Helen Zia

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Helen Zia is an award-winning author, journalist, activist and Fulbright Scholar. She is the author of Asian American Dreams: The Emergence of an American People and is a Contributing Editor to the feminist flagship, Ms. Magazine, where she was formerly Executive Editor.  A second generation Chinese American, Helen has been outspoken on social justice issues ranging from human rights and peace to women's rights and countering hate, violence and homophobia. Helen is a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the University of British Columbia and she received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the Law School of the City University of New York. In 2008, she was one of 79 people in North America who carried the Olympic Torch in San Francisco and her commentaries about activism have appeared worldwide. Her work on the landmark 1980s civil rights campaign against anti-Asian violence is documented in the Academy Award nominated film, "Who Killed Vincent Chin?" She was profiled in Bill Moyers' PBS documentary, "Becoming American: The Chinese Experience." Helen is a graduate of Princeton University’s first coeducational class. After college she attended medical school but quit after completing two years, then went to work as a construction laborer, an autoworker, and a community organizer, after which she discovered her life’s work as a writer.