On April 11, 1997, a group of three Asian American students, three Japanese international students and one white student exited Denny’s restaurant in Syracuse after being denied service. A large group of white males followed the students into the parking lot, yelled racial epithets at them and threw punches, leaving two unconscious, as security guards stood by and watched. Afterwards, the district attorney, William J. Fitzpatrick, dismissed the affair as a drunken brawl and chose not to prosecute the men. Diverse members of the Syracuse community then banded together in protest of the lack of justice served.
Ten years later, little has changed. Asian Pacific American students and other marginalized groups continue to be affected by discrimination and ignorance. Society perceives us as the model minority – passive, easily silenced, unwilling to stand up and stand out. Here at Syracuse University, we seem to have forgotten the injustices of the past. In remembering the incident, we want to ensure that the community hears our voices. We want to show our willingness to speak out and confront discrimination.
Schedule of Events
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
11 a.m. Press Conference
2 p.m. Remembrance Circle, SU Quad
We invite all students, faculty/staff, community members, and alumni to join us in remembering the social injustices of the 1997 Denny's hate crime. We will be reading people's personal narratives of hate, ignorance and prejudice to demonstrate the effects of biased-related incidents that still occur across the campus today.
5 p.m. Discussion and Reflection, Rm TBA
After a full day of speaking out, now is the time to reflect on what remembering the Denny's hate crime means to us today. We will focus on what we can do personally and what the university can do to deal with bias-related incidents.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
12 p.m. Alumni and Student Lunch, Goldstein Faculty Dining Center
5:30 p.m. Paving the Way: Asian American Alumni in Non-Traditional Careers, HBC KITT
For this career panel, we’ve invited Asian American SU alumni to talk about how they got into their chosen professions. This will focus more on career paths that Asian Americans aren’t perceived to follow, including broadcast journalism, higher education and retail management.
9 p.m. Concert with Chan, Skybarn
Friday, April 13, 2007
5p.m. ASIA Workshop: “Fighting Against Ignorance,” HL 114
In our ordinary, everyday interactions, students repeatedly encounter instances of discrimination and prejudice on the basis of race, sexuality, gender, and disability. This workshop will focus on how we can respond to and deal with the ignorant and hurtful comments that anger us, as well as more violent bias-related incidents.