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Presented By: Asian/Pacific Islander American Studies

Screening of film "Who Killed Vincent Chin" and panel discussion

An image from the documentary "Who Killed Vincent Chin?" An image from the documentary "Who Killed Vincent Chin?"
An image from the documentary "Who Killed Vincent Chin?"
In 1982, a 27-year-old Chinese American named Vincent Chin was beaten to death with a baseball bat by two auto workers who blamed the Japanese for the U.S. auto industry’s troubles. The men were fined $3,000 and never spent a day in jail. Such a light sentence for such a brutal killing brought Asian Americans together across ethnic lines to form multiethnic and multiracial alliances, to organize for civil rights, advocating for change.

As the fortieth anniversary of Chin’s death, this story that is so Michigan and so important to the Asian American community is still poorly known. However, in today’s political landscape which is increasingly racist, sexist, violent, and exacerbated by COVID19-inspired anti-Asian American sentiment—it is not enough to know about this one case of injustice, but to harness that outrage and use it for good today.

Join us for a special anniversary screening of the Oscar nominated 1987 documentary produced and directed by Christine Choy and Renee Tajima-Pena.



7:00pm Welcome

7:15-8:45pm Screening

8:45-9:30pm Panel Discussion + Q&A



This event is free and open to the public. Registration and masks are encouraged. Seating is in the main theater and should allow for social distancing.

A $10 donation is recommended and will support:

A book anthology of Asian American activists and artists about how this case has inspired them and connects to contemporary issues. It will be published by Wayne State University Press with a foreword written by Asian American civil rights icon Helen Zia. By: Frances Kai-Hwa Wang;

as well as Stop AAPI Hate Organization The coalition (AAPI Equity Alliance (AAPI Equity), Chinese for Affirmative Action (CAA), and the Asian American Studies Department of San Francisco State University) tracks and responds to incidents of hate, violence, harassment, discrimination, shunning, and child bullying against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States. Their mission is to advance equity, justice and power by dismantling systemic racism and building a multiracial movement to end anti-Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) hate.




Manan Desai is the author of The United States of India: Anticolonial Literature & Transnational Refraction (2020), published by Temple University Press as part of the Asian American History and Culture Series. His essays have been published in Comparative Literature, the Journal of Popular Culture, and the forthcoming volume of Asian American Literature in Transition. He has served on the Board of Directors for the South Asian American Digital Archive ( He is currently the director of the University of Michigan Program in Asian/Pacific Islander American (A/PIA) Studies in the Department of American Culture.


1. Ayesha Ghazi Edwin has dedicated her career to helping to mobilize and fight for the rights of the Asian American community. She previously served as the Executive Director of American Citizens for Justice, worked for APIAVote-Michigan, and currently serves as the Governor Whitmer appointed Chair of the Michigan Asian Pacific American Affairs Commission. Ayesha is an award-winning social justice activist, having previously worked in health equity, labor rights, for immigration reform and for voting rights. Ayesha’s family is of Indian descent, and she grew up in Ann Arbor after immigrating here from London at the age of 3. Currently Ayesha serves as the Deputy Director of Detroit Disability Power, is an award-winning lecturer at the University of Michigan School of Social Work, an appointed Ann Arbor Human Rights Commissioner, and a current candidate for Ann Arbor City Council, Ward 3.

2. Frances Kai-Hwa Wang is a poet, artist, essayist, and activist focused on issues of Asian America, race, justice, and the arts. Her writing has appeared at PBS NewsHour, NBCAsianAmerica, PRI GlobalNation, Cha Asian Literary Journal, Kartika Review, Drunken Boat. She teaches Asian/Pacific Islander American Studies at University of Michigan and creative writing at Washtenaw Community College. She was formerly Executive Director of American Citizens for Justice and Asian Pacific American Chamber of Commerce. She co-created a multimedia artwork for Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center. She is a 2019 Knight Arts Challenge Detroit artist creating an anthology of essays and a digital arts archive about Vincent Chin. Her book of poetry, “You Cannot Resist Me When My Hair Is in Braids,” is just out at Wayne State University Press. @fkwang

3. Chien-An Yuan is an interdisciplinary artist, designer, and educator based in Ann Arbor, MI. Yuan runs 1473, a record label specializing in improvisation, electronics, and collaboration. He is also a founding member of IS/LAND, a performance collaborative comprised of AAPI movers, artists, and collaborators. His work has been featured in The New Yorker, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Reader, NewCity, Salon, ArtSlant, Huffington Post, and WNYC. Past performances and exhibitions include Detroit Institute of Arts, The Contemporary Arts Center Cincinnati, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Gene Siskel Film Center, Museum of Chinese in America NYC, Syrup Loft, Zhou B Arts Center, Asian American Cultural Center of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Hyde Park Art Center, and Gallery 312.

4. Dim Mang (they/she) is a Community Organizer with Rising Voices, an Asian American non-profit committed to building power with Asian Americans in Michigan. Dim was born in Mandalay, Burma to two Tedim Chin parents, and they immigrated to the US with their family in 2005. She was raised in a working-class family in Tulsa, Oklahoma and went to college at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, majoring in History and Political Science. Outside of her day job, Dim is an At-Large Vice President of APALA (Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance), and helps run a mutual aid network and fundraiser to aid anti-coup protesters in her home country, Burma. They are fluent in English and Tedim Chin, and hope to relearn Burmese. Dim currently lives with her partner and their two cats on the traditional lands of the Anishinaabe, Potawatomi, Fox, and Peoria. They hope to one day help co-create a Burmese community center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where her immediate and extended family still live. They hope to organize for collective liberation for the rest of their life.


And out in the lobby:

Kizuna Tree art installation (w/o dancers)

Kizuna Tree is an interactive installation/performance collaboration between Detroit Public Television, WDET, Rising Voices, and IS/LAND Asian American Arts Collaborative. Comprised of an Ikebana Tree designed by Celeste Shimoura Goedert of Rising Voices, sound recordings from the collaborative series ‘Kizuna Stories’ from DPTV and WDET by Zosette Guir and Dorothy Hernandez, and dance by AAPI Performance Collaborative IS/LAND, Kizuna Tree is an exploration of communal healing for AAPI peoples, across generations, communities, and ethnicities, connected through words, visuals, and movement. The restorative and healing properties through this physical movement and storytelling offers the audience an experiential exploration of the interactive connections between the dancers with each other, the audience, and the tree itself.


Thank you to our Sponsors; CultureVerse & The New Foundry.
An image from the documentary "Who Killed Vincent Chin?" An image from the documentary "Who Killed Vincent Chin?"
An image from the documentary "Who Killed Vincent Chin?"

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