World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Helen Zia

Article Id: WHEBN0003143269
Reproduction Date:

Title: Helen Zia  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: History of the Chinese Americans in Metro Detroit, History of the Japanese in Metro Detroit, Zia, Wen Ho Lee, Murder of Vincent Chin
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Helen Zia


  • Life and career 1
    • Early childhood and education 1.1
    • Activism 1.2
    • Honors and Awards 1.3
    • Published Work 1.4
    • Personal life 1.5
  • References 2
  • External links 3

Life and career

Early childhood and education

Zia was born in New Jersey to first generation immigrants from Shanghai.[1] She entered Princeton University in the early 1970s[2] and was a member of its first graduating class of women.[3] As a student, Zia was among the founders of the Asian American Students Association. She was also a vocal anti-war activist, voicing her Opposition to U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War, a firm believer in feminism, and active in movements creating cross racial unity among low income people of color.

She entered medical school in 1974, but quit in 1976. She moved to journalist and writer.[4]


Zia's time in Detroit overlapped with the Vincent Chin.[6]

She has also been outspoken on issues ranging from civil rights and peace to women's rights and countering hate violence and homophobia. In 1997, she testified before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights on the racial impact of the news media.

She traveled to Beijing in 1995 to the United Nations Fourth World Congress on Women as part of a journalists of color delegation.

She has appeared in numerous news programs and films; her work on the 1980s Asian American landmark civil rights case of anti-Asian violence is documented in the Academy Award nominated film, “Who Killed Vincent Chin?” and she was profiled in Bill Moyers' PBS documentary, “Becoming American: The Chinese Experience.[7]

Honors and Awards

Zia was named one of the most influential Asian Americans of the decade by A. Magazine. Zia has received numerous journalism awards for her ground-breaking stories; her investigation of date rape at the University of Michigan led to campus demonstrations and an overhaul of its policies. Zia received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the Law School of the City University of New York for bringing important matters of law and civil rights into public view.

Published Work

In January 2000, Zia authored Asian American Dreams: The Emergence of an American People,[8][9] a finalist for the prestigious Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize. President of the United States Bill Clinton quoted from Asian American Dreams at two separate speeches in the White House Rose Garden.

She also co-authored, with Wen Ho Lee, of My Country Versus Me,[10] in January 2002, which reveals what happened to the Los Alamos scientist who was falsely accused of being a spy for the People's Republic of China in the “worst case since the Rosenbergs.”

She contributed the piece "Reclaiming the Past, Redefining the Future: Asian American and Pacific Islander Women" to the 2003 anthology

  • Helen Zia at

External links

  1. ^ Zia, Helen (2001). Asian American dreams : the emergence of an American people (1st pbk. ed.). New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux. pp. 3–5.  
  2. ^ Lei, Judy (13 May 2011). "Hyphen APA Heritage Month Profiles: Helen Zia". Hyphen: Asian America Unabridged. Retrieved 18 July 2015. 
  3. ^ "Helen Zia: A Disobedient Daughter and Her Passion For Justice". Women's Media Center. 9 September 2009. Retrieved 18 July 2015. 
  4. ^ "Helen Zia". White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Retrieved 18 July 2015. 
  5. ^ Lei, Judy (13 May 2011). "Hyphen APA Heritage Month Profiles: Helen Zia". Hyphen: Asian America Unabridged. Retrieved 18 July 2015. 
  6. ^ "History: Who Was Vincent Chin?". American Citizens for Justice. Retrieved 18 July 2015. 
  7. ^ "The Chinese Experience: Challenging the Stereotype". a Bill Moyers special: Becoming American--The Chinese Experience. PBS. Retrieved 18 July 2015. 
  8. ^ Zia, Helen (2000). Asian American Dreams: The Emergence of an American People. Farrar, Straus and Giroux.  
  9. ^ "ASIAN AMERICAN DREAMS: The Emergence of an American People". macmillan publishers. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 
  10. ^ Zia, Helen (2002). My Country Versus Me. Hyperion.  
  11. ^ "Library Resource Finder: Table of Contents for: Sisterhood is forever : the women's anth". Retrieved 2015-10-15. 
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Board of Directors". Women's Media Center. Retrieved 18 July 2015. 
  14. ^ "WHO WE ARE: Helen Zia (Writer, Journalist)". Women's Media Center. Retrieved 18 July 2015. 
  15. ^
  16. ^ "Helen Zia: A Disobedient Daughter and Her Passion For Justice". 
  17. ^ "Helen Zia & Lia Shigemura". YouTube. apiequality. 19 June 2008. Retrieved 18 July 2015. 


In June 2008, Zia married her partner Lia Shigemura in San Francisco, making them one of the first same sex couples to legally marry in the state of California.[16][17]

Personal life

Zia is the former Executive Editor of Ms. Magazine[12] and currently serves on the board of directors for Women's Media Center.[13] Her articles, essays and reviews have appeared in numerous publications, books and anthologies, including Ms., The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Nation, Essence, The Advocate, and OUT.[14][15]


This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.