Performance: "The Amazing Butterfly Man”
On May 22, at New York Law School, AABANY together with the Asian American Arts Alliance (a4) and the Museum of Chinese in America, co-produced “Revisiting Vincent: The Legacy of the Vincent Chin Case 30 Years Later.” The slideshow above contains photos taken by Corky Lee who also shared with us at the event original photos from 1983 when the Asian American community erupted in protest in Detroit over the lenient sentence given to Vincent Chin’s murderers.
In addition to the performance, from a script based on the original trial transcripts, the Hon. Denny Chin and Dean Frank Wu provided a historical, legal and social context for the case during an engaging and lively talkback session following the performance. After that, audience members were invited to stay for a reception, at which Community Presenters OCA-NY, CAAAV and POV were available to engage in dialogue about how their current work is informed by and connected to the legacy of the Vincent Chin case.
Before the performance began for “Revisiting Vincent,” the Executive Directors from each of the co-organizers took a couple of minutes to introduce their organizations and state why they were involved in this production. Below is my introduction, not verbatim, because I did not write it out beforehand, so this is taken from memory.
Thanks again to everyone who came, and thanks to our co-partners in this venture, the Asian American Arts Alliance (a4) and the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA).
It’s a great honor and privilege to be here tonight, with Andrea Louie from a4 and Helen Koh from MOCA for this co-production of “Revisiting Vincent.”
Four days ago, on May 18, Vincent Chin would have turned 57 years old. I imagine him celebrating his birthday in a restaurant near Detroit, surrounded by family and friends. And maybe one of his kids just graduated from college, and they’re celebrating that too.
But I realize that this image is pure fantasy. It never happened. It couldn’t happen – because 30 years ago, in a McDonald’s parking lot in Highland Park, on the night of his bachelor party, two white autoworkers from Detroit beat Vincent Chin to death.
Vincent Chin never had the chance ever again to do all the things we take for granted, to celebrate special times and occasions with loved ones.
Flash forward to 2008. The Asian American Bar Association of New York, with the help of the Hon. Denny Chin and Dean Frank Wu, created the script for the Vincent Chin re-enactment. It was performed by members of the association at the National Convention of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, and it was a powerful production and well-received.
Since then the Vincent Chin re-enactment has been performed all over the country, by bar associations, law schools, community groups, usually by lawyers or law students. Tonight, here in this auditorium, it will be performed by a cast of talented professional actors. Never having seen it performed by actors, I am looking forward to this performance.
This year, 2012, the Vincent Chin re-enactment has already been performed twice, first in March by law students at Fordham, by members of the APA law students association there, and again in April, by law students at Hofstra, by members of their APA law students association. In fact, next weekend, members of the Asian American Bar Association of New York will perform the re-enactment again at the NAPABA Super Regional in Atlantic City, on June 2.
Now, with all these performances of the Vincent Chin re-enactment – four times this year already – you may well ask, aren’t we all just a little bit tired of Vincent Chin? Aren’t we burned out on Vincent Chin?
To that, my reply is this: The day that we as a community, as a society, get tired of or are burned out on Vincent Chin, that’s the day that we accept racism, bigotry, intolerance, violence, and injustice as the norm, as the way things are. We can never allow that to happen.
That’s why the Asian American Bar Association of New York is doing this. That’s why we’re here tonight.
Project by Project presents a Kick-off Event for PROJECT INSPIRE to be held on May 29, 2012 at the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA).
This will be the project’s 15th year anniversary. Past partners will present six-word memoirs. You’ll have the chance to share your own six-word memoir with members and volunteers while sipping wine, enjoying live music by sold out dance-rock group PaperDoll, and trying your hand at winning a dining gift certificate!
Please click the link for more event details and ticket information! http://www.facebook.com/events/441468899216199/
May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, and AABANY is celebrating in a variety of ways:
- May 9 – Pro Bono and Community Service Committee Meeting at Perlman and Perlman, starting at 7 pm.
- May 11 – Society of Asian Federal Officers 21st Annual Scholarship and Awards Banquet at Jing Fong, starting at 6 pm; AABANY member Pamela Chen, Chief, Civil Rights Section, Criminal Division, US Attorney’s Office, Easter District of New York, being honored as Prosecutor of the Year.
- May 12 – 33rd Annual Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Festival at DUMBO, starting at 11 am. AABANY and KALAGNY will have a table at the event. It is a free, family-friendly event and the weather is supposed to be great this weekend, so come out and join us.
- May 14 – APA Heritage Month Celebration at the Kings County District Attorney’s Office co-sponsored by AABANY.
- May 14 – Hon. Jeffrey K. Oing, Justice of the Supreme Court, State of New York (and long-time AABANY member), will be speaking at Kramer Levin’s APA Heritage Month Celebration, at Kramer Levin’s midtown Manhattan office. RSVP required by May 10.
- May 16 – MOCA Community of Heroes Celebration at Golden Unicorn, starting at 6 pm. AABANY is taking seats there, and if you’d like to join us at a 50% subsidized rate, contact email@example.com.
- May 17 – AABANY’s IP Committee presents: Intellectual Property Ethics for In-House Counsel CLE, starting at 7 pm at Kalow & Springut; free for AABANY members, 1.5 ethics credits available.
- May 18 – Asian American Journalists Association of New York hosts a Trivia Bowl, at ABC News Studios, starting at 6 pm. Juju Chang will be the MC, and AABANY is fielding a team. Sitting New York APA judges will be serving as judges for the event.
- May 18-20 – NYSBA Commercial and Federal Litigation Section Spring Meeting, in association with the Young Lawyers Section, at Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, New York. Past President and current Judiciary Committee Co-Chair James Chou will be speaking on Sunday morning on the panel entitled, “Your Path Through the Court and to the Bench: What You Need to Know to Get Through a Day in Court.”
- May 22, Asian American Arts Alliance (a4), Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) and AABANY present: “Revisiting Vincent: The Legacy of the Vincent Chin Case 30 Years Later,” a re-enactment of the Vincent Chin trial, with introduction and talkback led by Hon. Denny Chin and Dean Frank Wu, at New York Law School, starting at 6:30 pm. Tickets now available for purchase in advance.
- May 23 – AABANY’s Government and Public Sector Committee presents a CLE program entitled “Everyday Ethics for the Government & Public Sector Attorney,” to be held at Friedman Kaplan Seiler & Adelman, starting at 6 pm. Free for AABANY members with 2.0 ethics CLE credits available.
- May 24 – AABANY’s Litigation Committee hosts a Happy Hour at the Hill on 29th and Third Ave., starting at 6:30 pm. Meet and mingle with members of the Litigation Committee.
- May 24 – AALDEF’s Young Professionals Committee and Cadwalder Wickersham & Taft host a screening of the documentary “Sing Your Song,” about Harry Belafonte and his role in fighting for civil rights for all Americans. AALDEF Staff Attorney Jerry Vattamala will take part in a Q&A after the screening and discuss the legacy of Harry Belafonte’s activism and its meaning for today’s generation.
- May 30 – AABANY joins the Asian American Law Fund of New York (AALFNY) in hosting the Annual Summer Reception, open to the legal community and law students. It will take place at Edwards Wildman Palmer starting at 6 pm, and there is no cost to attend but RSVP is required by May 25.
- May 31 – June 2: NAPABA Eastern Super Regional Conference, hosted by APALA-NJ at Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City. Many AABANY members and leaders will be there, speaking on panels and reconnecting with NAPABA friends. Registration now open.
It’s another event-filled APA Heritage Month. We hope to see you at one or more of the great programs listed above!