Why We are Proud to Host the Vincent Chin Memorial in Ferndale
Vincent Chin Story Comes Home to Downtown Ferndale
Ferndale, MI -- The memory of Vincent Chin and the birth of the Asian American Civil Rights Movement in Downtown Ferndale 27 years
ago will become an official piece of the city’s historical landscape Wednesday, December 22 with the installation and dedication of the
State Bar of Michigan’s 34th Legal Milestone marker.
Chin’s brutal death in 1982 led to the galvanization of the Asian American community and prompted a series of far reaching legal reforms. The young man was accosted in a Highland Park bar by two unemployed auto workers who blamed him – and all Asians -- for
their job loss. The verbal assaults escalated into a physical beating and four days later, on June 23, Vincent Chin died.
Pleading guilty to manslaughter, neither assailant spent a single day in jail and instead, were sentenced to three years probation and a
$3,000 fine. The charges and the sentence created an uproar in the Asian community and rallied its citizenry to organize against the injustice. The first gatherings were held at Vincent Chin’s last workplace – the Golden Star Restaurant at 22828 Woodward Avenue,
now the Post Bar. Today, Chin’s legacy is a changed legal system regarding sentencing guidelines and victim’s rights, and the establishment of important political action groups such as American Citizens for Justice (1983).
Ferndale Mayor Craig Covey, who will oversee Wednesday’s dedication, commented: “The murder of Vincent Chin was a hate crime made worse by the failure of our legal system to live up to the American promise of justice for all. This memorial symbolizes a shared community value: The People of Ferndale join others in standing up for acceptance, fairness and equality for everyone.”
The State Bar of Michigan presented the 34th Milestone Marker to Ferndale in June of 2009, on behalf of the State Bar and the Michigan Asian Pacific American Bar Association. It will be placed in accordance with the Ferndale Downtown Development Authority’s new signage plan, which includes highlighting locations of historical significance. It will be installed on the north side of the median of the iconic Woodward & Nine intersection -- within clear view of the birthplace of the Asian American Civil Rights movement.
Official ceremonies begin at Noon, December 22 at the Post Bar. Speaking with be Mayor Covey, Janet Welch of the Michigan State Bar Association and a representative of from the American Citizens for Justice. Speakers and guests will then cross Woodward to the
median for the unveiling of ”In Memory of Vincent Chin.”
For additional information, please contact the Ferndale Downtown Development Authority at 248-546-1632.
Event: Dedication of “In Memory of Vincent Chin
Time: 12 Noon
Date: Wednesday, December 22
Place: The Post Bar @ 22828 Woodward Avenue
Press Release above courtesy of Chris Hughes, Communications Director, Ferndale DDA