FIlm screening to focus on eastern philosophy

GVL / Courtesy -
Grace Lee Boggs

GVL / Courtesy – Grace Lee Boggs

Hannah Lentz

Living to the age of 100, Grace Lee Boggs lived through and participated in over three social movements including the labor, civil rights and Black Power movements. Soon, Boggs’ dedication and legacy will be directed toward another audience: students at Grand Valley State University.

On Feb. 1, in celebration with Asian American and Pacific Islander heritage month, GVSU will be hosting a screening of the documentary, “American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs” that tells the tale of the recently deceased Chinese American philosopher, writer and activist, Grace Lee Boggs.

In 2012, the movie premiered at GVSU as part of a collaborative conference with the Women and Gender Historians of the Midwest and Great Lakes History Conference. Now it’s back to honor Boggs’ legacy.

Professor Kimberly McKee of the liberal studies department currently stands on the Asian American Pacific Islander celebration planning committee.

“Events such as this film screening are important because they demonstrate the complexity of Asian American activism and involvement in local communities,” McKee said. “Grace Lee Boggs was deeply invested and committed to the Detroit community and the labor and civil rights movements.”

Since Boggs has strong ties with Detroit, this event can relate to a wide spread of students at GVSU enabling them to come together over social justice issues McKee said.

“Far too often Asian Americans are reduced to being considered forever foreigners,” McKee said.

Following the event, there will be an interactive conversation headed by Lisa Perhamus from the GVSU college of education.

“Boggs’ death signifies the end of an era,” McKee said. “She was an activist not only in the Asian American community but also in the black community and other communities. She played a part in a lot of significant movements.”

Co-sponsors for the events of the Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Celebration include: Asian Student Union, college of education, Delta Phi Lambda, East Asian studies, geography and planning, the Division of Inclusion and Equity, Kutsche Office of local history, the liberal studies department, Office of Multicultural Affairs, and WGVU public media

“I just really want to encourage people to come–come with an open mind about how we can learn from each other, ways we can connect with one another, and opportunities for understanding the multiple ways that people can be meaningfully, civically engaged,” Perhamus said. “Whether you have quiet conversations, write editorial pieces, perform poetry, dance, garden, create music, march in rallies, draw, write policy, re-envision a business plan, knock on your neighbor’s door to ask for help or to offer help … all of these are things that promote living with human dignity.”

The event will be held on Feb. 1 from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in Kirkhof Center Room 2204.

If students are interested in learning more about Grace Lee Boggs, McKee also teaches the course LIB 401: Visionary Thinkers: Grace Lee Boggs and Yuri Kochiyama.

For more information on the event, visit