CONWAY — The University of Central Arkansas will host Gina Anne Tam, assistant professor of history at Trinity University, who will speak about the historical and cultural context of ongoing protests in Hong Kong. This free, public event will take place Thursday, Nov. 21, from 6-7:30 p.m. in the UCA College of Business Auditorium.
In the summer of 2019, the former British colony of Hong Kong was swept up by a large, sustained protest movement. Over time, peaceful marches have grown increasingly tense and even violent, and an online movement has evolved.
“The protests in Hong Kong are about much more than local affairs,” explained Tam. “They are about how we can protect human rights and democracy in the face of rising authoritarianism, how technology is used to both aid and suppress the fight for freedom of speech and information, and how national, ethnic and local identity plays into the construction and protection of civic institutions — all topics that are quite relevant to the United States today.”
Attendees will learn how these protests have transformed into a battle of Hong Kong’s future, its culture and its identity apart from China, and volunteers will provide voter registration on site.
“Anyone who wants to enact change through collective efforts needs to make themselves aware of best practices,” said Greta Hacker, Vote Everywhere ambassador at UCA. “Though the people involved in the Hong Kong protests are dealing with different circumstances than we might experience here in Arkansas, we can still learn from the success of their movement.”
The event is presented by UCA’s Asian Studies program in partnership with the Political Science Club and Vote Everywhere and is sponsored by the UCA Department of History, Schedler Honors College and the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion. More information about UCA’s Asian Studies academic and public program offerings is available online at uca.edu/history/programs/asian-studies/.