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Helen Zia

“I believe we can all be agents for positive social change, and that’s how I try to lead my life as a writer and an activist—to give voice to LGBTs, people of color, women and other marginalized communities,” says groundbreaking journalist and formidable scholar Helen Zia. Zia was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the CUNY School of Law for bringing important legal and civil rights matters into public view. Her book Asian American Dreams: The Emergence of an American People has been quoted twice by Bill Clinton. “The biggest emotion,” she says of her stint as torch bearer at the Olympic Torch Relay in San Francisco, “was not so much [carrying] the torch itself, but the [impact of] thousands of demonstrators and the police.” –JB

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