Press Contact: Yvonne French (202) 707-9191
Public Contact: Kio Kanda (202) 707-5901

April 27, 1998

Library of Congress to Celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage

Acting Assistant Attorney General Bill Lann Lee to Offer Keynote Address May 12

WHO: Acting Assistant Attorney General Bill Lann Lee

WHAT: Will give a keynote address, "Pursuing Progress: Achievements and Challenges"

WHEN: 10 a.m. May 12

WHERE: Mumford Room, James Madison Building,
101 Independence Ave. S.E.

WHY: For the Library's Asian Pacific American Heritage Month celebration

The speech, which will focus on civil rights for Asian Americans, is free and open to the public, and neither tickets nor reservations are required. An exhibition and several other events -- movies, musical performances, dances, talks and lectures are also scheduled. For information, see below.


Mr. Lee was born and raised in New York City, where his parents owned a small business. His excellent grades as a student at the Bronx High School of Science earned him a scholarship to Yale University, where he joined a program for minority students. He graduated magna cum laude in 1971. Three years later, he graduated from Columbia University Law School.

Before his December 1997 appointment at the Department of Justice, Mr. Lee served as western regional counsel for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF), the civil rights law firm founded by the late Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. Mr. Lee began his legal career at LDF in New York as an associate counsel in 1974.

In 1983 he joined the Center for Law in the Public Interest, a noted public interest law firm in California, and served for five years as supervising attorney for civil rights litigation. In 1988 he rejoined LDF. Mr. Lee also served as an adjunct professor of political science at Fordham University, and as counsel to the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund.

In addition to the keynote address, an exhibition and several public events are planned at the Library throughout May to celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.

The exhibition "Asian Pacific Americans and American Law" will be on public view through June 20 in the Law Library, on the second floor of the Madison Building. The exhibition of legal documents shows how Asian American struggled as immigrants, how they worked to change law and public policy, and how they won significant court victories.

Other events include:

11 a.m. May 1: lecture and piano performance of music from the Philippines, by Raul Sunico, winner of the silver award in the Viotti international Piano Competition in Vercelli, Italy, and the Henry Cowell Prize at the University of Maryland International Piano Competition. Mumford Room, Madison Building

1 p.m., May 4: Lecture and book-signing by Cynthia Chin-Lee, author of the children's book, A Is for Asia. She will speak on "An Asian Pacific American's Perspective on Literary Culture." West Dining Room, sixth floor, Madison Building

Noon, May 7: two films -- "Sa-I-Gu" deals with ethnic relations and racism in the United States; "The Bhangra Wrap" is a documentary of a vibrant youth subculture that fuses hip-hop, rap and Bhangra music in a unique blend of old and new, South Asian and American styles. Pickford Theater, third floor, Madison Building

11:30 a.m., May 11: film -- "My America (... or Honk If You Love Buddha)" was inspired by Jack Kerouac's novel On the Road. Tajima-Pena's film features home movies and archival footage from her family's beginnings in Los Angeles, where her grandfather settled. She embarks on a free-wheeling cross-country mission to survey the changing face of Asian America and discovers a multicultural landscape populated by colorful characters who are shaped by shared experience. Pickford Theater

Noon, May 13: film -- "Bontoc Eulogy," directed and produced by Marlon E. Fuentes, documents his personal story and recounts the Filipino experience as a living anthropological exhibit during the 1904 World's Fair. Pickford Theater

Noon, May 19: "Asian Pacific Americans in Local Politics," a discussion with Del. David M. Valderrama (D-Prince George's County), Deputy Majority Whip in the Maryland House of Delegates, and Samuel T. Mok (R), Commissioner on the Montgomery County Liquor Board. Dining Room A, sixth floor, Madison Building

Noon, May 21: "Asian Pacific Americans in Organized Labor," a presentation by Gloria T. Caoile, special assistant to the international president of the Association of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), sponsored by AFSCME 2910 and AFSCME 2477. West Dining Room

1 p.m., May 26: "Contemporary Issues for Asian Pacific Americans," a discussion with Lena Sun, staff writer for The Washington Post. West Dining Room

Noon, May 27: "Forbidden City, U.S.A." Like the Cotton Club of Harlem, which featured African American entertainers, San Francisco's internationally renowned Forbidden City was the nation's premier all-Chinese nightclub in the 1930s and 1940s. The glamour and social significance of this chapter of entertainment history is artfully and lovingly captured through interviews, archival film and photographs. Pickford Theater

12:30 - 2 p.m., May 28: "A celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage in Dance and Music" with dance performances by Mahina and the Polynesians, Cambodian Buddhist Temple Dance Troupe, Onoe Ryu Dance Enterprises, Soon Hee Ahn Korean Dance Company and Lavanya Viswanathan Indian Dance School. Mumford Room.

All events are free and open to the public. Interpreting services (American Sign Language, Contact Signing, Oral and/or Tactile) will be provided if requested five business days in advance of the event. Call (202) 707- 6362 TTY and voice to make a specific request. For other ADA accommodations, contact the Disability Employment office at (202) 707-9948 TTY and (202) 707-7544 voice.

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PR 98-068
ISSN 0731-3527

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