national townhall on hate crimes

Next week marks the 25th anniversary of the hate crime murder of Vincent Chin, widely considered an Asian American civil rights milestone in the United States. On June 19, 1982, a Chinese American draftsman named Vincent Chin was killed in Detroit by two white autoworkers, Ronald Ebens and Michael Nitz. Chin was out at a strip club celebrating his bachelor party, where he got into an argument with Ebens across the bar. Witnesses recall Ebens yelling at Chin, "It's because of you little motherfuckers that we're out of work." An altercation ensued outside, which eventually led to Ebens and Nitz bashing Chin's skull with a baseball bat. He died from the injuries a few days later, just five days before his wedding.

This hate crime, motivated by anti-Asian sentiments, served as a rallying cry for the Asian American community and is often considered the beginning of a pan-Asian American activist movement. Twenty five years later, Asian Pacific Americans for Progress and local partners around the country are holding a National Townhall on Hate Crimes to look back in time and assess where we are now. Each event will include a special screening of Christine Choy and Renee Tajima-Pena's Academy Award-nominated documentary, Who Killed Vincent Chin? and panels with local community leaders. Here are details on events in multiple cities:
June 19, 6:30 PM
Co-sponsored by the Museum of Chinese in the Americas
MOCA (70 Mulberry Street, 2nd Floor)
With: John Liu (New York City Councilman), Liz Ouyang (Executive Vice President, OCA), Darwin Davis (President and CEO, New York Urban League)

June 19, 6:00 PM
Co-sponsored by the Asian Victimes Relief Fund
St. Mary Magdalen Family Center, 1213 52nd St., Kenwood
With: Dan Levy (Chief Legal Officer, Michigan Dept. of Civil Rights) Pravina Ramanathan (Asian American Liaison, Michigan Dept. of Civil Rights), Ingrid Scott-Weekly (Director, City of Grand Rapids Equal Opportunity Dept.)

June 20, 6:30 PM
Co-sponsored by the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum (JAHHM), Japanese American Citizens League, Organization of Chinese Americans
JAHHM, 800 South Halsted, Chicago
Bill Yoshino (Midwest Director, JACL), Diana Lin (VP, Asian American Institute), Myron Quon (Legal Director, Asian American Institute), Rima Kapitan (Staff Attorney with Council on American-Islamic Relations)

June 23, 9:00 AM
Sponsored by the Organization of Chinese Americans and the AllState Foundation
Co-sponsored by the American Citizens for Justice, Governor's Advisory Council on Asian Pacific American Affairs and APAP
Chinese Community Center, 32585 Concord Drive, Madison Heights, MI 48071
This full-day event is being organized by the Detroit Chapter of OCA as part of their Initiative on Hate Crimes. APAP is proud to be a co-sponsor. In addition to the screening of "Who Killed Vincent Chin?", there will also be a series of panels and a visit to the gravesite at Forest Lawn Cemetary. Panelists include Frank H. Wu (Dean, Wayne State Law School), Roland Hwang (President, ACJ), Stephanie Lily Chang (ACJ) and many more.

June 23, 10:30 AM
Martin Luther King Jr. Library, 901 G. Street (Chinatown)
Co-sponsored by South Asian American Leaders for Tomorrow (SAALT), Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), Organization of Chinese Americans (OCA), Sikh American Legal Education and Defense Fund (SALDEF), University of Maryland's Asian American Studies Program, and the DC APA Film Festival.
Moderated by Eric Byler (director, Americanese and Charlotte Sometimes). Keynote by Larry Shinagawa (Professor, Univ. of Maryland)

June 23, 2:00 PM
665 Hancock St., Quincy, MA
Co-sponsored by Asian American Resource Workshop, American Chinese Federation, Chinese Progressive Association

June 24, 2:00 PM
Co-sponsored by National Center for the Preservation of Democracy (NCPD), Asian Pacific American Legal Center, Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission, South Asian Network, Muslim Public Affairs Council
NCPD, 111 Center St.
Hamid Khan (Executive Director, South Asian Network), Stewart Kwoh (Executive Director, APALC), Robin Toma (Executive Director, LA County Human Relations Commission), Renee Tajima (Director, "Who Killed Vincent Chin?")

June 27, 6:30 PM
Co-sponsored by Chinese Historical Society
Chinese For Affirmative Action, 17 Walter U Lum Place (across from Portsmouth Sqare; on Clay between Grant Ave and Kearny St.)
Helen Zia (author and activist), Honorable Yvonne Lee (Member of the SF Police Commission and former Commissioner of the President's Commission on Civil Rights), Malcolm Yeung (Staff Attorney, Asian Law Caucus), Kavneet Singh (Managing Director, Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund

July 7, Time TBD
Location TBD
Co-sponsored by Thymos

July 14, 2:00 PM
Co-sponsored by the National Association of Asian American Professionals-North Carolina and North Carolina Asian Pacific American Bar Association
Korman Communities - Theater, 300 Seaforth Drive, Durham, NC 27713

July 21, Time TBD
SD Chinese Historical Museum
Co-sponsored SD Alliance for Asian Pacific Islander Americans
Moderated by Lee Ann Kim, Channel 10 New anchor/reporter
Panelists include David Kawamoto, Japanese American Citizens' League and more
I highly recommend watching Who Killed Vincent Chin? It's a stunning documentary on the case that'll leave you extremely motivated, discouraged, angry—or feeling a disturbing combination of all three sentiments. It's also not a very easy film to find. To learn more background on the case, read this AsianWeek article, written ten years ago on the fifteenth anniversary of Vincent Chin's murder: Remembering Vincent Chin. For more information on the National Townhall, go here. I'll be there, wearing my V. Chin shirt. No justice, no peace.

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