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#KPCCforum: 5 events you don't want to miss in January 2014

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Now that the new year is here we're getting geared up for a whole new set of programs at KPCC's Crawford Family Forum. We've stepped up our game and we're bringing you live, in-person discussions on the coming-of-age industry in Texas, a horror film director's take on our current education system, and a panel on the amazing feats and discoveries made by the Mars rovers over the last ten years.

Suffice to say, here's a short list of first five events you don't want to miss this January 2014:

1. What M. Night Shyamalan found out about the education system

What:  'He Got Schooled: M. Night Shyamalan on closing the education gap | Q&A with author, book discussion

When: 7 to 8:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 13

Why you should go: "The Sixth Sense" director M. Night Shyamalan has taken an outsider's view on education, and his findings are surprising. He'll be sharing his research and theories on how to close the education gap with KPCC's Tess Vigeland.

Join in on social: What does an outsider bring that an insider does not? And why should people listen? Bring your questions and comments and be part of this conversation. Tweet at us @KPCCForum

Price: Free with RSVP


2. This annual debutante ball in Laredo, Texas, is unlike any other

What:  Las Marthas: Mexican-American debutantes and the coming-of-age industry | Film screening & discussion

When: 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 15

Why you should go: What does George Washington have to do with this coming-of-age tradition in Laredo, Texas? Join KPCC business and economics reporter Wendy Lee as we learn about this 114-year tradition. Each year,  a select group of mostly Mexican-American girls are chosen to dress in elaborate gowns representing iconic figures from America’s colonial history. 

Join in on social: Do you have any coming-of-age traditions in your family? What did you do when you turned 15? 18? 21?  Tweet at us @KPCCForum using the hashtag #LasMarthas.

Price: Free with RSVP


3. The power and possibility of Asian American business

What:  The power and possibility of Asian American business | Workshop & panel discussion

When: 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 23

Why you should go: Nationally, Asian Pacific Islander (API) -owned enterprises currently generate billions of dollars in revenue, but within the next five years Asian American consumers are expected to wield nearly $1 trillion in buying power. Join Dennis Huang, executive director of the Asian Business Association, and Gary Yamauchi, owner/president of Tri-Star Vending and Alhambra City Councilman, as they share their expertise in running a successful business for a diverse demographic.

Join in on social: Share your business-related questions with us.  Tweet at us @KPCCForum.

Price: Free with RSVP


4. Everything you ever wanted to know about the Mars rovers

What:  Mars Rovers – 10 surprising years, and still rolling | Panel discussion, Q&A

When: 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 23

Why you should go: Arguably among the United State's greatest engineering and science achievements, the Mars rovers continue to surprise the scientists who build them as they record and collect stunning images and intriguing data after more than 3,650 Earth days on Mars. Join Mat Kaplan, host and producer of Planetary Radio for The Planetary Society, as he looks back at the rovers' last ten years on the Red Planet. He'll be joined by Bruce Betts, Director of Projects for The Planetary Society; John Grotzinger, Fletcher Jones Professor of Geology at the California Institute of Technology & Project Scientist for Curiosity, the Mars Science Laboratory; Emily Lakdawalla, Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist for The Planetary Society; Rob Manning, Chief Engineer at the Jet Propulsion Lab for Curiosity, the Mars Science Laboratory; and Bill Nye the Science Guy, CEO of The Planetary Society.

Join in on social: Share your favorite Mars rover photos and ask the panelist questions.  Tweet at us @KPCCForum using the hasthag #KPCCnext.

Price: Free with RSVP


5. How Latinos & Asian Americans are reshaping the San Gabriel Valley 

What:  The Changs Next Door to the Diazes: What's the link between identity and place? | Q&A with author, book discussion

When: 7:30 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 30

Why you should go: The San Gabriel Valley's diverse suburbs may best demonstrate Southern California's rapid demographic shifts. Less than a 20-minute drive from downtown Los Angeles, the vast majority of the SGV—as it's locally known—is either Asian American or Latino. This interplay of people and place is reshaping the area and creating a new distinct polyethnic cultures. Join this discussion on identity and place with KPCC Immigration and Emerging Communities reporter Leslie Berestein Rojas and Wendy Cheng, author of the book, The Changs Next Door to the Diazes: Remapping Race in Suburban California.

Join in on social: Do you live in the San Gabriel Valley? What's it like living and growing up in the SGV?  Tweet at us @KPCCForum using the hasthag #ChangsDiazes.

Price: Free with RSVP


Want more? See a list of all KPCC events here

The Crawford Family Forum is located at 474 S. Raymond Ave. Pasadena, CA 91105.

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