Black/Chinese Chamber to Host Lantern Festival

Chamber to celebrate upcoming traditional Chinese holiday by hosting the Xilin Performing Arts Academy 10th Annual Lantern Festival

Executive Director Rasaan Liddell set to make history as the first African-American to host thousand year old festival.

Chicago, IL ( — The Afro-Sino Chamber of Commerce and partner Xilin Performing Arts Academy today announces the Xilin Performing Arts Academy 10th Annual Lantern Festival, featuring Afro-Sino Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Rasaan 华山Liddell as Master of Ceremonies. The event will take place at the Compass Auditorium 1551 E. Hobson Road, Naperville, Illinois on Sunday April 19th beginning at 5:30pm.

The Lantern Festival began in 206 B.C.E. during the Han Dynasty and is observed by the lighting of lanterns and also marks the end of Chinese New Year celebrations.

The Festival is especially celebrated by cities in Asia with large Chinese communities. From releasing floating lanterns in Taiwan to massive lantern displays in Singapore, each city has its own take on the event. This years festival is remarkable as it will feature its first African-American Master of Ceremonies Mr. Rasaan Liddell, whom will showcase his understanding of Chinese culture and mastery of the Chinese language in both song and dance to the delight of all in attendance.

The Afro-Sino Chamber of Commerce, founded in order to build and cultivate business, social and cultural ties between Chicagos African-American and the global Chinese community provides Chicago-area individuals, entrepreneurs and businesses an opportunity to interact and engage with each other and the local, national and internationally Chinese community. The recent partnership with Xilin Performing Arts Academy is an extension of the Chambers recently launched Chinese Cultural Initiative ( which bridges cultural gaps while cultivating business, social and cultural ties between Chicago area students studying the Chinese language and the global Chinese community.

Founded by Xilin Association in January 2003, Xilin Asian Community Center is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization committed to serve Asian populations needs in the Greater Chicago area and its mission is to encourage interest and active involvement of the Asian community in the US political process, economic development and cultural affairs.

“After living, working and running a business in China for nearly a decade I have returned to the United States to share my experiences, as well as to speak and act on behalf of the African-American community as relates to China and Asia as a whole,” says Founder and Executive Director Rasaan 华山 Liddell. “This collaboration is a quintessential example of how differing cultures with varying customs and ideologies can absolutely cultivate close, rewarding relationships and simultaneously impact local, national and international relations with China and even other parts of the globe.”

He continues, “Here at the Chamber, we encourage all to learn more about China and international trade in its entirety. We provide a forum for China related discussions which naturally serve as a bridge between these very diverse communities which will hopefully impact in a positive way the advancement of US-Sino relations. With more than 12,000 students studying Mandarin in the Chicago public school system right now, this organization provides a locale, setting and stage for exploration, while taking classroom knowledge from the theoretical to the applied. We expect tremendous support of this non-profit organization.
About the Afro-Sino Chamber of Commerce
The Afro-Sino Chamber of Commerce is an innovative institution that takes a fresh approach to conducting local, national and international business by providing a hybrid of business and social services to its members.

The Chamber is headed by Rasaan华山Liddell, who holds a Masters Degree in Asian Studies and is also fluent in Mandarin. Hes a graduate of from Loyola University-Chicago Quinlans Business School and holds a Bachelors of Business Administration Degree in Marketing. The Chamber has a leadership staff that has masters degrees in international business, accounting and social work. The Afro-Sino Chamber of Commerce is located at 2929 South Wabash in Chicago, Illinois.

The Afro-Sino Chamber of Commerce is currently accepting applications for membership. For more information, please visit or contact them at or (773) 809-3630.
Links to Mr. Liddells time and efforts while in China:

Photo Caption: Executive Director Rasaan Liddell (center) with members of the Afro-Sino Chamber of Commerce

Photo credit: Byron Rivers