On June 23, 2012, Asian Pacific Americans for Progress (APAP), www.apaforprogress.org, the national network of progressive Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders and allies, presents “Vincent Chin 30: Standing Up Then and Now,” a nationwide Google Hangout with leading civil rights leaders from around the country to discuss hate crimes and bullying in the community.
In June 1982, Vincent Chin was bludgeoned to death by two unemployed autoworkers in Detroit who believed he was Japanese, just days before his wedding. His killers received only three years probation and a $3,000 fine. The verdict outraged Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders across the country and launched a pan-Asian American movement.
The one-hour panel discussion, moderated by Phil Yu from the website Angry Asian Man, will feature Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-32), chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC); Zahra Billoo, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations San Francisco Bay Area chapter; Tom Hayashi, executive director of OCA; Mee Moua, president and executive director of Asian American Justice Center; and more.
Viewing parties have been organized in over 35 cities, including Austin, Texas. The event in Austin will take place from 10:30 AM to 2:00 PM at the law offices of Fulbright & Jaworski at 98 San Jacinto Boulevard, Suite 1100, Austin, TX 78701. Attendees will screen the short documentary Vincent Who?, a film that chronicles the emergence of a nationwide Asian Pacific American identity and movement from Chin’s tragic death, followed by the nationwide town hall and a local panel discussion on hate crimes, bullying and other civil rights issues in Central Texas. Free food will be provided courtesy of Jung Wakefield PLLC.
“Vincent Chin’s murder is as important today as it was 30 years ago,” said Congresswoman Chu (CA-32). “His death serves as a reminder to all Americans about the dangers of racial scapegoating and inflammatory rhetoric, something we continue to see today with the rise of xenophobic China-bashing. The injustices of Vincent’s story helped inspire the Asian Pacific American community to come together as a pan-ethnic movement, and the success and strength of that movement will be critical in dealing with our ongoing challenges and building a better future for our country.”
Other participating cities include Albany, Atlanta, Binghamton (NY), Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus, Corvallis (OR), Dallas, Des Moines, Denver, Detroit, Fremont (CA), Gainesville, Grand Rapids (MI), Hartford, Honolulu, Houston, Irvine (CA), Ithaca (NY), Los Angeles, Lowell (MA), Morgantown (WV), New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland (OR), Raleigh, Sacramento, Saint Paul, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, St. Louis, Washington, and Wichita. Individuals around the country can tweet in questions to the moderator with the hashtag #VC30.
Local support is also being provided by the Austin Asian American Bar Association, Austin Asian American Resource Center, Center for Asian American Studies, UT-Austin, Fulbright & Jaworski, Network of Indian Professionals Austin, and SAHELI for Asian Families.
National co-sponsors include Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, Asian & Pacific Islander American Vote, Asian American Justice Center, Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, Chinese American Citizens Alliance, Council on American-Islamic Relations, East Coast Asian American Student Union, Japanese American Citizens League, Midwest Asian American Students Union, National Association of Asian American Professionals, National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development, National Council of Asian Pacific Americans, National Korean American Service & Education Consortium, OCA, Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund, South Asian Americans Leading Together, and Southeast Asia Resource Action Center. Media sponsors are 8Asians.com, Angry Asian Man, blacklava, KoreAm Journal, and widelantern.com.
The event will take place Saturday, June 23, at 10:30 am CDT.
10:30 am – Doors open
11:00 am – Screening of documentary film Vincent Who?
12:00 pm – Nationwide Google Hangout town hall
1:00 pm – Local panel on civil rights issues