Rocky Chin is a civil rights attorney and community leader long engaged in labor and human rights advocacy. Born in Washington D.C., Chin earned his BA at Lehigh University, MA at Yale University, and JD at the University of Southern California. He was appointed to be the Director of the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity at the New York State Division of Human Rights (DHR) in 2007, and previously served as Assistant Deputy Commissioner for Community Relations at the New York City Commission on Human Rights during the Mayoral Administration of David N. Dinkins.
Chin’s activism began in the 1970s and 1980s with his involvement in the Asian American studies movement and the New York-based grassroots collective, Basement Workshop. Chin has since played an integral role in forming and leading A/PA coalitions. In 1989, he spearheaded the founding of the Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY). He has also served as Vice Chair of Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics (LEAP), Civil Rights Chair of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), Honorary Board member of the Asian American Arts Alliance, Advisory Board member of New York’s “Jobs with Justice” campaign, and founding member of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA).
Politically, Chin has coordinated support for Jesse Jackson and David Dinkins during their New York City campaigns, served as Treasurer to Judge Doris Ling-Cohan, and was campaign manager for Sau Ngar Li and Danny Yip. In 2001, Chin ran for New York City Council, one of the few Asian Americans to do so.
Documenting Chin’s work in law, politics, labor, and A/PA organizations, the Rocky Chin Papers contain a rich collection of correspondence, press clippings, flyers, newsletters, campaign materials, meeting minutes, legal dockets, teaching plans, conference folders, journals and research publications.
To learn more about the contents of the Rocky Chin Papers, located at the NYU Tamiment Library & Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, view the collection’s finding aid.