Community Projects

BIMI Cultures and Communities Project (BCCP)

From left, activists Charles Brown, of the Afro-American Students Union; Ysidro Macias, of the Mexican-American Student Confederation; LaNada Means, of the Native American Student Union; and Stan Kadani, of the Asian American Political Alliance, walk down Bancroft Way. (Chicano Studies Program Records, Ethnic Studies Library, UC Berkeley, CS ARC 2009/1, Carton 1, Folder 14.)

To belong in a land away from home is a diasporic dream.

What does belonging mean and how does one belong? BIMI Cultures and Communities Project (BCCP) aims at looking deeper into these questions by reframing different ways in which belonging can manifest. What is culturally significant to diasporic communities? What do their culture and rituals look like? How do they celebrate their culture? BCCP is an endeavor to showcase the rich history and traditions of diasporic communities in California and educate the public about their history and culture. We will follow cultural and religious events, rituals, and festivals of selected communities and showcase them in a photo exhibit and curate a short video with voice-over from the student researchers. The project is managed by Dr. Harpreet Mangat, executive director of BIMI.

2023 Cohort

Yvalisse Ganzon

BCCP Undergraduate

Yvalisse Ganzon is currently a second-year undergraduate pursuing Sociology with Public Policy and Journalism minors. Working alongside Amani Kim, the two seek to study the nuances of the diasporic experience of Filipino immigrants as they span from deep histories of American colonial occupation, labor exportation, government corruption, and activism. With a special interest in media to tell these stories, Yvalisse hopes to dispel misconceptions about what it means to be a part of the diaspora via analytical works of art, music, and personal storytelling. Deploying skills of cooperative...

Daniel Bui

BCCP Undergraduate

Daniel Bui is a graduating senior majoring in Political Science and minoring in Global Poverty and Practice. Born in Oakland to two Vietnamese refugees, he has experienced the hardships faced by working-class households, communities of color, and refugees in the area. As a result, many aspects of his life have been shaped by government programs and initiatives, fueling his deep passion for exploring public policy and governance—particularly in areas regarding immigrant adjustment and socioeconomic mobility. Daniel is thrilled to join BIMI this fall semester, where he hopes to conduct in-...

Amani Kim

BCCP Undergraduate

Amani Kim, a senior at the University of California, Berkeley, is a dedicated student majoring in Legal Studies with a keen focus on law and culture. Her academic journey has been defined by a passion for understanding the intricate relationship between legal systems and cultural dynamics. At Berkeley, she has engaged in extensive research, primarily centered on migration patterns, particularly in the Philippines. Her work delves into examining the positioning of Filipino immigrant and diasporic communities within the United States, with the objective to delve into and amplify the lived...

Joyce Lin

BCCP Undergraduate

Joyce Lin is a second-year transfer who is pursuing a B.A. History of Art at UC Berkeley. Before coming to UC Berkeley, she studied at Pasadena City College before transferring to four-year public institutions in California. She spent her early life in Taiwan and China before moving back to the United States, where she gave birth to pursue a college education.

Besides her major in art history, Joyce is interested in diasporic research on Taiwanese culture, which inspired her passion to work with the Berkeley Interdisciplinary Migration Initiative. She engaged with several...

Lauren Kim

BCCP Undergraduate

Lauren Kim is currently in her third year of studies, majoring in Economics and Global Studies with a concentration in Asia, Peace & Conflict Studies. Her unique upbringing saw her immerse herself in various Korean diaspora communities across Los Angeles, Seoul, and parts of Europe, nurturing a deep-rooted connection with Korean Diaspora communities. An advocate for the heritage of Korean traditional and Korean-American cultures, Lauren channels her passion into in-depth explorations of the history of Korean communities in the US, particularly the vibrant enclave of Koreatown in Los...

Juan Araujo

BCCP Undergraduate

Juan Araujo is a 4th year anthropology major with a focus on studying recreational drugs in society at UC Merced. He loves to DJ, play baseball, and cook! He aspires to be a journalist or a professor in the future. He is from Los Angeles, CA.

Chloe Ma

BCCP Undergraduate

Chloe Ma is a third year student pursuing a major in Ethnic Studies and a minor in Public Policy at UC Berkeley. Chloe was born and raised in China, and her family moved to Atlanta, Georgia when she was 14. Because of this experience, Chloe is passionate about learning the experiences of Chinese American immigrants and advocating for their rights through literature, academia, and laws and policies. In addition, she is interested in learning about the labor history of the Chinese immigrants, the current debate regarding the Asian Americans in the higher education admission system, and the...

Marianna Orestes-Zoellin

BCCP Undergraduate

Marianna Orestes-Zoellin is a second-year political science student at UC Berkeley, specializing in political theory. Born in Monterey, CA to a Brazilian immigrant mother, Marianna is endlessly inspired by the narratives and struggles of her mother and tias alike. Her research is focused on a neo-colonial approach to the Brazilian diaspora and how Brazilian identity manifests within the greater Latinidad. Marianna's research interests also include civic engagement and representation, race and inequality, and the various dimensions of Latinx/e identity.

Sarin Dochoghlanian

BCCP Undergraduate

Sarin is a fourth year student at UC Santa Barbara, pursuing a major in Political Science with a concentration in Political Theory, and a minor in Translation Studies. Sarin was born in Aleppo, Syria to an Armenian family, and in 2012, Sarin and her family immigrated to the United States, and settled in Pasadena, California. Since then, Sarin has been exploring the implications of her identity and reflecting on her ties to her country of origin, and to the homeland she never got to experience. Being a part of the Armenian and Syrian diaspora, Sarin is interested in conducting...

2022 Cohort

Sikhs in The United States

BIMI Undergraduate Research Fellow Mehnaz Grewal's research focuses on the Sikh community in The United States.

Through archival research and coverage of cultural events, Mehnaz aims to create a repository of visual and audio elements which highlight important elements of the culture, experiences, and history of Sikh individuals and communities.

Read more about Mehnaz here

Examining Asian American History, Discrimination, and Resistance in Berkeley

This project aims to highlight the history of anti-Asian racism in the University and broader community, as well as the resistance from Asian American activists and allies. It will focus on understanding Asian American identity and combatting erasure through the spotlighting the experiences and work of Asian American identifying students, alumni, faculty, and community members.

Read more about BIMI researcher Dewi Zarni here Dewi Zarni.

Ethiopians Abroad: Blackness, Transnationalism, & Self-Determination

Alexandra Gessesse's project aims to educate people about this African Black community that transcends narratives as “refugees of war,”reimagined as Black transnational agents of self-determination and anti-colonialism.

The project will create a repository of visual and audio elements that will inform the readers about this migrant group and the communities they have built.

Read more about Alexandra here Alexandra Gessesse

Zindagi: The Lives of Afghan People in The United States

BIMI Undergraduate Researcher Nilufar Kayhani’s project explores the lives of the Afghan community in the Bay Area.

Nilufar is the daughter of Afghan refugees. Nilufar is conducting archival research and documenting cultural events and rituals significant to the Afghan community. Through this project, she hopes to honor the community that raised her and celebrate the beauty of the Afghan culture.

Read more about Nilufar here.

Exploring Ancient Yemeni Cultural Heritage: In Yemen & The United States

Batul is a passionate and hardworking BCC transfer student who studied Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley. She graduated this Summer of 2022, officially making her a first-generation Muslim Yemeni-American college graduate. Batul has also obtained education in Political Science and Psychology, which are both fields she wishes to pursue in the near future with her Bachelor’s degree.

Batul aims to commit time and dedication to internships and volunteer work centered around peer mentorship for scholars like herself & is very passionate about building community and...

BCCP Events

Save the date for BIMI's iCultures and Communities Project student showcase on Friday, March 15, from 1-5 pm at IGS library (109 Philosophy Hall).

BIMI Cultures and Communities Project (BCCP) endeavor to showcase the rich history and traditions of diasporic communities in California and educate the public about their history/culture and aims at looking deeper into reframing different ways in which belonging can manifest. Come and join us for the research presentations of our amazing undergraduate students from UC Berkeley, Merced, and Santa Barbara!


Support for BCCP

BCCP is happy to acknowledge the support from the following campus units. If you want to make a gift to this project, please contact the Executive Director of BIMI, Dr. Harpreet Mangat (

BCCP Partner ($5,000 and above): Asian Pacific American Student Development (APASD)

BCCP Supporter ($2,000 - $3,500) - Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies (AAADS) Program; Asian American Research Center

BCCP Friend (up to $2,000): Institute of Governmental Studies; The Institute for South Asian Studies; Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging, People and Culture; UCB Center for Race and Gender, Townsend Center for the Humanities, Institute for European Studies