Screening: “Vincent Who?” – and Discussion of Race in Detroit

Screening: “Vincent Who?” – and Discussion of Race in Detroit

Session Type(s): Screening

Starts: Friday, Jul. 18 6:30 PM (Eastern)

Ends: Friday, Jul. 18 8:00 PM (Eastern)

Room: 320

Attendance is free, but if you’re not attending the conference, you must REGISTER HERE. Please print out your confirmation and bring it with you.

Vincent Who? – About the film

In 1982, at the height of anti-Japanese sentiments, Vincent Chin was murdered in Detroit by two white autoworkers who said, “it’s because of you mother** that we’re out of work.” When the judged fined the killers a mere $3,000 and three years probation, Asian Americans around the country galvanized for the first time to form a real community and movement.

This documentary features interviews with the key players at the time, as well as a whole new generation of activists. “Vincent Who?” asks how far Asian Americans have come since then and how far we have yet to go.

About the post-screening panel

After the screening, a local panel of social justice activists will discuss the nature of race-relations in Detroit and how the city can move forward to build broader multi-ethnic coalitions.

Ismael Ahmed is the Senior Advisor to the Chancellor and Associate Provost of Metropolitan Impact at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. He co-founded the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS) in 1971 and was appointed executive director in 1983. ACCESS is the largest Arab-American human services organization in the United States with affiliates in 11 states offering more than 90 different programs with more than 900,000 client contacts annually. Mr. Ahmed also has enjoyed a lifelong affiliation with the national and metropolitan Detroit arts communities. The son of first generation immigrants, he is co-founder of The Arab American National Museum in Dearborn and now serves as an executive member of its advisory board. Since 1984, he has been affiliated with New Detroit’s Concert of Colors, one of the largest world music festivals in the United States, which he co-curates and co-chairs. His long-term participation in Southeast Michigan Community Foundation led to a more unified arts and cultural community. From 1983 -2007, Mr. Ahmed was co-chair and founder of the East Dearborn Arab International Festival, the United States largest Arab music festival that attracts 300,000 followers annually.

After moving through leadership ranks at the Jewish Community Center in Metropolitan Detroit, Heidi Budaj is now Michigan Regional Director of the Anti-Defamation League.  She joined the ADL in November, 2012.  Prior to working at the JCC as Program Director and Director of Arts, Culture  and Education, she was an active volunteer in the Detroit community.  She served on the boards of Jewish Federation, Congregation Shaarey Zedek Sisterhood, Jewish Family Service and the PTA’s at her children’s schools in West Bloomfield. A native of Atlanta, Heidi Budaj moved to Houston and attended junior high and high school there.  She continued her education at the University of Pennsylvania where she graduated cum laude with a degree in English Literature.

Curtis Chin is an award-winning writer and producer who has written for ABC, NBC, Fox, the Disney Channel and more. As a community activist, he co-founded the Asian American Writers Workshop and Asian Pacific Americans for Progress. In 2008, he served on Barack Obama’s Asian American Leadership Council where he participated in helping the campaign reach out to the AAPI community. He has appeared on MSNBC, CNN, NPR, Newsweek and other media outlet. He is currently a Visiting Scholar at NYU.

Roland Hwang is vice president and past president of American Citizens for Justice/Asian American Center for Justice (ACJ), an Asian American civil rights advocacy group that began with the Vincent Chin case in 1983.  Mr. Hwang is an attorney.  He has served as chair of the State Advisory Committee to the US Commission on Civil Rights, and was a hearing referee for the Michigan Department of Civil Rights.  He is a Commissioner on the Michigan Asian Pacific American Affairs Commission.

Rev. Horace L. Sheffield, III, is the Pastor of Detroit’s New Destiny Christian Fellowship and the Executive Director of the Detroit Association of Black Organizations. He also hosts his own weekly radio show known as “On The Line” every Saturday on WCHB AM 1200 AM. Both of Rev. Sheffield’s parents were very involved in the national and local labor and civil rights movement. His father was active in raising awareness of the Vincent Chin murder back in the 80′s. Rev. Sheffield considers himself to be a social change agent with a spiritual mandate.

For more information go here.