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Former Vice President Walter Mondale to Address Asian American Journalists Association Convention August 17-20

Convention to Feature Community Town Hall, Concerts by Rapper and Ruff Ryders Recording Artist Jin and Fusion/New Age Keyboard Player Keiko Matsui

MINNEAPOLIS, June 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Former Vice President Walter F. Mondale will address the 17th annual national convention of the Asian American Journalists Association, to be held Aug. 17-20 at the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis. Mondale, who also served as Ambassador to Japan, will speak at the luncheon on Aug. 18.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20050228/SFM118LOGO )

The convention, hosted by AAJA's Minneapolis chapter and chaired by Star Tribune television critic Neal Justin, will also feature concerts by rapper and Ruff Ryders recording artist Jin and fusion/new age keyboard player Keiko Matsui. The Twin Cities community will be welcomed at a special town hall meeting examining the relationship between Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, justice and the media.

With more than 2,300 members, AAJA is the nation's largest professional organization for Asian American and Pacific Islander journalists. AAJA encourages young people to consider journalism as a career, develops managers in the media industry and promotes fair and accurate news coverage.

Organizers expect more than 1,000 participants and emphasize that the convention is not just for journalists of color, but open to all professionals and journalism students interested in learning from the industry's top leaders and experts through media training institutes, interactive plenary sessions, workshops, a career fair and more.

"Journalists, students, media professionals and community leaders will all discover new skills, valuable information and business relationships at this year's convention," said Esther Wu, a columnist with The Dallas Morning News and national president of AAJA. "Few other events can deliver in one place an incredible array of the media industry's top journalists and executives, as well as experts on a wide variety of topics."

More convention details and online registration are available at www.aaja.org programs/convention, or by calling the AAJA national office at 415-346-2051. Participants registering by June 30 will save $50 off convention fees.

Mondale to Address Convention Luncheon

Former U.S. Vice President Walter F. Mondale has a record of public service that spans more than 40 years. In addition to his work in the White House, Mondale has been a U.S. ambassador to Japan, a U.S. senator and the Minnesota attorney general. He is now the senior counsel with the Minneapolis-based Dorsey & Whitney LLP law firm, and serves as chair of the firm's Asian Law Practice Group, which focuses on representing U.S. and Asian clients.

As Ambassador to Japan from August 1993 to December 1996, Mondale helped to negotiate several U.S.-Japan security agreements, including a resolution to the controversy about the U.S. military presence in Okinawa. He also helped negotiate numerous trade agreements between the U.S. and Japan, and he promoted the expansion of educational exchanges between the two nations. In addition, Mondale attended the annual APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation) summit meetings in Seattle, Jakarta, Osaka and Manila.

In 1998, Mondale also served as former President Clinton's special envoy, traveling to meet with Indonesia's president regarding that country's economic reforms.

Local CBS affiliate anchor Amelia Santaniello and television reporter Arthur Chi'en will emcee the luncheon.

Community Town Hall on Asian American Pacific Islanders, Justice and the Media

A town hall meeting on Aug. 18 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. will allow community members, leaders and journalists to examine the relationship between Asian American Pacific Islanders, justice and the media.

Several high-profile stories involving AAPIs have made national headlines. An anonymous tip to Homeland Security includes claims of Chinese "dirty nuclear bomber terrorists" entering Boston. Wire services immediately identify four suspects and post artist renderings of them and the alert becomes national headline news; although the tip later proves to be hoax, no apologies are offered to the accused or those who might have been subject to their "profile." A Hmong man is involved in a mass shooting in Minnesota and initial stories imply there is a link between the suspect's cultural heritage and the incident. A Muslim Army chaplain is arrested and charged with espionage and possibly treason, but is later released with all charges dropped.

There has been some perception that these cases are tried in the media. What are the hurdles to justice that AAPIs face? Is there a presumption of guilt when AAPIs are accused of certain crimes? How has the Patriot Act and the War on Terrorism affected AAPIs -- and what does the news media need to know to ensure fair and balanced coverage of the increasing numbers of such cases?

Des Moines Register columnist Rekha Basu will moderate a panel that includes: Minnesota State Senator Mee Moua, former U.S. Army Chaplain Capt. James Yee, Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund co-founder Jaideep Singh and UC Davis School of Law professor Bill Ong Hing.

Additional discussion will be provided by Tram Nguyen, Colorlines Magazine executive editor and author of "We Are All Suspects Now: Untold Stories from Immigrant Communities?", and Steve Montiel, director of the Institute for Justice and Journalism, USC Annenberg School for Communication. The town hall is coordinated by author and journalist Helen Zia.

Concerts by Rapper Jin and Keyboardist Keiko Matsui

Convention attendees will be treated to a free concert on Aug. 17 at 10 p.m. by hip-hop artist Jin Au-Yeung, the first Asian American rapper to release a major-label record. Jin's new CD, The Rest is History, challenges negative images of people of Chinese heritage in American culture. New York-based Jin won fame thanks to a lengthy and undefeated run on 106 & Park's "Freestyle Fridays" on BET. His success on that show earned him a deal with the rap collective Ruff Ryders. In addition to two singles and a solo album, Jin played a role in the movie 2 Fast 2 Furious.

The concert venue, the famed First Avenue Club & 7th Street Entry, itself has a history dating back to 1937. It's best known as the club featured in Prince's 1984 film Purple Rain and has played host to U2, REM, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Run DMC and countless others.

Fusion/new age keyboard player Keiko Matsui will perform free for convention attendees only on Aug. 18 from 9 p.m. at the Dakota Jazz Club. With over 1.2 million units sold in the U.S. alone and packed concert halls, she is one of the most recognized artists in the genre. No stranger to the upper reaches of the contemporary jazz album and airplay charts, Matsui was named Top Indie Contemporary Jazz Artist of the Year by Billboard magazine in 1996. Her elegant piano melodies and gentle jazz grooves have enormous appeal and never disappoint her loyal fan base, which she has cultivated through more than a dozen albums and stunning live shows.

Career Fair and Professional Critique Sessions

More than 100 exhibitors and recruiters are expected to participate in the convention's career fair, featuring media companies from across the country. Professional journalists will also conduct one-on-one critique sessions for print, broadcast and online journalists and students during the fair.

About AAJA

Founded in 1981, the Asian American Journalists Association is a national, non-profit educational association based in San Francisco that has more than 2,300 members. Today, AAJA encourages young Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to enter the ranks of journalism, to work for fair and accurate coverage of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and to increase the number of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and news managers in the industry. For more information, visit www.aaja.org.
Photo: NewsCom: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20050228/SFM118LOGO
AP Archive: http://photoarchive.ap.org/
PRN Photo Desk, photodesk@prnewswire.com

Source: Asian American Journalists Association

CONTACT: Janice Lee, Deputy Executive Director of Asian American
Journalists Association, +1-415-346-2051, ext. 110, or janicel@aaja.org

Web site: http://www.aaja.org/

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