NAPABA Names Helen Zia as its 2020 NAPABA President’s Award Recipient

For Immediate Release: September 30, 2020

Contact: Priya Purandare, Executive Director

WASHINGTON—The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is proud to present the 2020 NAPABA President’s Award to Helen Zia, activist, former journalist and author of Asian American Dreams, My Country Versus Me and Last Boat out of Shanghai. An outspoken advocate against hate crimes, she was one of the lead organizers of the Justice for Vincent Chin campaign, which became a national civil rights movement in 1982. In the wake of COVID-19, Zia wrote and spoke on parallels of the Chin case and how the targeting of Asians and Asian Americans will make it harder to stop COVID-19.

The NAPABA President’s Award is given to individuals who demonstrate an exceptional commitment to the Asian Pacific American community. Zia will be featured as part of the Keynote Series during the 2020 NAPABA Convention | Virtual Experience on Sat, Nov. 7, 2020.

“Helen Zia is an outspoken champion on human rights, women’s rights, LGBTQ issues and for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders,” said Bonnie Lee Wolf, president of NAPABA. “She has spent her career in journalism and as an author to counter hate violence and advocate for peace and equality. Because of Helen, the stories of countless AAPIs, including Wen Ho Lee and Vincent Chin, have been told and elevated through her activism and reporting.”

Zia was Executive Editor of Ms. Magazine and a founding board co-chair of the Women’s Media Center. She has been active in many non-profit organizations, including Equality Now, AAJA and KQED. Her ground-breaking articles, essays, and reviews have appeared in many publications, books, and anthologies, receiving numerous awards.

Zia’s advocacy and elevation of the Justice for Vincent Chin campaign activated the AAPI legal community nationwide. The Asian Pacific American Legal Center (now Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Los Angeles), and later the National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium (now Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC), were both founded because of the Vincent Chin case. In 1988, NAPABA was founded, in part, by leaders from those organizations. Zia’s almost-twin brother, Hoyt, was the organization’s first president.

NAPABA congratulates Helen Zia as the 2020 NAPABA President’s Award recipient.

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The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) represents the interests of approximately 50,000 legal professionals and nearly 90 national, state, and local Asian Pacific American bar associations. NAPABA is a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American communities. Through its national network, NAPABA provides a strong voice for increased diversity of the federal and state judiciaries, advocates for equal opportunity in the workplace, works to eliminate hate crimes and anti-immigrant sentiment, and promotes the professional development of people of color in the legal profession.

Congratulations to Glenn Magpantay, Honoree at the Brooklyn Law School Public Service Awards Ceremony

On April 9, 2019, Brooklyn Law School Public Service Law Center will host the Public Service Awards Ceremony in Forchelli Conference Center, Feil Hall, where Glenn Magpantay will receive a Faculty Award for Excellence in Public Service in recognition for his outstanding contributions to public service.

Glenn Magpantay is the Executive Director of the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA) and an Adjunct Professor of Law at Brooklyn Law School. He has been organizing in the LGBT community for over 30 years, and he is recognized as a vanguard of LGBT rights activism. In addition to being an activist, Magpantay is also a devoted educator. He teaches “Race & the Law” at Brooklyn Law School and “Asian American Civil Rights” at Hunter College/ CUNY.

We at AABANY have been fortunate to have Glenn Magpantay as a former Board member and current co-chair of the LGBT Committee. Please join AABANY in congratulating Glenn Magpantay on this well-deserved award and honor.

“If They Come for Me In the Morning”: Forums on State-Sponsored Xenophobia

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AABANY is excited to tell you about “If They Come for Me In the Morning,” a series of town hall forums regarding today’s state-sponsored xenophobia. Featured speakers include Japanese American incarceration camp survivors, Native American artists and activists, African American historians, Holocaust survivors, and people threatened with deportation. They will discuss how government-led bigotry and violence against families have reverberated throughout history, to guide our collective movement towards a better future.

The series began last week on September 27th, with a forum on the Japanese American Incarceration coming up on October 10th. For more information, click here. Thank you to George Hirose at JACL-NY for sharing this event with AABANY