The Columns

Asian Leadership Conference to be Held at W&L

— by on February 19th, 2010

Washington and Lee’s Pan-Asian Association for Cultural Exchange (PAACE) is hosting an Asian Leadership Conference at the university on Saturday, Feb. 20, in the Elrod Commons.

The conference is open to the public with a fee of $20. Registration begins at 10:00 a.m., and the welcoming ceremonies are at 11:00 a.m.

PAACE, a student club founded five years ago, coordinates campus events and activities to create awareness of and appreciation for Asian culture. Through the Asian Leadership Conference, PAACE aims to cultivate understanding and knowledge of Asian and Asian-American issues.

“We think of the conference as a large-scale brain-storming session,” says PAACE co-chair Danielle Ausems, a W&L senior. “Different people’s experiences with different campuses will offer alternate solutions in which we might be able to draw from each other’s lessons in order to tackle our own problems.”

The conference will host panels on leadership within Asian interest clubs, social and cultural problems, economics, political analysis, and art and entertainment. Student leaders from more than six universities will contribute to the discussion.

The keynote speaker is Cathy Bao Bean, author of The Chopsticks-Fork Principle: A Memoir and Manual. Bao Bean, who emigrated from China as a child, writes in her memoir about disparate cultural norms and the benefits of greater awareness of diversity. She will discuss how Asian-American identity is caught between the worlds of the East and the West.

The conference will conclude with a musical performance by the Clockwork Dolls, a band known for mixing electronica, opera, classical and contemporary music.