Film & Forum: Immigration, Exclusion, and Acts of Civic Engagement: Leveraging Our Asian American Experiences

Tue, Feb 21, 2017 @ 6:30pm - 9:00pm

Suggested Admission: $10/adult; $5/senior and student


Please click here to reserve your ticket


Please join us for a screening of Felicia Lowe's Chinese Couplets, followed by a timely Open Forum.


In Chinese Couplets, Felicia Lowe searches for answers about her mother’s emigration story during the Chinese Exclusion era. Through tough intergenerational conversations, Lowe weaves history into a personal narrative and reveals the deep impact of US government legislation on immigration on one family.


The film provides the context for the post-screening forum on the historic echoes of President Trump’s recent executive order, the impact of the Administration on Asian Americans, and how we can leverage Asian Americans’ historical, cultural, socioeconomic, and political experiences to strengthen civic engagement.


Muzna Ansari, Immigration Policy Manager, New York Immigration Coalition
Liz OuYang, Civil rights attorney
Jack Tchen, Founding Director, Asian/Pacific /American Studies Program and Institute, NYU
Tsui Yee, Immigration attorney

Andrew Rebatta, Assistant Curator, MOCA and Curator of FOLD: Golden Venture Paper Sculptures (opening fall 2017)

This program is co-sponsored by OCA-NY Asian Pacific American Advocates, Asian American Bar Association of New York, and New York Immigration Coalition.



About the Film
Chinese Couplets
Dir. Felicia Lowe | USA | 2015 | 53 mins

In her latest film, Felicia Lowe searches for answers about her mother’s emigration story during the Chinese Exclusion era. Through tough intergenerational conversations, Lowe weaves history into a personal narrative that takes her on a surprising trip to Cuba and a family history in Hawaii in her quest of “the hardest story for me to crack.” Part memoir, part history, part investigation, Chinese Couplets reveals the often painful price paid by immigrants who abandoned their personal identity, the burden of silence they passed on to their offspring, and the intergenerational strife between immigrants and their American born children.


Filmmaker Bio
Felicia Lowe is an award winning independent television producer, director, and writer with more than 35 years of production experience. Her latest film “Chinese Couplets” is gaining rave reviews as it begins circulating in film festivals and community screenings. Lowe received an EMMY for Best Cultural Documentary for “Chinatown: The Hidden Cities of San Francisco.” The lively hour-long piece on the history of San Francisco’s oldest neighborhood has been broadcast numerous times on PBS. “Carved in Silence,” a documentary about the experiences of Chinese immigrants detained on Angel Island Immigration Station and “China: Land of My Father,” a personal journey to China to meet her paternal grandmother have garnered numerous awards and have also been broadcast on PBS and abroad. Her innovative works have screened in film festivals, museums and are used in classrooms across the country. Prior to her documentary work, Lowe worked in children’s television and broadcast journalism. She has also taught film production at San Francisco State University and Stanford University. A descendant of Angel Island detainees, she has been actively involved in the preservation of the Angel Island Immigration Station.

Panelist Bios
Muzna Ansari is the Immigration Policy Manager at the New York Immigration Coalition. Before joining the NYIC, Muzna worked with the Immigration and Civil Rights Committees of the New York City Council. Prior to that, she worked on voting rights and campaign finance reform with the Democracy Fund of the Open Society Foundations.
Muzna received her B.A. with distinction from Barnard College and her Master's in Public Administration from New York University's Wagner School of Public Service.


Liz OuYang has been a civil rights attorney for three decades. Her areas of expertise include voting, immigration, race, sex, and disability discrimination at the workplace, media accountability, and combating hate crimes and police brutality. President Clinton appointed OuYang to serve as special assistant to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. She has taught over 500 students at Columbia and New York University in the past fifteen years. As a consultant to The New York Community Trust, She coordinated a funding collaborative to support organizations helping immigrants integrate into New York City. And, as former President and now member of OCA-NY Asian Pacific American Advocates, a non-profit, volunteer civil rights organization, she promotes and defends the rights of Asian Americans. Liz also serves as a consultant to OCA-NY, the New York Immigrant Action Fund and APA VOICE (Voting and Organizing to Increase Civic Engagement).


John (Jack) Kuo Wei Tchen is a historian, curator, and writer. Professor Tchen is founding director of the A/P/A (Asian/Pacific /American) Studies Program and Institute at New York University, NYU and a founding faculty of the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis. He also co-founded the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA). He is editor of The ‘Yellow Peril’ Reader: Understanding Xenophobia, and author of New York before Chinatown: Orientalism and the Shaping of American Culture, 1776-1882; Genthe’s Photographs of San Francisco’s Old Chinatown, 1895-1905; and “30 Years and Counting: A Context for Building a Shared Cross-Cultural Commons.” Professor Tchen regularly collaborates with filmmakers and media producers, artists and collectors.


Tsui Yee has been practicing immigration law since 1999, handling a wide variety of immigration matters. In 2016 Tsui Yee was named a Super Lawyer in the field of immigration law, a designation that is bestowed on less than 5% of attorneys. She was also named one of the Outstanding 50 Asian Americans in Business by the Asian American Business Development Corporation in 2016. She is also a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and the Asian American Bar Association of New York.
Ms. Yee graduated from the University of California at Los Angeles School of Law in 1998 and received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Tufts University in 1993. She is admitted to practice law in the State of New York; the Second Circuit Court of Appeals; and the U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York. Prior to forming Guerrero Yee LLP in 2010, Ms. Yee was a founding partner of the immigration law firm of Yee & Durkin, LLP. A proud native New Yorker, Ms. Yee was born in Manhattan and raised in Little Italy.

Moderator Bio
Andrew Rebatta is the Assistant Curator at MOCA. He has worked on exhibitions at community-based museums in New York, Chicago and Washington, DC. In 2011, he was Curator-in-Residence at the Museo Experimental El Eco in Mexico City, and has most recently organized exhibitions and performances for the New Forms Media Society in Vancouver, BC. Andrew is currently developing an exhibition of paper sculptures created by the Golden Venture refugees scheduled to open in Spring 2017.