Arab American Heritage Month! 

Asian American Activism

Asian American Activism: Drawing on History, Inspiring the Future

Panelists include Manjusha Kulkarni, Melissa Borja, Diane Fujino, and Artnelson Concordia, and moderated by Naomi Joseph.

MCC Theater

Asian/Pacific Islander American communities have a long history of activism in the United States, particularly in response to anti-Asian racism and exclusion. In their struggle for equality and liberation from oppression, AAPI activists have developed social and political movements for immigrant rights, labor rights, educational equity, affordable housing, religious freedom, environmental justice, and more. This panel features several AAPI activists who will discuss how they became activists, their work on the leading edges of activism, and how more people can get involved.

Speaker Bios:
Manjusha Kulkarni, Co-Founder, Stop AAPI Hate; Executive Director, AAPI Equity Alliance
Manjusha P. Kulkarni, Esq., is Executive Director of AAPI Equity Alliance and Co-Founder of Stop AAPI Hate. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, on NPR and CNN, and was recognized with the co-founders of Stop AAPI Hate, Cynthia Choi and Russell Jeung, by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential individuals in the world in 2021. 

Diane Fujino, Professor, Department of Asian American Studies, UC Santa Barbara
Diane C. Fujino is Professor of Asian American Studies at UCSB and co-Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Asian American Studies. She has written or co-edited several books on Asian American and Black Power activism. She works in communities with Ethnic Studies Now! Santa Barbara and is designing curriculum for an Asian American Studies high school textbook.  

Melissa Borja, Assistant Professor, Department of American Culture and Program in Asian/Pacific Islander American Studies, University of Michigan
Melissa Borja is Assistant Professor of American Culture at the University of Michigan, where she is core faculty in Asian/Pacific Islander American Studies. She is a historian of migration, religion, race, and politics. She advises Princeton's Religion and Forced Migration Initiative and serves as the lead investigator of the Virulent Hate Project.  

Artnelson Concordia, Instructional Support Specialist for Ethnic Studies, Santa Barbara Unified School District; Co-Founder, Liberated Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum; Co-Founder, Coalition for Liberated Ethnic Studies
Artnelson Concordia is an Instructional Support Specialist coordinating Ethnic Studies implementation in Santa Barbara Unified School District. He is a leading practitioner in the movement to institutionalize critical and authentic Ethnic Studies in California public schools. This is his 23rd year in education.

Naomi Joseph, PhD Candidate, Department of Sociology, UC Santa Barbara
Naomi Joseph is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Sociology at UC Santa Barbara. She studies South Asian American social movements, activism, and culture. She is a co-convener of the UCSB Asian/American Studies Collective and past President of the UCSB Asian Pacific Islander Graduate Student Alliance. 

Co-sponsors: Walter H. Capps Center for the Study of Ethics, Religion, and Public LifeAsian American Studies Department, Religious Studies Department, East Asian Languages & Cultural Studies Department, East Asia Center, Center for Taiwan Studies, Center for Sikh and Punjab Studies, Center for Middle East Studies


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