President and Director of the Museum of the Chinese in America, Nancy Yao Maasbach, will deliver a lecture at the JCC on January 19 at 7 p.m. Maasbach, a Woodbridge resident, will be the third speaker in the First Selectman’s new lecture series, Wisdom of Woodbridge. Her talk is entitled “Chinatowns, China’s Towns, and Chinese Towns: An Evolving Sense of Community.”
Maasbach has lived in several Chinese communities, has traveled frequently to China and has served in leadership roles at the Yale-China Association and the Council on Foreign Relations. Her research has focused on examining the role of Chinese Americans in U.S.-China relations.
Despite the ubiquity of Chinese culture through Chinese food and celebration, little is known about Chinese immigration to the U.S. since its first wave in the mid-1850s. In fact, the first Chinese to graduate from an American university was Yung Wing who graduated from Yale University in 1854. Despite this impressive early representation, the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 became the first law implemented to prevent a specific ethnic group from immigrating to the U.S. Maasbach will share how changes in U.S. immigration policies coupled with the significant socio-economic and political changes in China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong have shaped the Chinese American population into one of the most diverse populations in the world.
The Woodbridge of Wisdom series of lectures will be delivered by Woodbridge residents who will discuss their exciting professions, unusual talents and expertise in various topics. The lectures are being co-hosted by the JCC and the Woodbridge Town Library.
“This lecture series is a wonderful way to highlight and interact with some of Woodbridge’s creative big thinkers,” said First Selectman Ellen Scalettar. “Our little town is blessed to have so many people doing fascinating things. We can all benefit and learn from each other.”
Previous speakers were Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Rob Klee who discussed trash and recycling and Southern Connecticut State University President Dr. Mary Papazian who spoke about the university and the future of higher education.
The next scheduled lecture is entitled “Hacked! Keeping your identity safe in the Information Age.” The lecture will be delivered on March 22 at 7 p.m. by Yaron Baitch, Co-founder and CEO of Auth Air.
The Wisdom of Woodbridge lecture series is part of Scalettar’s goal of promoting and creating more community events to bring residents together.