On Saturday, February 11, 2023, the Chinese community in Greater Seattle will mark the 137th anniversary of the Chinese Expulsion Act and the Seattle riot of 1886 with a remembrance and a celebration of the contributions made by Chinese Americans to the U.S.
The Seattle riot of 1886, occurring between the 6th and 9thof February 1886, was one of the largest ethnic pogroms in American history. Hundreds of Chinese people living in Seattle were expelled at gunpoint, and several were killed. Rising anti-Chinese sentiment, caused by intense labor competition and the passing of the Chinese Exclusion Act by the U.S. Congress in 1882, triggered the riot. In a later ironic twist, some remaining Chinese were key to reconstruction after the Great Seattle Fire of 1889, which destroyed Seattle’s entire Central District.
134 years later, on the 21st of January, 2020, Seattle was the first U.S. city to report a COVID-19 case. Once again, Chinese people in Seattle were under threat. Donald Trump’s pejorative nicknaming of COVID-19 as the “China Virus”, alongside other domestic and international events, led to a wave of crime and discrimination against Asian-Americans, particularly Chinese-Americans, over the past two years.
The goal of this commemoration is to raise awareness and draw attention to this checkered past, such that these failures will never be repeated with a new generation of immigrants, regardless of origin. We will celebrate the contributions Chinese-Americans, alongside other immigrants, have made to Seattle, America, and the American Dream for the past 150 years. This is the fourth time the Chinese Expulsion has been formally remembered in Seattle: the first and second remembrances were held in 1986 and 2011 – the 100th and 125th anniversaries, respectively, of one of the darkest occasions in Chinese-American and Seattle history – while the third was organized by our organization last year.
The event will begin at 10:30AM, Saturday, February 11, 2023 in Hing Hay Park (located in Seattle’s Chinatown/International District). We will hear from Seattle’s elected and community leaders, who will share their experiences and illuminate the hopeful future of Seattle’s Chinese-American community. At 11:00AM, a procession will travel from Hing Hay Park via Chinese Gate in Chinatown to the Seattle waterfront, marking the path by which Chinese-Americans were forcibly deported in 1886. This event and commemoration will last about 1.5 hours in total.
“We were very encouraged by last year’s turnout of over 500 people, with strong support from the Chinese community and other community organizations, and are pleased to begin hosting this event annually. We hope to draw attention to the discrimination and violence experienced by the Chinese-American community over the past 150 years. At the same time, we want to highlight the contributions made by the Chinese and all other immigrant communities towards bettering America together,” remarked Winston Lee, president of the United Chinese Americans of Washington (UCAWA).
The event is jointly organized by more than 20 local Chinese American organizations in the public interest. And so, we’d like to extend an invitation for everyone to join this peaceful gathering, regardless of ethnic or cultural background. Together, we can forge a stronger local community!
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United Chinese Americans (UCA) is outraged by the ruthless and senseless killing of eight people - including six women of Asian descent - in Georgia this past Tuesday.
UCA strongly condemns the brazen shootings which, regardless of the motives, have targeted the Asian American women and terrorized Asian American.
Help to protect our community from Coronavirus Disease 2019(COVID-19) !
The Chinese Community Alliance recently gifted $140,000 to the EvergreenHealth Foundation in recognition of the health system’s ongoing efforts to treat the COVID-19 outbreak in the region.
The donation from the Chinese Community Alliance will help secure additional PPE for EvergreenHealth providers and staff as they care for patients with COVID-19.
Today, we are joining a community wide civic movement called United Chinese Americans (UCA).
Since late 2016, when it started, UCA has served, lead and inspired our community in so many ways:
—UCA has stood up defending our civil rights, such as Sherry Chen and Xiaoxing Xi;
—UCA has launched national forum on how we can be more civically engaged;
—UCA conducts nationwide dialogue with FBI and prosecutors through public forum;
—UCA has a program monitoring Congress, educating Members of Congress and elected officials, and promoting the right legislation;
—UCA has promoted pubic service and charity work in UCA community and through the traditional festivals;
—UCA organizes national youth internship and leadership training programs;
—UCA holds bi-annual “Chinese American Convention” where leaders of our community meet and set agenda for the future.
We will work closely with fellow Chinese Americans of all background in Washington to advance the wellbeing of our community and make greater contribution to our society.
Let us come together and start this exciting journey together!
United Chinese Americans-Washington
Today, as Chinese Americans, we face great opportunities as well as challenges as never before, as our community has been going through fast and fundamental changes.
How do we become civically engaged citizens? How do we approach public policy or politics that impact our life? How to work with the larger society and protect our civil rights? How do we define our identity and preserve our heritage? And how do we raise and train our next generation?
If you have been thinking some of these questions, you are not alone. We would like to invite you to join us to explore the future together.
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