“Rediscovering Toronto’s Lost Chinatown”

June, 1, 2016 – New Canadian Media

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Tucked behind Toronto City Hall’s curved towers, on Elizabeth Street, is a modest patch of greenery outfitted with bright red benches and blossoming tulips. It’s from this spot — once a parking lot— that historian Arlene Chan reconstructs an image of Toronto’s first Chinatown.

Chan draws on a mix of personal history and research to inform her audience, who joined her Heritage Toronto tour of Old Chinatown on May 14.  A librarian turned writer, Chan offers a glimpse into the lives of the city’s early Chinese immigrants.

“Why was there a Chinatown? Why was there such a tight-knit community?” asks Chan, before answering her own question. “It was because the Chinese were isolated. ”

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“How Discrimination Shapes What Your City Looks Like”

May, 29, 2016 – attn:

America’s cities may be home to individuals belonging to thousands of cultural groups and myriad socioeconomic statuses. But these urban centers are surprisingly no melting pot. As Nate Silver pointed out in several infographics,diverse cities are often the most segregated, especially at the neighborhood level.

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To add to this gloomy reality, today’s urban developers often use subtle tactics to keep cities economically and racially divided. “The fair housing laws passed in the last half-century have forced racists to devise whole new methods of discrimination, subtler but serving the same purpose: to keep people of color out of ‘white’ spaces,” author Daniel Kolitz wrote on the online culture publication Hopes & Fears.

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“波士頓華埠需要新的「大同村」”

2016-05-23 – 星島日報

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本報記者李強波士頓報導:波士頓華埠地處波士頓市中心,離金融區和新英格蘭地區最大的鐵路和長途大巴客運站波士頓南站只用步行幾分鐘。近年來,隨著市中心地價上漲,華埠已經成為波士頓市區租金最高的社區之一。房價和租金的上漲讓很多華人新移民在租約到期之後,付不起大幅上漲的新房租而不得不搬離華埠。

據紐英崙華人歷史協會的資料介紹,華人移民在1870年開始在波士頓北郊亞當市做皮鞋,在1883年,露宿在平安里帳篷,建波士頓電話機樓,而從那個時候開始波士頓有了唐人街。此後,在洗衣裳館及唐餐館,先輩華人移民們日日夜夜揮汗如雨,在必珠街血汗衣廠被人呼呼喝喝,閒來只吃一口香煙,在公園邊坐坐,在公所與鄉親、同村兄弟聊天。因為《排華法案》回中國無期,結婚找對象無        意,潦潦倒倒過了一生,這就是早期波士頓華僑的寫照。

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“Racism, real estate, and the lessons of history”

May, 18, 2016 – Vancouver Magazine

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As Prime Minister Trudeau apologizes for a horrendous act of racism in the past, are we creating the conditions for more of them in the future?

On Saturday, September 7, 1907, my great-grandfather Kumazo Nagata was visiting Vancouver from the family homestead on Mayne Island. It was a hot night. He never told his daughter-in-law, my grandmother, why he was in Chinatown that evening, though she speculates it had to do with his fondness for games of chance. Kumazo didn’t know he’d be gambling with his life by night’s end.

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“Chinatown Tenants Make Legal Breakthrough Agaainst Millionaire Slumlord”

Apr. 22, 2016 – Coalition to Protect Chinatown and the Lower Eastside

Following last week’s protest of three hundred Chinatown and Lower East Side residents, workers and supporters, the 83 & 85 Bowery tenants have made a breakthrough in holding their landlord Joseph Betesh accountable for allowing the buildings to fall into disrepair.
Yesterday, a housing court
judge ordered the 83 & 85 Bowery landlord to repair major violations including a sloping staircase and sloping floors within 60 days. If the repairs are not
done, the landlord could face arrest and jail time.

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“The Dichotomy of Identity: Jim Wong-Chu”

Apr. 13, 2016 – The Georgia Straight (Video)

Asian-Canadian literature pioneer talks about the ongoing struggle of identity in this short-doc

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For minorities in North America, the divide between racial identity and cultural identity has always been an issue. What makes someone Canadian (or American)? What does it mean for someone to feel out of place in a country that he or she should consider home?

In this Straight short-doc, Vancouver poet, author, and editor Jim Wong-Chu explains how the experience of alienation is much stronger for those who were born into a Canadian minority community than for those who have immigrated here. Continue reading

“Death by Gentrification: Alex Nieto Killed by Hail of Police Bullets in a Changing San Francisco”

Apr. 12, 2016 – Democracy Now! (Video) – Mission District, San Francisco

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We look at the case of Alex Nieto, a 28-year-old Latino man fatally shot by San Francisco police in March 2014. The police officers accused in the killing claimed that Nieto pointed a stun gun at them, which they mistook for a pistol. Officers Richard Schiff, Nathan Chew, Roger Morse and Lt. Jason Sawyer fired dozens of shots at Nieto. According to the medical examiner, he was hit by at least 10 bullets. Last month, a jury unanimously found that the police did not use excessive force in responding to Nieto. Nieto’s family had filed a federal wrongful death civil lawsuit in August 2014, arguing in court that Nieto did not act aggressively and was carrying the weapon for his job as a security guard. We speak with Adriana Camarena, a writer, community advocate and co-founder of the Justice for Alex Nieto Coalition; and author Rebecca Solnit, who wrote a piece for The Guardian headlined “Death by gentrification: the killing that shamed San Francisco.” Camarena also talks about last week’s San Francisco police killing of a homeless man, Luis Gongora, within 30 seconds of their arrival. Continue reading

“Increased NYCHA Services Still Leave Asian Tenants in Dark, Activists Say”

Apr. 11, 2016 – DNAinfo

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NEW YORK CITY — As the city’s public housing authority adds more Asian language services to its customer service phone system in response to pressure from elected officials, tenant advocacy groups say the city still is not doing enough.

The New York City Housing Authority has added Mandarin and Cantonese language options to its automated customer phone system, a week after Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez wrote a letter to the agency requesting the change — but tenants who speak Korean and Bangla are still deprived of language resources, according to activist group CAAAV: Organizing Asian Communities,which has previously criticized the authority for its limited language services.

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“華埠名裁縫黃光大 堅守祖業獲表揚”

2016-04-10 – 星島日報

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為了表揚超過100年歷史的溫市華埠裁縫店趨時裁縫店(Modernize Tailors)為卑詩省多元文化及歷史作出的貢獻,加華歷史協會周六頒發獎狀給該店黃氏家族成員,該家族「掌門人」黃光大稱,這個獎推動已經94歲的他,繼續把裁縫店經營下去。
加華歷史協會趁周六在溫東一間酒家舉行年度宴會時,邀請卑詩省國際貿易、亞太策略和多元文化廳長屈潔冰頒發獎狀給黃氏家族。出席者包括省議員李燦明及狄德安(Adrian Dix)、溫市議員雷健華及惠綺文(Andrea Reimer)、西門菲沙大學榮休教授王健及原住民部落酋長等。

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