Chin Film Promotes Asian Unity

2009 Media Award winning film addresses Asian-American civil rights

Producer Curtis Chin educated students Feb. 22 on the legacy of Vincent Chin with the presentation of the award-winning documentary “Vincent Who?”

Inspired by the 1982 death of Chinese American Vincent Chin, the documentary explored the events which led to one of the first Asian-American civil rights movements. Chin’s attack, which included racial slurs, was considered by many in the Asian community to be a hate crime.

However, the lenient sentences received by both suspects drew much attention from various Asian-American communities. By 1983, supporters marched the streets wielding signs stating “Justice for Vincent.” Chin says the film shows the need to unite all Americans in the face of social injustice.

“We felt this was an important cause for all civil rights in America,” said Chin. “I wanted to shed light on those involved in Asian-American civil rights and reflect on our political empowerment.”

Ferris student Amanda Xiong said the film’s message of unifying the Asian-American community is an essential step toward strengthening the culture on campus.

“We have to represent one another. We need to promote ourselves,” said Xiong.

Throughout the film, Chin also displayed key individuals involved in the development of contemporary Asian-American civil rights. Activists such as Helen Zia recount their involvement in Chin’s trial in detail in the 40-minute documentary.

Asian Student Organization member Hieu Trinh said he sees the film as an example of the university providing opportunities for Asian students on campus to learn more about their cultures.

“Ferris is doing a great job with the Asian community by providing events such as the film and the ISO festival,” said Trinh. “We also have RSO’s such as the International Student Organization and Asian Student Organization for everyone to join and learn more about the international and Asian cultures on campus.”

Asian Pacific Americans for Progress is currently promoting Chin’s story throughout its national tour of colleges and universities.

The documentary “Vincent Who?” was hosted by Michael Wade and the Office of Multicultural Student
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