Temple Emanu-El’s Kol Tzedek Speaker Series Presents:
Xenophobia in America
with historian and author, Erika Lee
Professor. Author. Historian. Erika Lee
Building on Temple Emanu-El’s highly successful Kol Tzedek presentations by Isabel Wilkerson and Bryan Stevenson, we are excited to officially announce this year’s Kol Tzedek Speaker is author and historian, Erika Lee. The Kol Tzedek Speakers Series is an annual program addressing various topics of critical importance to the betterment of our world and how we can move forward with hope and action. This year, we are thrilled to present this program in person for the very first time. The lecturers we consider will be acclaimed authorities from their respective fields of specialization. The Hebrew term Kol Tzedek means righteous voice.
We are honored and excited to announce that Erika Lee, will speak to Temple Emanu-El and our broader community in person at Temple Emanu-El on Wednesday, April 26 at 7:30 PM. The presentation will also be available to watch on livestream.
One of the nation’s leading immigration and Asian American historians, Lee is Regents Professor, the Rudolph J. Vecoli Chair in Immigration History, the Director of the Immigration History Research Center at the University of Minnesota, and the President of the Organization of American Historians. The granddaughter of Chinese immigrants, Lee grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, attended Tufts University, and received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. Recently awarded an honorary degree from Tufts University and elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, Lee also testified before Congress during its historic hearings on discrimination and violence against Asian Americans. Beginning July 1, 2023, Lee will join the History Department at Harvard University as the the inaugural Bae Family Professor of History.
More About Erika Lee:
Lee is the author of four award-winning books in U.S. immigration and Asian American history: At America’s Gates: Chinese Immigration during the Exclusion Era, 1882-1943 (University of North Carolina Press, 2003), Angel Island: Immigrant Gateway to America (co-authored with Judy Yung, Oxford University Press, 2010), and The Making of Asian America: A History (Simon & Schuster, 2015, 2nded., 2016, Chinese version, 2019). Called “sweeping,” “comprehensive,” and “fascinating” by the New York Times and a “long overdue stirring chronicle” by the LA Times, The Making of Asian America was the recipient of the 2015 Asian Pacific American Award for Literature from the American Library Association, an “Editor’s Choice” by the New York Times, and was named to the Best Nonfiction Books of 2015 list by Kirkus Reviews. A new edition with a postscript about Asian American activism during the COVID-19 pandemic was recently published.
Lee’s most recent book, America for Americans: A History of Xenophobia in the United States (Basic Books, 2019, 2021) has been called “unflinching and powerful” by Carol Anderson (author of White Rage) and “essential reading” by Ibram X. Kendi (author of How to Be an Antiracist). It won the American Book Award, the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature, and the Richard Frisbie Honored Book Award for Nonfiction. It was also a finalist for the Ralph Waldo Emerson Award and the Minnesota Nonfiction Book Award and was named to best books lists by Time, USA Today, and Ms. Magazine. It was highlighted by the Washington Post, the New York Times, and the New York Public Library as one of the most important books illuminating the Trump era and informing essential issues in the 2020 election. It has been excerpted in The Atlanticand profiled in The New Yorker. Op-eds based on the book appeared in Time and the Washington Post. The paperback edition was recently published with a new epilogue on xenophobia and racism during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Check out Erika Lee and activities Helen Zia on The Washington Post on the Rise in anti-Asian violence
Let us be inspired by righteous voices. Join us for this one night only event.
This program has been underwritten by the generous support of Danny and Susan Stern.
Previous Kol Tzedek Speakers Included: