August 25th, 2011
Here’s an interesting project looking for funding called “Breathin’: The Eddy Zheng Story,” which is directed by Ben Wang (Aoki documentary film). After serving over 20 years behind bars for a robbery he committed at age 16, Chinese American community leader Eddy Zheng now faces deportation to China, a huge loss to the San Francisco Bay Area community. Released from prison in 2007, Eddy has dedicated his life to preventing youth violence and delinquency through his work at the Community Youth Center, Community Response Network, and many other SF Bay Area programs and organizations.
BREATHIN’: THE EDDY ZHENG STORY is a documentary about one of the most visible Asian American leaders to emerge from the prison system. Providing a complex and honest portrayal of its subject, the film will highlight a critical human rights issue facing the U.S. today: the alarming increase of Asian immigrants and refugees being incarcerated and deported.
This project will share Eddy’s personal journey from immigrant youth to politicized prisoner, and ultimately valued mentor and community leader as he faces pending deportation to a land he has not known for over 30 years. BREATHIN’ will feature footage of Eddy’s work in youth violence prevention and prisoner support efforts, as well as candid interviews with Eddy and his close circle. The film will share his personal struggle toward redemption and reveal the complicated fate ahead for the growing population of Asian immigrants and refugees in prison.
Learn more and help fund this project .
Help fund Breathin’: The Eddy Zheng Story
ASIAN AMERICANS IN PRISON
The U.S. currently imprisons over 2.3 million people, making it the world’s leading jailer. Contrary to notions of a “model minority,” the Asian and Pacific Islander American prison population grew 250% between 1990 and 2000. Unfortunately for many immigrants, all “non-citizen aliens” who commit an aggravated felony or crime of moral turpitude are mandatorily deportable, even if they immigrated to the U.S. legally or with refugee status. Between 1998 and 2006, there was a 61.6% rise in total deportations of people of Asian nationalities. Despite the growing trend of incarceration and deportation for many Asian Americans, these individuals have largely remained invisible in public policy, media, and in their own communities.
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