for Museum and Library Service Finalist

Events for Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month



Documentary and discussion with "Vincent Who?" director Curtis Chin
May 29, 7:00 pm

Join us for a screening of the 2009 documentaryVincent Who? at 7:00 pm, followed by a Q&A with director Curtis Chin starting at 8:00 pm. 

In 1982, at the height of anti-Japanese sentiments arising from massive layoffs in the auto industry, a Chinese-American named Vincent Chin was murdered in Detroit by two white autoworkers. His killers got off with a $3,000 fine and 3 years probation, but no jail time. Outraged by this injustice, Asian Americans united for the first time across ethnic and socioeconomic lines to form a pan-Asian identity and civil rights movement.

Among its significant outcomes, the movement led to the historic broadening of federal civil rights protection to include all people in America regardless of immigrant status or ethnicity.Ultimately, Vincent Who? asks how far Asian Americans have come since the case and how far they have yet to go. For in spite of his monumental significance in both the Asian American experience and the civil rights history of America, the vast majority of people have little or no knowledge of him.

By sparking interest in Vincent Chin with this film, we hope to contribute toward the day when “Vincent Chin” becomes a familiar name not only among Asian Americans, but all Americans. We believe that the Vincent Chin case and the resulting Asian American civil rights movement should assume an important place in this country’s history.” This program is co-sponsored by AAPI of East Brunswick and the Friends of the East Brunswick Library. 

To learn more about this program, join in virtually or watch the documentary ahead of time, click here.


Haven or Hell? Jews in the Philippines During World War II (Hybrid)
May 1, 7:00 pm
For years, Sandy Lanman knew her grandmother Elsie had escaped Germany to the Philippines only to lose her husband Gunther in the brutal Battle of Manila at the end of World War II. Aside from a few photos and family stories, she knew little else. In 2019, a serendipitous encounter on Facebook led her to Gunther’s great-nephew and a trove of photos of Elsie and Gunther in Manila. The discovery sparked her interest in the history of this little-known Jewish sanctuary and its forgotten heroes. Through film, photos and Elsie’s own words, Sandy tells the story of the rescue of 1,300 mostly German Jews and the terrors they faced under the Japanese during World War II. She reveals her grandmother’s surprising role in the history of that period and how she and other Jews found sanctuary in Manila. 

This program is sponsored by the Friends of the East Brunswick Library. Click here for more information or to join this online program.

Incredible Indian Spices and Their Uses
May 8, 7:00 pm

Author Gaeta Gwalani explores the many spices that create the fantastic flavors of Indian cuisine. She is the author of two cookbooks: Aromas of Sindh, which was published in 2020, and most recently For the Greater Gur - 150 Delectable Desserts. 

In this workshop, she discusses about the many uses of Indian spices, as well as Jaggery, a popular ingredient in India and an alternative to sugar. Geeta was one of the contestants at the the popular ShopRite Cooking Star Challenge, which aired in the US. She was also the runner up at Chef Select ’21 challenge judged by Michelin Star and Celebrity Chef Vikas Khanna. This program is sponsored by the Friends of the East Brunswick Library.
Asian American and Pacific Heritage Month Performance
May 11, 2:00 pm

Join us for a special performance celebrating Asian American and Pacific Heritage Month! This event celebrates several cultures, ranging from Chinese to Indian and severl others, through live music, dance performances and even martial arts demonstrations from twenty five different performers! This concert is presented by Green Ox Cinema LLC

Author Talk: Rebecca F. Kuang (Online)
May 21, 7:00 pm

You’re welcome to register for a thrilling conversation with Rebecca F. Kuang (R.F. Kuang) as she chats with us about her New York Times bestselling novel Yellowface. The book grapples with questions of diversity, racism, and cultural appropriation, as well as the terrifying alienation of social media.

In Yellowface,authors June Hayward and Athena Liu were supposed to be twin rising stars. But Athena’s a literary darling. June Hayward is literally nobody. Who wants stories about basic white girls, June thinks.

When June witnesses Athena’s death in a freak accident, she acts on impulse: she steals Athena’s just-finished masterpiece, an experimental novel about the unsung contributions of Chinese laborers during World War I. So what if June edits Athena’s novel and sends it to her agent as her own work? So what if she lets her new publisher rebrand her as Juniper Song—complete with an ambiguously ethnic author photo? Doesn’t this piece of history deserve to be told, whoever the teller? That’s what June claims, and the New York Times bestseller list seems to agree.

But June can’t get away from Athena’s shadow, and emerging evidence threatens to bring June’s (stolen) success down around her. As June races to protect her secret, she discovers exactly how far she will go to keep what she thinks she deserves. 
White lies, dark humor, and deadly consequences await within the pages of Yellowface. With its totally immersive first-person voice, Kuang’s novel is timely, razor-sharp, and eminently readable. 

To learn more or join this online program, click here.