eUpdate - April 7, 2015  
Innovative Local Program Commemorates 40th Anniversary of Vietnam War's End
West County libraries, Contra Costa College host array of events 
The Vietnam War ended 40 years ago. It profoundly affects how we think and feel about our government, ourselves, society.

I'm excited to participate in an innovative program of the Contra Costa County Library and Contra Costa Community College using books, reading, and community conversation to help reflect on the Vietnam War. 

The program series, which runs from April 10 through May 28, is based in West Contra Costa with free events at County libraries and the Contra Costa College campus.

Funded by a "The Big Read" grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, events include dramatic readings, film, discussions, storytelling, Vietnamese music, and more.

Free copies of the acclaimed Vietnam War novel The Things They Carried, by Tim O'Brien, are available on a first-come, first-served basis at all participating libraries. Many events feature this compelling account.

For a full list of programs click here.

Here's a sample:
  • Friday April 10, 7 pm: A Staged Reading of The Things They Carried
    by the Word for Word Performing Arts Company. Contra Costa College Knox Performing Arts Center. I'll be a speaker at this Big Read kick-off event.

  • Monday April 13, 7 pm: Vietnamese Colonial Republican: The Political Vision of Vu Trong Phung, Kensington Library

  • Wednesday April 15, 5:30 pm: Scholar Event: The Things They Carried Panel Discussion: "Memory Traffic and the Trouble with War Stories - A Conversation with Veterans. Contra Costa College Library

  • Saturday April 18, 2 pm: Exploring Vietnam: A Travelogue at the Pinole Library
  • Monday April 27, 5:30 pm: The Vietnam War and Refugee Reflections: A Conversation, Contra Costa College Library
  • Thursday April 30, 6:30 pm: Service Memories: Local Veterans Share Their Experiences and Reflections on Serving Our Nation, El Sobrante Library
  • Thursday May 7, 7:15 pm: The Beautiful Country: A Film at the Rialto Cinemas, El Cerrito
  • Saturday May 16, 3 pm: Van-Anh Vo and The VA'V: A Concert of Vietnamese Folk Songs, Hercules Library
  • Monday May 25, 1 pm: Memorial Day Concert at Rithet Park, Crockett

For more information contact Ian Richards, El Sobrante Librarian, at 510-364-3481/510-758-3267 or by email,    

Looking forward to the discussion,
John Gioia
Supervisor, District One 
Contra Costa County 
11780 San Pablo Avenue, Suite D 
El Cerrito, CA  94530 
510-231-8686 Phone