WINTHROP — The Bailey Public Library will host historian and author Chris Myers Asch at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 20, at 39 Bowdoin St.

The event is part of the Winthrop Lakes Region Forum and is sponsored by the Winthrop Public Library Foundation.

Asch will be joined by Ahmed Al-Abbas, an aspiring entrepreneur who worked with the U.S. military in Iraq and immigrated to America four years ago. The two will lead a discussion about the Capital Area New Mainers Project, a volunteer organization that helps integrate immigrants and refugees into the central Maine community.

The project was founded in January as a way to provide a support structure for immigrants and refugees in central Maine. The organization was spurred from informal meetings among leaders of the central Maine interfaith community.

After seeing an influx of refugee families in Central Maine in late 2016, Asch and Al-Abbas, along with half a dozen others, decided to formalize the project with the goal of meeting the immediate needs of new families, building relationships and educating the community.

Asch moved to Maine in 2013 from his home in Washington, D.C., when his wife became rabbi of Temple Beth El in Augusta. A graduate of Duke University with a doctoral degree in American history from the University of North Carolina, he is an alumnus of Teach For America and an Echoing Green Fellow. He co-founded the Sunflower County Freedom Project in 1998 and the U.S. Public Service Academy initiative in 2006.


Asch teaches history at Colby College and his new book “Chocolate City: A History of Race and Democracy in the Nation’s Capital,” is set to be released in November through The University of North Carolina Press.

He and his wife, Erica, have three children and live in Hallowell.

The event is free and open to the public.

FMI: visit or call 207-377-8673.  

 Chris Myers Asch

Ahmed Al-Abbas

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