PULLMAN, Wash. — Asian Pacific American Awareness activities are underway at Washington State University. Featured presenters include filmmaker Arthur Dong of Los Angeles and poet Nellie Wong of San Francisco.
Awareness events, many open to the public at no charge, run through April 24.
From 3-5:30 p.m., April 11, Dong will show his film, “Licensed to Kill,” in Todd Hall Auditorium and discuss it with audience members. Dong produced, directed, wrote and edited the film, which focuses on anti-gay and lesbian prejudice.
At noon, April 21, “Forbidden City, U.S.A.,” another of Dong’s films, a musical tribute to 1940s Asian American nightclub performers, will be shown during a brown bag lunch in the Asian American/Pacific Islander Student Center, Room 104 of the WSU Multicultural Center.
Dong has won many awards for his films and videos that combine the arts of the visual medium with an investigation of social issues, says Esther Louie, assistant director of WSU Multicultural Student Services. Dong’s campus appearance is sponsored by the Asian Pacific American Student Coalition of the Associated Students of WSU; WSU Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Allies Program; and the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered, and Allies of ASWSU.
Feminist poet Wong will speak at a banquet, beginning at 6 p.m., April 24, the final event of awareness activities. It will be held in the Compton Union Building’s Cascade Room. Tickets are $12. Wong’s newest book of poetry is “Stolen Moments.” The winner of numerous honors and awards, including the Women of Words Award from the Women’s Foundation, Wong “connects and draws understanding from the most fertile areas of her cultural roots, the gradual awareness of cultural differences and the effect of racial stereotypes on Asian Americans,” says Louie. One of Wong’s poems, “Song of Farewell,” is inscribed in concrete on a municipal transit platform on the middle of the Embarcadero roadway in San Francisco.
Wong — recently retired from a senior analyst position in the University of California at San Francisco Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Office — will read some of her poetry starting at 7 p.m., April 23 in the CUB’s Butch’s Den, during “Revisions V,” an open microphone session focusing on domestic violence.
The fourth annual Washington State Filipino American Student Alliance conference will be held April 3-5 in WSU’s Todd Hall. Filipino American students from WSU, the University of Washington, Western Washington University and Seattle University will be participating. Part of the conference includes a panel discussion about the state of Washington Civil Rights Initiative I-200. Beginning at 3 p.m., April 4 in Todd Hall’s Room 203, panelists will include David Della, executive director of the Washington State Commission on the Status of Asian Pacific Americans.
At 7 p.m., April 4 in Daggy Hall’s Wadleigh Theater, there will be an Indian dance performance by Sharon Lowen, an American artist living and working in India. Lowen has been praised for her mastery of the classical dance form of Eastern India. Sponsors of the performance include the Asian Pacific American Student Coalition of ASWSU and the university’s Visual Performing and Literary Arts Committee. Tickets are $6 for students and seniors and $8 for the general public.
At 7 p.m., April 6 in the CUB Auditorium, “Local Access” will present “Breaking the Silence,” sponsored by the WSU Association of Pacific and Asian Women. The performance is based on connections, generation to generation, between Japanese immigrants to the U.S. of the 1800s, the second generation Nisei of World War II years, and the third generation Sansei of the civil rights era.
A rededication ceremony of an Akari lantern will be held 7-9 p.m., April 14, in CUB 210-212. The lantern was signed by its maker, Japanese American sculptor Isamu Noguchi, shortly before his death in 1988, the same year it was purchased by the Asian Pacific American Student Coalition. Initially dedicated in March 1988 during an Association for Asian American Studies national conference held at WSU, the lantern honors author Michi Weglyn. She was honored for her book “Years of Infamy” and other efforts educating the public about the World War II internment of Japanese Americans.
The ethnically diverse Los Angeles-based theatrical troupe “hereandnow” will perform at
7 p.m., April 16 in the CUB Auditorium. At 6 p.m., April 17, troupe members will take part in a potluck in the WSU Asian American and Pacific Islander Student Center in the University’s Multicultural Center.
The annual “Pride of the Pacific” luau will be held 5-9 p.m. in Pullman’s Lincoln Middle School gymnasium. Tickets are $14 each and must be purchased in advance. There are no ticket sales at the door. Sponsored by the WSU Hawaii Club, the event includes a traditional Pacific Island luau dinner and Hawaiian and Polynesian dances performed by WSU students.
Films “Bui Doi: Life Like Death” and “Camp Arirang” will be shown beginning 7 p.m.,
April 22 in the CUB Auditorium.
For ticket and other information, call the WSU Asian American/Pacific Islander Student Center at 335-1986.