Virtual Panel Discussion

Bank of America Women’s Leadership Series - Building Black and Asian Solidarity: Women Leading Across Race, History, and Culture

Holocaust Museum Houston is a proud promotional partner for this program. Registration is free but required. 

Thursday, October 8, 2020
6:30 p.m. CT Moderated Discussion 
7:10 p.m. CT Audience Q&A — Questions welcome via Vimeo

The Black Lives Matter movement that erupted following the death of George Floyd has forced our nation to confront systemic racial biases and to effect immediate change. People from all races, religions, and genders have been inspired to come together in solidarity and in support of Black lives. The U.S. also has a complicated history of anti-Asian discrimination which includes the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882, the U.S.'s first federal law suspending immigration of an entire ethnic group, and the Japanese Internment Act of 1942, which led to the internment of thousands of Japanese residents and Japanese American citizens during World War II.

The dynamic of Asian and Black American communities in history is often overlooked. The Asian American movement and many of its grassroots organizations were inspired by the Black liberation movement. Often, Asian American women were at the forefront of building coalitions for civil rights across racial lines. Prominent examples are Yuri Kochiyama, who famously allied herself with the Civil Rights Movement and became a friend to Malcolm X, and Ina Sugihara, a civil rights organizer who became a founding member of the Congress of Racial Equity (CORE) and created multiracial coalitions through the Japanese American Citizens League. Sugihara emphasized the importance of multiracial alliances to fight discrimination, and has been quoted as saying "The fate of each minority depends upon the extent of justice given all other groups."

During the current challenging times, solidarity, support, and strength between all communities are imperative to move the nation forward in the right direction. Join Asia Society as inspirational women leaders explore the depth of Black and Asian American experiences in the country, discuss how to overcome racial conflict and division between communities, and share their hopes for cross-racial understanding and collaboration as we build a just and equitable future together.

About the Speakers

Ruth J. Simmons serves as President of Prairie View A&M University. She was President of Brown University from 2001-2012. Under her leadership, Brown made significant strides in improving its standing as one of the world’s finest research universities. 

Helen Zia is an activist, author, and former journalist. After twelve years in the making, Last Boat out of Shanghai: The Epic Story of the Chinese Who Fled Mao’s Revolution is out! Helen’s latest book traces the lives of migrants and refugees from another cataclysmic time in history that has striking parallels to the difficulties facing migrants today. She interviewed more than 100 survivors of that exodus and countless others. Helen’s essay in the New York Times reveals her mother’s secret that inspired her to write this book. 

About the Moderator

Juju Chang is an Emmy Award-winning co-anchor of ABC News’ Nightline. She also reports regularly for Good Morning America and 20/20.  

October 8, 2020
6:30 — 7:30 pm
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