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A Discussion of Anti-Asian Racism with Helen Zia

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Mills College Southeast Asian/Middle Eastern/Asian Pacific Islanders Heritage Month and We Are The Voices Present

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Noted journalist and activist, Helen Zia will discuss rising hate crimes, racial harassment, and discrimination against Asian Americans since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. Zia will also discuss her life’s work as an activist for Asian American and LGBTQ rights, as well as share insights from her award-winning books— Asian American Dreams (a finalist for the prestigious Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize), My Country versus Me, and Last Boat out of Shanghai.

Helen Zia is a Chinese-American journalist and activist for Asian American and LGBTQ rights. She is considered a key figure in the Asian American movement. Helen has been outspoken on issues ranging from human rights and peace to women’s rights and countering hate violence and homophobia. She is featured in the Academy Award-nominated documentary, Who Killed Vincent Chin? and was profiled in Bill Moyers’ PBS series, Becoming American: The Chinese Experience. In 2008, Helen was a Torchbearer in San Francisco for the Beijing Olympics amid great controversy; in 2010, she was a witness in the federal marriage equality case decided by the US Supreme Court. Helen received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the University of San Francisco and an honorary Doctor of Laws from the City University of New York Law School for bringing important matters of law and civil rights into public view. She is a Fulbright Scholar and a graduate of Princeton University’s first coeducational class. She attended medical school but quit after completing two years, then went to work as a construction laborer, an autoworker, and a community organizer, after which she discovered her life’s work as a writer.

SAMEAPI '21 events are organized by the planning committee of Mills College students, faculty and staff and the Ethnic Studies Program. Our planning committee includes representatives from several student organizations, including KAPWA, Muslim Student Alliance (MSA), Liberty in North Korea x Mills (LiNKmills), and the Asian Pacific Islander Student Alliance (APISA). Funding is provided by the Associated Students of Mills College.

We Are The Voices is a Mellon Foundation Higher Learning funded project linking Mills College students and faculty with poets and scholars working in Oakland and beyond.

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Contact: ethnic@gmail.com

Mills College currently occupies unceded Ohlone Territory on the village site of Huichin. For more information about Huichin and to learn more about restorative actions and those whose land we occupy, please visit https://SogoreaTe-landtrust.org.

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