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Helen Zia is a Chinese-American journalist and activist for Asian American and LGBT rights. Zia graduated from Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, where she was a founding member of its Asian American Students Association and a member of its first graduating class of women. Zia was living in Detroit when Vincent Chin was murdered in 1982. While the Detroit area did not have a very organized Asian American movement at the time, Zia’s journalism and advocacy work played a critical role in bringing federal civil rights charges against the perpetrators, who were to serve no jail time and pay only $3,000 in fines after state criminal charges had been pressed. This would be the first time in U.S. history that the government acted on behalf of an Asian American in a civil rights case. Zia’s work galvanized the Asian American community in response to the crime, marking the first mass movement where Chinese Americans and other Asian ethnicities united to form a unified Asian American voice, in coalition with other minority groups. Zia’s involvement in the case amounted to a critical turning point for Asian American civil rights and hate crime legislation. Throughout her career, Zia has won awards for her groundbreaking journalism and has been a staunch advocate for civil rights, women’s rights, and LGBT rights. In 2008, she allowed reporters to cover her wedding ceremony to her partner of 16 years in order to show that “this fundamental issue of equality and human dignity affects our Asian American communities too.”