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LaGuardia hosts atom bomb event

LaGuardia Community College is hosting an event to celebrate Asian heritage at its Long Island City campus May 5 and May 12 that will include a panel featuring two survivors of the atomic bombs dropped on Japan during World War II.

“Asian Heritage Throughout the Diaspora: A Celebration of Our Contribution and Culture” will include two free events in LaGuardia’s main building at 31-10 Thomson Ave. in Long Island City.

“We’ve set these days to recognize the tremendous contributions that Asian students, faculty and staff have made to LaGuardia,” said Gail Mellow, the school’s president. “They’ve been an important part of our growth as a college and will continue to be in the future as we expand our connections to their communities throughout Queens.”

The first event, which will take place May 5 in the Performing Arts Center’s Little Theatre, will be a panel presentation on peace and justice that will feature two survivors of the 1945 atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The speakers will discuss their first-hand experiences during the war.

On May 12, the college will host numerous events throughout the day, including a panel discussion on Asian Americans in leadership roles that will take place at 10:30 a.m. in room E-500 of LaGuardia’s main building.

At 1 p.m., LaGuardia student Yanjun Gao will discuss winning the Association of College Unions International 2010 Collegiate Table Tennis Championship in the men’s singles division. He will also challenge attendees to a game. The event will take place in the E-building atrium.

Comedian Esther Ku, a finalist on NBC’s show “Last Comic Standing,” will introduce performances by Asian musical groups at 2 p.m. Acts include Peelander-Z, Japanese Comic Punk Band, Samurai Sword Soul, Action/Comedy/Drama, Mr. Yang aka Happy Chef, Chinese acrobatics and Chicago performer Jenny Choi.

Food from several nations will be served at the event, which will be held in the Cobblestone Courtyard, and students will model traditional Asian clothing.

LaGuardia currently has students from 46 Asian countries, including China, South Korea, Japan, Bangladesh, the Philippines, India and Pakistan. Asians comprise 21 percent of the school’s population and represent its largest-growing ethnic group.

Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e-mail at nduke@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4566.

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