Rockwell “Rocky” Chin is a civil rights attorney and activist born in Washington D.C. in 1947. In the 1970s he became involved with the Asian American Movement when he joined the art collective, Basement Workshop. He continued to advocate for the empowerment of minorities; particularly taking an interest in the Asian Americans in New York’s Chinatown. He would help spearhead the founding of the Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY) in 1989 and serve as one of the directors.
In 1992, Congress passed a law that officially designated May as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month. That same year Rocky helped to coordinate the first city hall conference on Asian/Pacific Americans (A/PA), which tried to address political issues important to the A/PA community. He subsequently ran for New York City Council in 2001 but lost to Alan Gerson. From 2007-2015 he served as the Director of the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity at the New York State Division of Human Rights and currently serves as an AARP New York Executive Council Member.