This upcoming October, the 1882 Foundation will be holding its inaugural Chinese American Women in History Conference.
The 1882 Foundation is a non-profit organization based in Washington D.C.’s Chinatown. 1882 was founded by Executive Director Ted Gong, with the purpose and mission of promoting public awareness of Chinese American history and issues, primarily the significance, history, and implications 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act. The 1882 Foundation, along with other organizations, joined forces, resulting in Congress apologizing and condemning the Chinese Exclusion Act. Today, the 1882 Foundation’s collects and shares oral histories through our monthly Talk Story events, promotes the teaching of Asian American literature and history in schools, and collaborates with different organizations far and wide to broaden our worldview and further our respective goals and values, because together, we are stronger.
With that being said, it is such an honor to have the opportunity to collaborate with Pacific Atrocities Education through this guest feature on their blog!
At the 1882 Foundation’s inaugural Chinese American Women in History Conference, we seek to fill in the gaps for the lack of history and awareness on the 1945 War Brides Act and pre-1965 Chinese American history.
The War Brides Act was enacted in 1945, “An act to expedite the admission to the United States of alien spouses and alien minor children of citizen members of the United States armed forces” (UWB Library)
During our Conference, one of our panelists whose work we hope to highlight is Evelyn Hang Yin.
Evelyn Hang Yin 尹航 is an artist from Hangzhou, China and currently pursuing her MFA degree in Photography & Media at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). She received her B.A. in Political Science and Media Studies at University of California at Berkeley and Post-Baccalaureate in Studio Art at San Francisco Art Institute before landing in Los Angeles. Her work investigates how her personal experiences moving between two countries inform her cultural identity. She is currently developing her thesis project with a focus on early Chinese immigrant history in America and how those stories live today.
Evelyn is currently conducting research in Hanford, located in central California, which is home to a rural Chinatown. She hopes to tell and preserve the story of Hanford’s Chinatown through creative photography.
There, she is interviewing longtime resident, and Chinese American, Camille Wing, who is leading the restoration of a Taoist temple in Hanford. Hanford is home to China Alley, where the only open establishment is a tea shop that is run by Camille’s daughter and son-in-law at the end of the road. As time passes, less and less Chinese Americans call Hanford home, prompting Camille to preserve what is left. Thus the China Alley Preservation Society was born in the 1970s, which was mostly run by men. However, as years passed, this was a role and undertaking that was dominated by women.
More of Evenlyn’s work and research will be discussed at the Chinese American Women in History Conference. The Conference weekend features two full days of programming and an opening reception and open house at the new Chinese American Museum DC. Panels on the first day will cover topics such as a historical discussion on the War Brides Act and its impact, the women who played a role in desegregation in the Gong Lum v. Rice court case, Dr. Mabel Ping-hua Lee and the efforts to commemorate a NYC post office in her honor. The night will conclude with a public screening of Finding Kukan (2016) with filmmaker Robin Lung, and The Curse of Quan Gwon (1916) by Marion E. Wong, represented by her grandson Greg Mark. Day 2 will be focused on sharing and telling our untold stories through community conversations, including a storytelling workshop and open mic sessions.
Registration for the Conference is now OPEN, and interested attendees can register at our website. https://1882foundation.org/chinese-american-women-in-history-conference/.
Attendees interested in submitting their written stories for the workshop portion can email them, as well as any questions or inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos by Evelyn Hang Yin