The Bloomington Human Rights Commission in collaboration with Normandale Community College will present a free screening of documentary film Patsy Mink: Ahead of the Majority and a panel discussion Tuesday May 10, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., at Normandale, 9700 France Ave., Bloomington.
The film (www.aheadofthemajority.com) explores the remarkable story of Patsy Takemoto Mink (1927-2002), explores the remarkable political story of Patsy Takemoto Mink, an Asian American woman from Hawai‘i who, battling racism and sexism, redefined American politics.
Nancy Stephen, Founder and CEO of Honoring Women Worldwide will facilitate the panel discussion that will include panelists, Judge Pamela Alexander, President of the Council on Crime and Justice and former Hennepin County judge; Natalie Darwitz, World and Olympian Hockey Medalist; and MayKao Hang, President and CEO of Amherst H. Wilder Foundation.
The first Japanese American woman and the first woman of color to be elected to the United States Congress breaking new ground for women and people of color. Mink was co-author of landmark legislation, Title IX, which opened doors to higher education and athletics for women. She spoke out against the Vietnam War and entering the 1972 presidential primary, making her one of the first women to seek the nation’s highest office.
Mink served 12 terms as a U.S. Congresswoman for two different districts of Hawai’i. After losing a bid for a U.S. Senate seat, she served as an Assistant Secretary of State in the Jimmy Carter Administration. She returned to Hawai’i in 1980 where she served on the Honolulu CIty Council before winning another Congressional election in 1990. She would serve until her death at age 74 in 2002. She had won the primary election and her name was still on the ballot and she won the seat posthumously.
The film goes beyond Mink’s accomplishments, however, to reveal a woman whose political journey was lonely and tumultuous. Dispelling stereotypes of the compliant Japanese female, she battled sexism within her own party, whose leaders disliked her independent style and openly maneuvered against her. Her liberal politics, particularly her vocal opposition to the Vietnam War, engendered intense criticism.
For those who cannot attend the screening the film will also be available on Comcast Cinema Asian America, a ground-breaking new video-on demand offering, featuring Asian American films and videos. From May 1-31, 2011, the Patsy Mink documentary will be available to all Comcast digital cable subscribers with On-Demand.