NAPABA Honors the Legacy of Vincent Chin 35 Years after His Death


News Release

For Immediate Release
June 19, 2017

                                                   For More Information, Contact:
                                                   Brett Schuster, Communications Manager
                                                   bschuster@napaba.org, 202-775-9555

NAPABA Honors the Legacy of Vincent Chin 35 Years after His Death

WASHINGTON — The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) commemorates the 35th anniversary of the murder of Vincent Chin. On June 19, 1982, Vincent Chin was beaten in a xenophobic attack during a wave of anti-Japanese sentiment and died a few days later. Vincent Chin’s death and his killers’ lenient sentences marked a turning point in Asian Pacific American civil rights advocacy in the United States.

“Vincent Chin’s murder inspired a generation of Asian Pacific American community leaders and lawyers to join an inclusive movement for civil rights,” said NAPABA President Cyndie M. Chang. “His death and subsequent trial underscored the importance of the Asian Pacific American community standing together in the fight against racism and advocating in the courts. We must continue to build on this legacy by continuing to oppose hate and xenophobia in all forms.”

Chin’s murder and the sentences of his killers highlighted the lack of a strong national voice for Asian Pacific Americans in the legal sector. Recognizing the need to establish such representation, NAPABA was founded in 1988 to give voice to values of justice, equity, and opportunity for Asian Pacific Americans. Since that time, NAPABA has been strongly committed to civil rights advocacy. With the current rise in hate crimes targeting diverse communities, NAPABA hopes that the historic weight of Chin’s case serves as a persistent reminder of the importance of protecting and advocating for civil rights.

NAPABA honors Vincent Chin’s memory and the continued legacy of advocacy that emerged in the wake of his death.

For more information, the media may contact Brett Schuster, NAPABA communications manager, at202-775-9555 or bschuster@napaba.org.

The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is the national association of Asian Pacific American attorneys, judges, law professors, and law students. NAPABA represents the interests of almost 50,000 attorneys and more than 80 national, state, and local Asian Pacific American bar associations. Its members include solo practitioners, large firm lawyers, corporate counsel, legal services and non-profit attorneys, and lawyers serving at all levels of government.

NAPABA continues to be a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American communities. Through its national network of committees and affiliates, 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.

To learn more about NAPABA, visit www.napaba.org, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter (@NAPABA).

National Asian Pacific American Bar Association | 1612 K St. NW, Suite 510 | Washington, D.C. 20006 | www.napaba.org

Curtis Chin, who made the documentary “Vincent Who?” about the murder of Vincent Chin and its continuing relevance today, is in New York filming his latest project, called “Tested,” which follows a group of 8th graders preparing to take the test that will give them the chance to attend one of New York City’s specialized high schools.

Curtis has less than a month to raise $20,000. Help him reach his fundraising goal! Check out the video trailer and if you want to support his project, find out more on his Kickstarter page at http://kck.st/15tsnXP

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On Monday, November 19, the AABANY Trial Re-enactment Team, led by the Hon. Denny Chin and Kathy Hirata Chin, presented for the second time this year a re-enactment of the Vincent Chin Murder Trial.  The Hon. David F. Bauman, Presiding Judge, Civil Division, Superior Court of New Jersey, Monmouth County, saw the performance at the Eastern Super Regional in Atlantic City back in June and was so moved and riveted by it that he invited the team to present it at the New Jersey Judicial College, held at the Marriott Glenpointe in Teaneck, N.J., before an audience of New Jersey state court judges.

In the cast were the Hon. Denny Chin, John Bajit, Vincent Chang, Yang Chen, Francis Chin, Kathy Hirata Chin, Vinny Lee, Concepcion Montoya, Yasuhiro Saito, Vinoo Varghese, Ona Wang and David Weinberg.

The performance proved powerful yet again, with an especially moving turn by Ona Wang as Jimmy Choi, who held the dying Vincent Chin in his arms that fateful night thirty years ago in Detroit.

The Vincent Chin re-enactment script has been reprinted in a special edition of the AABANY Law Review that includes all the AABANY Trial Re-enactment scripts except for Heart Mountain, which was just performed at the NAPABA National Convention on November 17. (Photos here.) To find out how to obtain your copy go to http://lawreview.aabany.org/current-issue/.

NYT Op-Ed: Why Vincent Chin Matters

NYT Op-Ed: Why Vincent Chin Matters

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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.

Vincent Chin 30: Standing Up Then and Now

A nationwide Google Hangout with leading civil rights leaders from around the country featuring Congressmember Judy Chu (CA-32), CAIR-SF Executive Director Zahra Billoo, OCA Executive Director Tom Hayashi, Asian American Justice Center Executive Director Mee Moua, and more.

WHEN:
Saturday, June 23, 2012
1:30 ET/10:30 am PT – doors open
2 pm ET/11 am PT – program begins

In 1982, Vincent Chin was the victim of a hate crime murder in Detroit. Thirty years later, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders continue to face discrimination and bullying. In light of recent tragedies like the suicide of Pvt. Danny Chen and the continuing effects of 9/11, what can Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders do to stand up against racism and discrimination?

Join for a one-hour panel discussion with leading voices from the nonprofit and legal communities as they address these timely issues. Viewing parties have been organized in more than 30 cities and individuals can tweet in questions at #VC30.

Albany • Atlanta • Austin • Boston • Charlotte • Chicago • Cleveland • Dallas • Denver • Detroit • Fremont, CA • Gainesville • Grand Rapids • Hartford • Houston • Irvine, CA • Ithaca, NY • Los Angeles • Lowell, MA • Minneapolis • Morgantown, WV • New York • Philadelphia • Raleigh • Sacramento • San Francisco • San Jose • Seattle • St. Louis • Washington • Wichita and more

Presented by Asian Pacific Americans for Progress

National co-sponsors (in formation): Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA), Chinese American Citizens Alliance (CACA), Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), National Association of Asian American Professionals (NAAAP), National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF), National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA), National Korean American Service and Education Consortium (NAKASEC), South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT), Southeast Asian Resource Action Center (SEARAC)

Media Sponsors: 8Asians.com, Angry Asian Man

For more info, go to: www.apaforprogress.org/VC30

Revisiting Vincent: AABANY Intro

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.

Thank you.