Colorado State University’s Asian Fest Features Food, Carnival, Keynote by Former Army Chaplain James Yee

Former Army Chaplain James Yee, whose arrest for spying in 2003 gained international attention but who was later cleared of all charges, will speak at Colorado State University’s Asian Fest. The event, sponsored by the university’s Office of Asian/Pacific American Student Services, is 12 days rich with entertainment, food, a Hawaiian luau and cultural carnival in celebration of the Asian culture.

Yee, whose book, "For God and Country: Faith and Patriotism Under Fire," was released in late 2005, will speak about his experiences as a former U.S. Army Muslim Chaplain at Guantanamo Bay at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 27, in the Lory Student Center North Ballroom. A question-and-answer session and book signing will follow his presentation.  The event is free, but tickets must be picked up in advance at the Campus Box Office at the Lory Student Center.

Yee is a third generation Chinese-American and West Point graduate. In 2001, Yee was commissioned as one of the first Muslim chaplains in the United States Army. After the attacks of September 11, 2001, he became a frequent government spokesman, helping to educate soldiers about Islam and build understanding throughout the military. Subsequently, Chaplain Yee was selected to serve as the Muslim Chaplain at Guantanamo Bay, where nearly 700 detainees captured in the war on terror were being held as unlawful combatants.

In September 2003, after serving at Guantanamo for 10 months in a role that gave him unrestricted access to the detainees, Yee was arrested on suspicion of espionage and treason. He was held in a Navy prison and subjected to much of the same treatment that had been imposed on the Guantanamo detainees. Wrongfully accused of spying and aiding the Taliban and Al Qaeda, Yee spent 76 days in solitary confinement and was threatened with death.

After the U.S. government determined its mistake in making the original allegations, Yee was charged with adultery and computer pornography before the government eventually dropped all criminal charges.

Depicting a journey of faith and service, Chaplain Yee’s book is the story of a victim of the post-September 11 paranoia that gripped the nation.

Following are events and activities scheduled during Asian Fest.  

Noon-1 p.m. Wednesday, April 19 – Book Club Discussion, A/PASS Office, 212 Lory Student Center. Discussion of "For God and Country: Faith and Patriotism Under Fire," by Chaplain James Yee.

11 a.m.-3 p.m., Thursday, April 20 – Food Fest I, Lory Student Center Plaza. Food options will include teriyaki beef sticks, vegetarian curry, rice and a beverage, plus performances.

4 p.m.-11:30 p.m., Friday, April 21 – Ramnime Lock-in, Laporte and Virginia Dale rooms, Lory Student Center. Seven hours of anime movies and series will be shown on two screens. Subway sandwiches will be available for purchase, but otherwise the event is free.

10 a.m.-3 p.m., Saturday, April 22 – Cultural Carnival, Fort Collins Public Library, Old Town. Bring the family and enjoy cultural crafts, games, performances and free food. No charge.

10 a.m.-3 p.m., Monday, April 24 – Ang Lee Movie Marathon, 214-216 Lory Student Center, no charge. Ang Lee is an Academy Award winning Asian American film director. Most recently, he won an Academy Award for best director for "Brokeback Mountain." Free snacks will be available.

10 a.m. – "The Wedding Banquet," 214-216 Lory Student Center

12:30 p.m. – "Brokeback Mountain," 214-216 Lory Student Center

6:30 p.m. – "Eat Drink Man Woman," Ben Delatour Room, Fort Collins Public Library, Old Town

12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 25, Panel Discussion:  All Asian Americans Are Alike?

213-215 Lory Student Center, no charge. An interactive discussion about diversity within the Asian American community.

11 a.m.-3 p.m., Wednesday, April 26, Food Fest II, Lory Student Center Plaza. Teriyaki beef sticks, vegetarian curry, rice and a beverage, plus performances.

7-8:30 p.m., Thursday, April 27, Feature Speaker – Chaplain James Yee, Lory Student Center North Ballroom. No charge, but advance tickets through the Campus Box Office in the Lory Student Center are required.  

Noon-2 p.m., Friday, April 28, The Japanese Internment at Heart Mountain, Wyoming, Lory Student Center Sunken Lounge, no charge. A sculpture by Bill Hosokawa, in collaboration with Peter Jacobs, commemorating the experience of the internment of Japanese Americans at Heart Mountain, Wyo., will be unveiled. Hosokawa was an internee of Heart Mountain and authored, "Colorado’s Japanese Americans: From 1886 to Present."  He will speak about his experience being interned during World War II and will be available to autograph copies of his book.

5 – 9 p.m., Sunday, April 30, Hui ‘O Hawai’i Lu’au, Lory Student Center Main Ballroom. An evening of traditional Hawaiian dance and food. Doors open at 5 p.m. Tickets are available at the Campus Box Office at the Lory Student Center. Student tickets are $16; adult tickets are $18; tickets for children ages 6 to 12 years old are $12 and children younger than age 6 are free.

Asian/Pacific American Student Services supports the matriculation, retention, and graduation of Asian/Pacific American Students at Colorado State University through direct service to students as well as through educational and cultural campus-wide programs. Committed to philosophies of diversity and inclusion, Asian/Pacific American Student Services creates and supports opportunities for interaction among university and community constituencies to enhance a campus environment that welcomes all students.