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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spokane Public Library plans monthlong virtual celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander heritage month

Remelisa Cullitan is the featured artist May 19 in the Spokane Public Library’s virtual event celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.  (The Spokesman-Review)
Remelisa Cullitan is the featured artist May 19 in the Spokane Public Library’s virtual event celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. (The Spokesman-Review)
By Nina Culver For The Spokesman-Review

The Spokane Public Library has prepared a full schedule of virtual events in May and prepared a suggested reading and movie list in honor of Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage month.

The monthlong celebration comes as there has been a nationwide rise in the number of assaults on and harassment of members of the Asian community. In response, the library has released a statement of solidarity.

“We stand in solidarity with all of our communities of color during this trying time in our history, but today we stand stronger for our Asian, Asian-American and Pacific Islander communities,” the statement reads in part. “Our library is committed to unlearning racism, including anti-Asian racism. We are uplifting the voices and stories of Asians, Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders through our collections, upcoming programming in May for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, and year-round.”

Virtually

The first virtual event, “Representation Matters: Choosing and Reading AAPI Children’s Books,” is scheduled for May 18 at 6:30 p.m. This session, led by Dr. Melissa Bedford of Eastern Washington University, is the first in a three-part series.

The second part is “Celebrating Diversity: Our Differences Make Us Great” at 6:30 p.m. on May 25 and the final session is “Let’s Talk: How to Have Conversations About Race with Children” at 6:30 p.m. on June 8. The sessions are intended for adults.

There will be a “Meet the Artist” virtual session from 4 to 5 p.m. on May 19 featuring local Filipinx-American queer artist Remelisa Cullitan. Cullitan’s work can be seen in the ‘E’ in the “Black Lives Matter” mural in downtown Spokane. The session is open to teens and adults.

Books

Readers are invited to participate in a virtual book club from noon to 1 p.m. on May 26. The book to be discussed is “The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane” by Lisa See. Some physical books are available for checkout at local library branches, and the book is also available as an eBook through the Spokane Public Library.

Those interested in attending any of the online sessions must register in advance. They will be sent an email with instructions in how to participate in the free virtual Zoom sessions.

The reading list includes books that were suggested by local members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. The titles include “Fred Korematsu Speaks Up” by Laura Atkins, “Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning” by Cathy Park Hong, “Interior Chinatown” by Charles Yu and “Native Speaker” by Chang-rae Lee.

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Nina Culver can be reached at nculver47@gmail.com

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