Detroit Public TV’s mission to put the local community first is engrained in our institution, and we are committed to using the power of public media to share real stories of real citizens and stimulate conversations that explore the core issues of our time—one of those ways is through our advisory committee model. In 2019, DPTV convened an Asian American and Pacific Islander Advisory Committee, comprised of community leaders within the Metro Detroit AAPI community, which meets monthly to find opportunities for collaboration to create meaningful content for its local programming.
In March 2021, in the aftermath of the Atlanta spa shootings, when asked how public TV could best serve the local AAPI community, members of the advisory committee stated: ‘Asian Americans are often depicted as an invisible minority. Tell stories that reflect the authentic lives of the AAPI community here. Show the diversity, share the history and let us speak.’ DPTV hosted town halls and created an AAPI Storytelling Initiative in partnership with WDET, Detroit’s local NPR station, to create a safe space to have conversations, to discuss challenges and to celebrate where Asian Americans have been and what the future holds.
June 2022 marked the 40th anniversary of Vincent Chin’s murder, a Chinese American Detroiter who was brutally killed by two white men who blamed the Japanese for a downturn in Detroit’s automotive industry. This racially motivated murder galvanized Detroit’s Asian communities, whose work grew into a national civil rights movement.
DPTV staff were part of the Vincent Chin 40th Remembrance and Rededication committee that brought a four-day series of events to Detroit to honor Vincent Chin’s legacy. As a culmination of these events, DPTV worked with PBS and POV to bring the 1987 Academy Award Nominated film “Who Killed Vincent Chin?” back to broadcast after being restored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The film was originally coproduced by DPTV in 1987.
Additionally, DPTV created special segments on the Vincent Chin case that aired on the station’s One Detroit news program and were made available to stations and community partners. DPTV’s PBS Books initiative also streamed two conversations that set the stage for the commemoration.
DPTV has a platform to amplify AAPI stories, and honor the legacy of Vincent Chin, and, using the advisory committee model, will continue to leverage the opportunities for extensive community engagement