WASHINGTON, D.C. (Oct. 6, 2015) — OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates commemorates the legacy of activist Grace Lee Boggs and offers sincere condolences to her family and many friends.
Grace Lee Boggs, long-time Detroit activist, passed away early yesterday morning at 100 years old. Boggs, the daughter of Chinese American immigrants, studied at Barnard College and received her Ph.D from Bryn Mawr College.
After she moved to the Midwest, she encountered the blunt racism that was prevalent at the time. She joined with activists from the Black community, where she met her husband James Boggs, and together, the two advocated for fair housing, working, and living conditions in the Detroit area. They were an influential part of the Black power movement, the feminist movement, and also the Asian American movement.
Boggs and her husband also authored many books that inspired social change in the African American community. In 1992, Boggs founded Detroit Summer, a multi-racial and inter-generational program that helped prevent school drop-outs through the fostering of youth leadership and creativity. In addition to her contribution to civil rights, Boggs was also a remarkable role-model for the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. She defied racial stereotypes during her time and advocated for civil rights despite her adversaries.
“We are saddened to hear about the passing of Grace Lee Boggs. Her dedication to civil rights for all communities were a catalyst for many Asian American and Pacific Islanders, and her career as an activist changed the lives of many people,” said Michael W. Kwan, OCA National President. “She set a model for collaboration between communities of color at a time when many people were not able to see past the color of someone’s skin and recognize the common human suffering that lay beneath. The bridges that she built serve as a monument to a life spent in service to others and are an inspiration to all engaged in the fight for human dignity, civil rights and social justice. The Asian American Pacific Islander community owes her a great debt of gratitude for the support she provided to our movement. We were honored to host her at a recent OCA Convention and even in the twilight of her life she remained involved and committed to every aspect of our community.”
OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates is a national organization of community advocates dedicated to improving the social, political, and economic well-being of Asian Pacific Americans (APAs).