Standing Strong for Inclusion: Commemorate the 140th Anniversary of the Chinese Exclusion Act

Dear Friends,

On behalf of the Commemoration Committee, we invite you to join us as a community partner for a series of commemorative events to highlight the resilience of our communities and affirm our solidarity with all people who are fighting for inclusion, not exclusion. You may help us by signing on as a community partner, sharing, and encouraging your members to attend our events. If you would like to be a community partner, please send your logo to Eddie Wong eddieoak@att.net. To be included in the print poster, please send in logos by 4/23. May 6, 2022 marks the 140th anniversary of the passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act, the nation’s first law to single out an ethnic group as undesirable and ineligible for U.S. citizenship. In the decades that followed, this exclusion was expanded to cover most countries across Asia and the Pacific. The Act was repealed only in 1943, finally ending 61 years of official discrimination. But did its effects ever truly leave us? Today, we are experiencing a dismaying rise in violent attacks on Asian Americans. We cannot afford to stay silent; we must instead stand together to stop the hateful legacy of this Act that our community continues to face.

We have planned the following events:

Friday, May 6 at 10:30 a.m.  on Angel Island – SF Bay Area community leaders will lay a memorial wreath at the Chinese Immigrant Monument at the Angel Island Immigration Station. Participants will also place the remaining pieces of a 140-candle display for the “Lighting the Darkness” exhibit in the Detention Barracks. 

Friday, May 6 from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture  – “Off the Grid” opens at 5pm, at 8pm filmmaker Felicia Lowe and visual installation artist Ben Wood will present “Exclusion/Inclusion,”  a site based video projection on the walls of Fort Mason’s building B, and onto the windows of the Guard House showing a series of videos about Angel Island Immigration Station. 

Saturday, May 7 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. – San Francisco Chinatown.   “Standing Strong: 140 Years After the Chinese Exclusion Act,” a program at the Chinese Culture Center.  Two short films by Felicia Lowe: What’s Your Real Name? and Carved in Silence, will be followed by remarks on current immigration issues by USF law professor Bill Hing, and reflections by community and youth leaders addressing the need for solidarity amid the continued rise of anti-Asian hate. 

The program concludes with artists Summer Mei Ling Lee’s and Stephan Xie’s  “In Honor of Our Belonging,” a procession and remembrance of survivors of anti-Asian hate. Priests from the Taoist Lotus Institute will perform a blessing ritual while the names of 140 people whose lives were impacted by the Chinese Exclusion Act are read by members of our community and those standing in solidarity with us.  Participants will then walk on the pedestrian bridge into Portsmouth Square where incense and photos will be placed at a community altar. For those interested in signing up for the procession, or bringing photo for the altar, please contact jenny@cccsf.us

June and July 2022. Dates and location TBD.  As part of the community program “The Conversation from Vincent Chin to George Floyd” in June, a 90-minute youth-centered workshop entitled “A River’s Journey: Diaspora, Othering and Statehood” will be offered. The workshop contextualizes U.S. immigration policy as it pertains to our own immigration histories. The emergent wave of anti-API hatred has historical and material roots, and the practical and political need for community solidarity across ethnic and racial lines will be highlighted.

Additionally, in July an event focused on creative expression will take place, offering youth the opportunity to create artwork, murals, and skits in celebration of multicultural solidarity.

Supporters/Partners can also make a donation to underwrite activities with a tax-deductible gift. All tax-deductible contributions may be made out to Chinese for Affirmative Action, 17 Walter U Lum Place, San Francisco, CA 94108. Please indicate that the donation is for the Commemoration Committee.

Sincerely,

The Commemoration Committee
eddieoak@att.net/jenny@cccsf.us

Silent Spikes Exhibition SF Main Library through May 22

Skylight Gallery Exhibit Area – 6th Fl

Main Library

100 Larkin Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
415-557-4400

info@sfpl.org

Photographer Li Ju travelled the entire route of the Transcontinental Railroad seven times to chronicle the historic achievement of uniting the United States from East to West with the construction of the railroad.

In this 30-panel exhibition, Li Ju places his contemporary photos next to the historic photos to show the tremendous accomplishments of the largely anonymous 12,000–20,000 Chinese workers who built the railroad.

Special event: Film and panel discussion on the Chinese and the Transcontinental Railroad. March 12, 11:00 a.m., Main Library, Koret Auditorium.

San Francisco Offers Formal Apology to Chinese Immigrants for Past Wrongs, Racism

San Francisco Offers Formal Apology to Chinese Immigrants for Past Wrongs, Racism

On Wednesday, February 2, 2022, the City of San Francisco Board of Supervisors announced a resolution offering a formal apology to Chinese immigrants and their descendants over past atrocities. In a landmark unanimous vote, the resolution introduced by Supervisor Matt Haney in part-nership with former SFUD students was approved by the board’s Budget and Finance Committee. San Francisco became the fourth city in the state of California to offer a formal apology, following the cities of Antioch, Los Angeles, and San Jose. 

The resolution cited numerous instances of racism against the Chinese community dating back to the 19th century, including SFUSD’s closure of Chinese schools between 1870-1885. It also apologizes for the three-day riot in 1877 that targeted the Chinese community: four people died and dozens of Chinese-owned laundries were destroyed or looted.

In addition, the resolution’s chief sponsor, Supervisor Haney, acknow-ledged current ongoing racism and violence against the Chinese and AAPI communities amid the COVID-19 pandemic and pledges budget investments in support of the greater Bay Area AAPI community. The resolution apologizes on behalf of the board and the city for “systemic and structural discrimination” and targeted acts of violence.

San Francisco Supervisor Gordon Mar, who is of Chinese descent stated, “As a city that values inclusion and equity, facing our past mistakes head on is an important step towards healing, safety, and justice.”

In support and partnership of this resolution, CHSA held press conference along with Supervisor Haney, members of the API Council, and former students Wednesday morning outside the CHSA museum on Joice Street. The an-nouncement and ceremony took place with members of the community on hand. 

“You’ll find in the resolution that there are many different atrocities that we thought would never happen in this city,” said Drew Min, student at the University of California, Berkeley, and one of the Chinese American youth who co-wrote the bill. “We have to never forget, so we can continue to correct mistakes to make sure the same is not committed.”

“An apology is not enough unless it’s met with real action and budget solutions that will truly benefit the community,” Justin Hoover, executive director of CHSA, said in a statement.

The Budget and Appropriations Committee will hold budget hearings in the coming months to determine investments into the AAPI community.

Chinese American WWII Veterans National Ceremony

Watch the recorded videos of the September 30, 2021 Chinese American WWII Veterans Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony in Washington, D.C.

Watch the presentation of the National Chinese American WWII Veterans Congressional Gold Medal Presentation on Facebook by clicking the button below. Note there is a 28 minute delay at the beginning of the video.

When the title page appears click the area between WWII and Veterans to start the video.

At the bottom of the video move the slider to 28:55.

Watch the Gala speaking program on Facebook by clicking the button below.

Share the events with your friends and family. Don’t forget to tag @AARPAAPI when sharing.

Sponsored By:

The Chinese American WWII Veterans Recognition Project is a program of the Chinese American Citizens Alliance (C.A.C.A.), a 501(c)8, and the National Chinese American Citizens Alliance Community Involvement Fund, a 501(c)3. Together we are spearheading a national campaign to identify, honor and recognize the efforts and accomplishments of all Chinese Americans who served in the United States Armed Services in World War II. For more information contact cgminfo@caww2.org.

VENG Group | C.A.C.A. C.I.F., Washington, DC 20035

China Camp State Park, a Hidden Gem

Docent Ed Lai, FOCC Executive Director Martin Lowenstein, Frank Mah, Justine Wong, Doreen Lew, Evelyn Seto, Leona Lau, Joe Yoshino, Jeannie Young, John Lew August 2021

In mid-July, a member of the Bay Area Chinese Genealogy Group (BACGG) contacted Dr. Jason Lau to make arrangements for a docent tour of China Camp State Park.  Half of the eight were first time visitors. Martin Lowenstein, FOCC executive director, welcomed the group at the café. The slightly breezy August afternoon visit included a tour of the former Chinese fishing village by Ed Lai. His presentation included the history of Miwok, Spanish, and Chinese inhabitants. His tour began with a walk out on the pier to see the replica of a Chinese fishing junk, museum, and shrimp processing equipment. Back at the cafe, volunteer, Ernie Stanton, shared details about the Quans, the last family to run the café, and pointed out photos from when the village was used as a set for a John Wayne film, Blood Alley.

Naturalist, Jerry Coe, led the group on a nature hike on the Turtle Back Loop. He discussed the history of the pre-colonial Miwok who lived in harmony with the land. Jerry patiently helped members of the group learn to identify different flora. They all tasted pickle weed, a source of salt, from the marshland.

Members of the group joined FOCC and also made donations. An article about China Camp State Park will be posted on the BACGG website later this month.

“China Camp State Park is a 1,514-acre park nestled along the shoreline of San Pablo Bay in San Rafael, California. The park boasts panoramic views, lush oak woodlands, and over 100 acres of protected tidal salt marsh. Whether you’re a hiker or mountain biker, a history buff, or a beach lover, you’ll have an unforgettable day at China Camp.


Visit China Camp’s historic shrimping village and beach area. The village is the perfect place to bring friends and family for a fun day trip. Visit the museum to learn more about China Camp’s fascinating history. Stop by the historic cafe on weekends for snacks and cold drinks. The site features first-come, first-served picnic areas with tables, drinking water, bathrooms, and an outdoor shower.

Learn more about the Chinese shrimp fishing in San Francisco Bay: watch a video by Chinese Whispers: Bay Chronicles.

http://chinese-whispers.org/bay-chronicles/


Friends of China Camp (FOCC) is the community-based nonprofit organization that keeps China Camp State Park open. Since 2012, FOCC has been the sole operator and manager of the park. The organization, largely run by volunteers, is responsible for covering all expenses related to keeping the park open. Find out how you can become a member, and help keep China Camp open and thriving for all.

Friends of China Camp (FOCC) is committed to keeping China Camp State Park open and thriving for our community. To learn more about China Camp, plan a day trip, or camping trip visit the FOCC website at https://friendsofchinacamp.org

China Camp State Park Chinese Fishing Camp

Bystander Intervention PSA

Learn more about bystander intervention. Attend a free ihollaback online training

https://www.ihollaback.org/harassmenttraining/

BYSTANDER INTERVENTION TRAININGS

Hollaback! teaches bystander intervention using our proven 5D’s methodology: Distract, Delegate, Document, Delay, and Direct. Exit polls show that 99% of people we train leave confident they will intervene next time they witness disrespect or harassment. Here are specific trainings in this space that we offer:

Sign up for a free Guide to Bystander Invention https://www.ihollaback.org/