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Source: Christina Patch, cjp5015@k-state.edu
News release prepared by: Nellie Ryan, 785-532-6415, media@k-state.edu

Monday, March 2, 2009

K-STATE TO OBSERVE ASIAN-AMERICAN AWARENESS MONTH IN MARCH

MANHATTAN -- To observe Asian-American Awareness Month, Kansas State University's Asian American Student Union and Union Program Council's Multicultural Committee have teamed up to bring several events to K-State that promote cultural awareness of Asian-Americans.

The month's activities will include a performance by comedian Elliot Chang at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 10, in the Grand Ballroom at the K-State Student Union. The K-State performance is part of Chang's "Barely Legal" national tour. Chang has performed at more than 400 colleges, and his TV appearances include Comedy Central's "Premium Blend," MTV's "FN MTV," Spike TV's "Crash Test" and NBC's "Law & Order SVU."

"What makes Elliot's performance so great is his question-and-answer session," said Christina Patch, sophomore in accounting, Manhattan, and president of K-State's Asian American Student Union. "This is where he really talks about topics that are important to minorities, like Asians in the media and voting. A lot of times we don't have a voice unless we have a huge voting group, and that's true for any minority."

The panel discussion "Personal Stories of Asian-American Faculty and Staff in Celebration of Our Heritage" will be noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday, March 11, in the Union courtyard.

Sai Vang, a Hmong comedian, will be performing at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 12, in the Union's Room 212. The Hmong tribe was a group from Laos that was persecuted during the Vietnam War because they sided with the U.S. Many Hmong tribe members fled Laos to Thailand, and a huge community of Hmong people now lives in the U.S., including Sai Vang. Vang's comedic material deals with growing up poor, Asian-Americans, the differences between races and the differences between sexes.

"The Asian American Student Union at K-State actually has four members that are Hmong," Patch said. "Sai Vang is really funny. He talks about his experiences and what he went through when he was younger. He does a great job of promoting cultural awareness."

All events are free and open to the public. More information is available by contacting Patch at cjp5015@k-state.edu.