Civil Rights, Asian Americans and Marriage Equality: 50 Years After the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Helen ZiaHumanities Forum
Wednesday, November 19 | 6:00 p.m. 
Helen Zia, Author and Former Executive Editor of Ms. Magazine
University Center, Room 312

50 years after the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 was signed, “We the People” of this country have become more diverse than those lawmakers ever imagined. What other evils are lurking as “minorities” become the majority in these contemporary times that have been labeled “post-Civil Rights,” “post-feminist” and when LGBT equality is considered to be the civil rights issue of today? In these challenging times, Asian Americans, LGBTs, and others are moving from the margins to the center on our campuses, workplaces, communities and even the White House. Writer Helen Zia, the daughter of immigrants from China, explores our increasingly diverse future and the opportunities for all communities to move forward together to re-envision the new face of America. Through personal stories from her experiences as an Asian American, feminist and LGBT activist, she shows how hidden pieces of our common history can help to transform the dreams we have for ourselves and the world around us into positive change.

Helen Zia is an award-winning author, journalist, Fulbright Scholar, and former Executive Editor of Ms. Magazine. The daughter of Chinese immigrants, she has been outspoken on issues ranging from civil rights and peace to women’s rights and countering hate violence and homophobia. Helen testified as a witness in the marriage equality case decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. Helen is the author of Asian American Dreams: The Emergence of an American People, which President Bill Clinton quoted from twice in the Rose Garden. Her work on anti-Asian hate violence is documented in the film, “Who Killed Vincent Chin?” and she was profiled in Bill Moyers’ documentary, “Becoming American: The Chinese Experience.” A member of Princeton University’s first graduating class of women, Helen quit medical school after completing two years, then worked as a construction laborer, an autoworker and a community organizer, after which she discovered her life’s work as a writer.

Sponsored by the Student Life’s Mosaic: Center for Culture and Diversity and by the Dresher Center for the Humanities, and the American Studies Department.

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