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Helen Zia

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Helen Zia is an award-winning journalist and a contributing editor to Ms. magazine, where she was formerly executive editor. Her articles, essays, and reviews have appeared in Ms., The Nation, Essence, San Francisco Focus, A.Magazine, The Advocate, Bridge Magazine, Curve (Deneuve), OUT!, Social Policy, Sojourner, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Detroit News, Arizona Republic, and many other publications. She has contributed essays to several anthologies, and was executive editor of the book, Notable Asian-Americans, by Gale Publications. She has also been a columnist for Underwire, the Microsoft online magazine for women; Channel A, the Asian-American online magazine; and a radio commentator for the Pacifica News Service.

In 1998, the Organization of Chinese-Americans named Helen Chinese-American Journalist of the Year. She has also received numerous awards for writing and editing from the Asian-American Journalists Association, the National Women's Political Caucus, the American Society of Business Press Editors, the Detroit Press Club, and other organizations.

A second-generation Chinese-American, Helen has been a long-time activist for social justice on issues ranging from civil rights and peace to women's rights and countering hate violence. In 1997 she testified before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights on the impact of the campaign finance hearings on Asian-Americans, and helped author a complaint to the Commission against Congress, the Democratic and Republican National Committees, and the news media for racially discriminatory treatment of Asian-Americans. Helen traveled to Beijing in 1995 to the UN Fourth World Congress on Women as part of a “journalists of color” delegation. Her work on the Asian-American landmark civil rights case of anti-Asian violence is documented in the Academy-Award-nominated film, Who Killed Vincent Chin?

Her civic and community work includes serving as a trustee of the Asian-Pacific-American Leadership Institute and the Journalism and Women Symposium. She is on the board of the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of the Asian-American Journalists Association, and is a Media Diversity Circle to advocate for diversity issues in the media. She serves on the advisory boards of the API Wellness Center; the Horizons Foundation; and the Media project of the Family Violence Prevention Fund of San Francisco.

She is the author of Asian-American Dreams: The Emergence of an American People, published in March 2000 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

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