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Helen Zia    

Award-Winning Journalist, Author & Activist for Asian American and LGBTQ Rights

Helen Zia is a writer, activist and Fulbright Scholar. Her first book, “Asian American Dreams,” chronicled the emergence of AAPIs in contemporary America. Her latest book, “Last Boat out of Shanghai: The Epic Story of the Chinese who Fled Mao's Revolution,” was named an NPR Best Book of 2019. The daughter of immigrants from China, Zia's role as an activist in the landmark civil rights case of anti-Asian violence is featured in “Who Killed Vincent Chin?” In 2010, she was a witness in the case for marriage equality that went to the Supreme Court. A graduate of Princeton University’s first coeducational class, Zia has received two honorary doctorates. After attending medical school, she became a community organizer, construction laborer, autoworker, and after which she discovered her life’s work as a writer.

Speech Topics


Building Bridges Across Communities

The Asian American Emergence

Making Ourselves Visible in the New Millennium

The Imperative for Higher Expectations

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