Patsy Mink: Ahead of the Majority
2008 | 57 mins | English
In 1965, Patsy Takemoto Mink became the first woman of color in the United States Congress. Seven years later, she ran for the U.S. presidency and was the driving force behind Title IX, the landmark legislation that transformed women’s opportunities in higher education and athletics.
Mink was also a Japanese American woman who fought racism and sexism throughout her life. Her tumultuous, often lonely political journey reveals what can be at stake for female politicians who defy expectations, push limits and adhere to their principles.
A compelling portrait of an iconoclastic figure seldom spotlighted in history books yet who redefined American politics, the film illuminates how Mink’s daring to remain “ahead of the majority” in her beliefs enabled groundbreaking changes for the rights of the disenfranchised, particularly girls and women.
A woman of the people as well as a pioneer, a patriot and an outcast, Patsy Mink’s intriguing story embodies the history, ideals and true spirit of America.
Distributed by Women Make Movies
To arrange a screening or to order the film for educational use, contact WMM at:
The film can also be streamed for personal home viewing at:
To purchase a DVD for home video use, go to the Japanese American National Museum's
online gift shop at:
For those on O‘ahu, DVDs can also be purchased in person at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i's gift shop at 2454 S. Beretania Street in Honolulu.
The film aired nationally on PBS in May 2009 and repeated on individual stations through 2013. It also aired on Comcast's Cinema Asian America in May 2011 and August 2016.
GirlTalk HQ did a Q&A with director Kimberlee Bassford after the launch of the film on the streaming service OVID.tv. Read it here.
You can read a Q&A that Honolulu Magazine did with director Kimberlee Bassford after the DVD of the film was released here.
Original footage shot for the film is part of our Making Waves Films collection at ‘Ulu‘ulu: The Henry Ku‘ualoha Giugni Moving Image Archive of Hawai‘i and is open for research.
Below is a list of known screenings of the film. If you know of other screenings, please let us know so we can add them here.
Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education, 2021
Houston Public Library, Online, 2021
Historic Hawai‘i Foundation, Online, 2021
DC LaborFest, Online, 2020
One Woman, One Vote Film Festival, Online, 2020
University of California Irvine, Irvine, CA, 2020
Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation Asian American Film Series, Santa Barbara, CA, 2019
Hawai‘i Pacific University, Free Friday Flicks, Honolulu, HI, 2019
Lloyd Taber-Marina del Rey Library, Marina del Rey, CA, 2019
Indiana University Indianapolis, Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, 2019
Minnesota State University Moorhead, MSUM Women's Center, 2018
Civil Cafe, Windward Community College, Kaneohe, HI, 2017
University of Georgia, Institute for Women's Studies, Athens, GA, 2016
University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, 2016
Windward Community College, Kaneohe, HI, 2016
University of Hawai‘i Women’s Studies 40th Anniversary, Honolulu, HI, 2015
Hawai‘i State Bar Association Civic Education Committee, Honolulu, HI, 2014
Library of Congress, Washington, DC, 2013
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, New York, NY, 2013
Women of Wonders Film Festival, Honolulu, HI, 2013
#SheDocs Online Film Festival, 2013
Women and Girls Lead, Online, 2012
University of California Santa Barbara, 2012
Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Geneva, NY, 2012
Pacific University, Forest Grove, OR, 2012
Foothill College, Los Altos, CA, 2012
Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX, 2012
University of Minnesota Duluth, 2012
American Association of University Women (AAUW) Summit College Club, New Providence, NJ, 2012
Chicago Filmmakers, Dyke Delicious Season Finale, Chicago, IL, 2011
City of Bloomington, Minnesota and Normandale Community College, 2011
Chapman University, Reel Justice Film Series, Orange, CA, 2011
Kahilu Theatre, Waimea, HI, 2011
American Association of University Women (AAUW) Somerset Hills Branch, Basking Ridge, NJ, 2011
Andrews University, Berrien Springs, MI, 2011
Ursinus College, Collegeville, PA, 2011
American Association of University Women (AAUW) Madison Branch, Madison, NJ, 2010
Japanese American National Museum, Los Angeles, CA, 2010
National Archives, Washington, DC, 2010
Library of Congress, Washington, DC, 2010
Northern Illinois University, Dekalb, IL, 2010
F-Word Film Festival, Asheville, NC, 2010
Clark University, Difficult Dialogues Series, Worcester, MA, 2010
Hawai‘i Pacific University, Viewpoints Film Series, Honolulu, HI, 2010
Western Washington University, Women of Color Empowerment Dinner, Bellingham, WA, 2010
University of Michigan, Spotlight Series at the Shapiro Undergraduate Library, Ann Arbor, MI, 2010
University of Hawai‘i Cinema Series, Women of the World, Honolulu, HI, 2009
Austin Asian American Film Festival, Austin, TX, 2009
Siren Nation Festival, Portland, OR, 2009
Pacific Rim Film Festival, Santa Cruz, CA, 2009
San Diego Asian Film Festival, 2009
La Femme Film Festival, Hollywood, CA, 2009
University of California Santa Barbara Multicultural Center, 2009
Loft Cinema, Tucson, AZ, 2009
Houston Asian Pacific American Film Festival, Houston, TX, 2009
University of Hawai‘i Women’s Studies Colloquia Series, Honolulu, HI, 2009
American Association of University Women (AAUW) National Convention, St. Louis, MO, 2009
San Joaquin International Film Festival, Stockton, CA, 2009
Iao Theatre, Wailuku, Maui, HI, 2009
Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, 2009
Association for Asian American Studies Conference, Honolulu, HI, 2009
DisOrient Asian American Film Festival, Eugene, OR, 2009
San Francisco Women’s Film Festival, 2009
Reel Women International Film Festival, Beverly Hills, CA, 2009
Gate City Women’s Film Festival, Greensboro, NC, 2009
U.S. Capitol Visitor Center, Washington, DC, 2009
Festival International de Films de Femmes, Creteil, France, 2009
Women of Color Arts & Film Festival, Atlanta, GA, 2009
University of Hawai‘i Law School, Honolulu, HI, 2009
Women’s Film Festival, Brattleboro, VT, 2009
San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival (now CAAMFest), 2009
Palace Theatre, Hilo, HI, 2009
Honolulu International Film Festival, 2009
International Women’s Day Film Festival, Boston, MA, 2009
Kaua‘i Community College, Lihue, Kaua‘i, HI, 2009
Hawai‘i International Film Festival, Honolulu, HI, 2008
Produced, Directed and Written by
Director of Photography
Location Production Assistants
D.C. Archival Research
Gravity Digital Post
Sound Design and Audio Post
Shawn Takabayashi, Audio Bytes
Motion Graphics by
screaming wink productions, LLC
Production Services by
Finance Insurance, Ltd.
Hawai‘i Community Television
League of Women Voters of Hawai‘i
Archival Courtesy Of
Archive Films/Getty Images
George Bacon, Bishop Museum
BBC Motion Gallery
Ralph Crane/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
Democratic Party of Hawai‘i
Harvey Finkle Photography
Hawai‘i State Archives
Mark Hemmings Photography
Historic Films Archive, LLC
The Honolulu Advertiser
The Honolulu Beacon
Greg Huglin/Footage Search
H. Iwanaga, Bishop Museum
Christina Baker Kline
Photography by Stephen Lewellyn, courtesy of the Univ. of Chicago Law School
Patsy T. Mink Papers at the Library of Congress Manuscript Division
Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, U.S. News & World Report Magazine Collection and FSA/OWI Collection
The Maui News
NBC News Archives
NCAA/Thought Equity Motion
LBJ Library photo by Yoichi R. Okamoto
Oregon Historical Society, Moving Image Archives
UCLA Film & Television Archive
Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library
University of Hawai‘i at Manoa Library, Hawai‘i Congressional Papers Collection
Archives & Special Collections, Univ. of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries
Political Communication Center, the University of Oklahoma
University. of South Carolina Newsfilm Archive
The WPA Film Library
“The Mike Douglas Show”clip courtesy of CBS Television Distribution
Patsy Mink interview provided by the Center for Labor Education and Research Moving Image Archive
Interview of Mrs. Mink by Tom Coffman (1995) for the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i
“First Congresswoman from Overseas”
LIFE Magazine, January 22, 1965,
© 1965 Life Inc. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.
From The New York Times, 6/18/1975 and 7/17/1975 © 1975 The New York Times All Rights Reserved.
Patsy Mink 1976 U.S. Senatorial Primary Campaign Film Provided by Vogt Productions, Washington, DC
The Washington Post, 10/25/2001
© 2001 The Washington Post. All rights reserved.
Performed by Andy Cummings from the Cord Intl./Hana Ola Records prod. HOCD 65000 Andy Cummings & His Hawaiian Serenaders c2004.
Courtesy of Cord Intl. & Hana Ola Records. All Rights Reserved. www.cordinternational.com.
Performed by George Kahumoku Jr., Keoki Kahumoku and Bob Brozman on Footprints in the Poi: George Kahumoku Jr. Live!
© 2003 Kealia Farms Record Company (KFRC1011)
Performed by Jules Ah See from the Cord Intl./Hana Ola Records prod. HOCD 34000 History Of Hawaiian Steel Guitar c1999.
Courtesy of Cord Intl. & Hana Ola Records. All Rights Reserved. www.cordinternational.com.
Composed and Performed by Audy Kimura
Written by Otis Redding
Irving Music, Inc. on behalf of East Memphis Music Corp. (BMI)
Performed by Aretha Franklin
Courtesy of Rhino Entertainment Company
By arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing
Funding Provided By
The State of Hawai‘i
American Brewing Company
Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation
Hawai‘i Council for the Humanities
Hawai‘i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts
Commercial Enterprises Ltd.
Center for Asian American Media
Hawaiian Hardwood Company Ltd.
Dolores Furtado Martin Foundation
Kwai Dick & Evelyn Chun
Hawai‘i State AFL-CIO
Billie Jean King
American Savings Bank
Ms. Foundation for Women
Yee Hop Realty, Limited
Ifuku Family Foundation
United Public Workers
Honolulu Business & Professional Women
Kona Business & Professional Women
Foundation for Hawai‘i Women’s History
Jo Ann Kagawa
Alston Hunt Floyd & Ing
Barbara & Tony Long
Vheissu & Carolyn Keffer
IFPTE Local 121
Teamsters, Local 996
David & Anna Sneed
Walter & Lora Sasaki
Mahalo / Thanks
Aqua Hotels and Resorts
Association of American Railroads
John, Huong & Andrew Bassford
Fmr. U.S. Senator Birch Evans Bayh II
Celia Bortfeld & Russell Baker
The Chun family
Laura L. Efurd
Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co.
U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye
Fmr. U.S. Rep. Andy Jacobs, Jr.
Joan A. Manke
David & Wendie McClain
U.S. Representative John L. Mica
Marie Nakanishi Milks
Fmr. U.S. Rep. Norm Mineta
Tina Jensen & Bernie Moriaz
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
Fmr. U.S. Rep. Pat Schroeder
Mathew & Gin Sgan
Stewart R. Mott Charitable Trust
Eugene & Frances Takemoto
U.S. Representative Maxine Waters
Kelly & Patty Westmiller
Trudy & Al Wong
U.S. Representative Lynn Woolsey
Mahalo Nui Loa / Special Thanks
Executive Producer for ITVS
Sally Jo Fifer
Executive Producer for PBS Hawai‘i
Filmed on Location in Hawai‘i.
Mahalo to the State of Hawai‘i, Hawai‘i Film Office and the Hawai‘i State Legislature.
This project is supported by a grant from the Hawai‘i Council for the Humanities, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
This project is made possible with support from the Hawai‘i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Patsy Mink: Ahead of the Majority is a co-production of Making Waves Films LLC and the Independent Television Service (ITVS), in association with PBS Hawai‘i and the Center for Asian American Media, with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.