Helen Zia

26 June 2019
Helen Zia (in the middle) visited MOCA Collections & Research Center, with Yue Ma (on the right), the Director of
Collections & Research, and a student intern (on the left). Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) Institutional

Helen Zia is a Chinese-American journalist and activist for Asian American and LGBT rights. Zia graduated from Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, where she was a founding member of its Asian American Students Association and a member of its first graduating class of women. Zia was living in Detroit when Vincent Chin was murdered in 1982. While the Detroit area did not have a very organized Asian American movement at the time, Zia’s journalism and advocacy work played a critical role in bringing federal civil rights charges against the perpetrators, who were to serve no jail time and pay only $3,000 in fines after state criminal charges had been pressed. This would be the first time in U.S. history that the government acted on behalf of an Asian American in a civil rights case. Zia’s work galvanized the Asian American community in response to the crime, marking the first mass movement where Chinese Americans and other Asian ethnicities united to form a unified Asian American voice, in coalition with other minority groups. Zia’s involvement in the case amounted to a critical turning point for Asian American civil rights and hate crime legislation. Throughout her career, Zia has won awards for her groundbreaking journalism and has been a staunch advocate for civil rights, women’s rights, and LGBT rights. In 2008, she allowed reporters to cover her wedding ceremony to her partner of 16 years in order to show that “this fundamental issue of equality and human dignity affects our Asian American communities too.”


Countdown to the TCS NYC Marathon on November 3, 2019: 216 Days.

2019年是美国第一条横贯大陆铁路建成150周年,为了纪念第一批华人来美建设这条铁路所做出的巨大贡献, MOCA将其2019 TCS NYC Marathon的活动命名为 MOCA Spike 150 – Running Forward With Our Stories! 鼓励大家通过马拉松公益跑,全国线上接力,以及一天一个故事的方式讲述150个华人的历史故事,敬请大家持续关注, 讲出华人自己的故事,回顾过去,立足现在,展望未来,共同书写美国历史,使之更加充实完整。

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