PCE Club - Summary of the 50th Monthly Event
The PCE Club's 50th monthly event was very successfully held on Saturday, October 13, 2007 in the Asian Cultural Center.
About thirty families came to join us in this event. Many children were anxiously waiting for this event as for three months in a row, they hadnˇt got a chance to perform due to two outdoor events and one annual conference in July, August and September. Nearly 60 adults attended the seminar entitled �Becoming American〃, conducted by Mayor Cecilia X Birge (aka "Xie Lan"), in discussion on leadership skills and emotional intelligence development.
As the first Chinese-American female mayor in the history of New Jersey, Mayor Birge is a dynamic elected official with strong leadership skills and a solid professional background in various disciplines. Despite her very busy schedule, Mayor Birge kindly accepted our invitation for speaking at the clubˇs event and gracefully arrived at the event ahead of time watching our kidsˇ talent show. She is such a down-to-earth leader, so approachable, easy-going, friendly and reliable!
Mayor Birge started her session with two questions in a slide show entitled �Becoming American〃 (please refer to the attached ppt file for the details). They are: �What is American?〃 and �Am I American or Chinese?〃 She then analyzed why we should hold onto our Chinese heritage while being a patriotic American as follows: �1. the essential process of becoming American is to maintain the diverse ethnic cultures while becoming a part of the whole society; 2. being able to appreciate cultural differences leads to positive outcomes in life; 3. the central theme of becoming American is to have strong identity of oneˇs ethnicity. After all, this is what America is all about.〃
Mayor Birge also pointed out the major elements of strong leadership: �1. have a vision - have strong opinions and a structured mind; not to be afraid to speak out; 2. build consensus - meeting of minds; 3. develop a win-win situation; 4. ability to appreciate diversity - be a cross cultural team player - reach out; 5. be prepared to deal with prejudice/racism with a positive attitude.
Followed the presentation was a Q and A section. Mayor Birge answered each question raised from the audience with great wisdom and patience. Some attendees were reluctant to leave when it was time to end. They continued to chat with Cecilia afterwards till it was quite late. It was really a wonderful presentation filled with great ideas, observations, exciting personal experience and constructive suggestions. When I first introduced Cecilia to the audience, I deliberately omitted the mention of her renowned grandfather (former president of Peking University) and her own father (famous anesthesiologist) as I would like the audience to get to know her very own strengths and power. Sure enough, she did not let us down. During the whole session, she was so analytical, logical and articulate. Her English was perfect with no trace of accent given she came to America as a grownup.
Apart from the wonderful presentation, our childrenˇs talent show was also excellent. Jill, our new officer/the clubˇs public relations coordinator, hosted the talent show. She had each performing child introduce him/herself. It is our hope that the children will not only develop their talents in various areas, they would also develop a good manner in the public and on the stage. Thank you, Jill, for a job well done!
The Clubˇs next event will be held on November 10th, 2007. The seminar will be �Broken or Beautiful〃 to be conducted by Ms. Maria Mastro. Sandra and Kam will be our next eventˇs organizers. Please stay tuned for more info.