Free Virtual Author Conference in Montclair for AAPI Heritage Month

MONTCLAIR, NJ — The following press release is courtesy of the Montclair Public Library. Learn more about posting announcements or events to your local Patch site.

On Tuesday, May 24, Montclair Public Library will celebrate Asian American/Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander Heritage Month with a free hybrid author program for teens and adults. The in-person event will take place at the Vanguard Theater in Montclair and will be streamed live on Zoom. Best-selling writer and CNN commentator Jeff Yang and Phil Yu, best known for his blog “Angry Asian Man”, will talk about their new book, an animated multimedia creation, with Michelle Germinario of AAPI Montclair. A question-and-answer session with the authors will follow the discussion. The program is co-sponsored by AAPI Montclair. Registration is mandatory.

  • Tuesday, May 24, 2022
  • 6:30-7:30 a.m.
  • Registration (in-person and Zoom options available)
  • Vanguard Theater, 180 Bloomfield Avenue in Montclair (MASKS REQUIRED)

Please note that the space is on the second floor and stairs are required. Street parking is available as well as parking lots near TD Bank and Lackawanna Plaza.

Jeff Yang launched one of the first national Asian-American magazines, A. Magazine, in the late 90s and early 2000s, and now writes frequently for CNN. He has written/edited three books: Jackie Chan’s best-selling New York Times memoir, “I Am Jackie Chan: My Life in Action”; “Once Upon a Time in China”, a history of cinemas in Hong Kong, Taiwan and the mainland; and “Eastern Standard Time: A Guide to Asian Influence on American Culture”.

Phil Yu is the founder and editor of the popular Asian American news and culture blog, Angry Asian Man, which has had a dedicated following since 2001. His comments have been featured and quoted in The Washington Post, New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, NPR and elsewhere.

Philip Wang is the co-founder of influential production company Wong Fu Productions. Since the mid-2000s, his creative work has garnered over 3 million subscribers and half a billion views online, as well as recognition from NPR and CNN for his impact on Asian American representation. (Wang will not be present at the authors’ event.)

“Rise” is a love letter to and for Asian Americans: an album of voices, emotions and vivid memories of a time when Asian American culture was forged and transformed, and a way to preserve both the headlines and the intimate conversations that shaped the community into what it is today.

“Rise” is available to borrow from the Montclair Public Library and to purchase from our program partner, watchung booksellers. “Hip, entertaining…imaginative.” —Kirkus, starred review* “Essential.” —Min Jin Lee * “A Herculean effort.”—Lisa Ling * “A must-read.”—Ijeoma Oluo * “A book we’ve needed for ages.” —Celeste Ng * “Accessible, informative and fun.” —Cathy Park Hong*

Michelle Germinario founded and runs AAPI Montclair’s book clubs for the organization’s more than 600 members. She is a high school English teacher and has also taught at the college level. Germinario is a first-generation Vietnamese American and the proud daughter of a refugee. A resident of Montclair, she was recently featured in the Bergen Record about her activism and biracial identity.

Asian American/Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander Heritage Month is an annual celebration that recognizes the historical and cultural contributions of people of Asian, Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander descent to the United States. May was chosen as AA/NH/PI Heritage Month partly because the first Japanese immigrants to America arrived in the United States on May 7, 1843, and also because the transcontinental railroad, largely built by of Chinese immigrants, was completed on May 10, 1869. The effort to officially recognize AA/NH/PI cultural heritage in the United States with a holiday began in the late 1970s and took more than 10 years to become a permanent month-long celebration.

AAPI Montclair is a nonprofit group representing Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and their families in and around Montclair, New Jersey. The organization strives to provide a courageous space to share experiences and help unify their voices to create action and representation for their communities. Their mission is to create a more inclusive Montclair by highlighting the varied experiences of AAPI communities in the township and promoting awareness and knowledge of AAPI culture and history.

Founded in 1893, the Montclair Public Library serves residents of Montclair, New Jersey. It has two facilities: the Main Library at 50 S. Fullerton Avenue and the Bellevue Avenue Branch Library at 185 Bellevue Avenue. The library has been changing lives every day for over 125 years through words, ideas and building community by providing unlimited opportunities for lifelong learning, discovery and community engagement.

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Lola R. McClure