The scholarship awards $1,500 to a student journalist whose essay lends insight into the life, death, and legacy of Vincent Chin, and its relevance to today, according to the AAJA.
In June 1982, Chin, a Chinese American industrial draftsman for an auto supplier outside Detroit, was beaten to death by two white men in a racially motivated attack. His killers pleaded down from a charge of second-degree murder to manslaughter and were sentenced to three years’ probation and a $3,000 fine. The case united Asian Americans in outrage and has been used to argue for stronger federal hate crime laws.
“It is important to commemorate Vincent Chin because his life and legacy must be firmly planted in our collective memory as the AAPI community,” Lee said in a statement. “It is an act of resistance to demand that this tragedy is not forgotten and therefore, not repeated. Vincent Chin is part of our history, which should never be erased.”
Lee is the assistant enterprise news editor at the Berkeley Beacon, and writes for Emertainment Monthly. She interns at DigBoston, reporting on arts and entertainment in Greater Boston, and told AAJA she is “passionate about producing engaging cultural coverage and creating better relationships between media and marginalized communities.”
“I am grateful to receive the scholarship, not just because of the financial benefit, but also because of the community that it comes from. AAJA is a great organization, and it means a lot to me to be recognized by them,” Lee told Emerson Today.