Issue Date: March 3, 2023
Media Contact:
Nathaniel Jue, Communications Coordinator, (408) 712-0025


SAN FRANCISCO, March 6, 2023—The Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association (CCBA)  and Chinese Historical Society of America (CHSA) are proud to host a free celebration of the  125th anniversary of the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case brought by San Francisco native  Wong Kim Ark that has benefited millions of children of all backgrounds who are born in the  United States. The program will be held on Saturday, March 25, 2023, and will highlight the  history of Chinese American civil rights activism that continues to benefit all communities, discuss  current immigration issues, and introduce new opportunities to uphold the values of this history. 

During an era in the late 1800s fraught with intense discrimination against immigrants and U.S.  natives of Chinese ancestry, United States v. Wong Kim Ark was a hard-fought victory confirming  that the Constitution’s guarantee of birthright citizenship—all persons born or naturalized in the  United States are citizens of the United States—applied to Chinese Americans and all other  peoples.  

“CCBA stood against the tide of anti-Chinese laws here in San Francisco and across California  and the nation. The civil rights victories of Wong Kim Ark and others were made possible by  lawyers brought in by CCBA. We share in that history today,” stated Mel Lee, CCBA board  member.  

Wong Kim Ark Day community festivities will take place in San Francisco Chinatown on  Saturday, March 25, at 10:30 a.m., at Victory Memorial Hall located at 827 Stockton Street. The  ceremony will be emceed by ABC7 San Francisco news anchor Dion Lim and will be followed  by a panel discussion with educators including Ming Hsu Chen, Director of the UC Law San  Francisco Center for Race, Immigration, Citizenship & Equality; UC Berkeley Law Historian  Charles J. McClain; UC Davis Law Professor Gabriel “Jack” Chin; University of Virginia Law  Professor Amanda Frost; and 1990 Institute Executive Director Susana Liu-Hedberg.  

“Today, Wong Kim Ark signifies that San Francisco’s Chinatown is living proof that the legal  battles of America’s civil rights era—those typically associated with the 1960s—began in the 19th  century,” asserts CHSA Education Coordinator Amanda Putnam. Adds Justin Hoover, CHSA 

Executive Director, “Bringing the Wong Kim Ark story to all people is an important part of our  mission at the Chinese Historical Society of America. Wong Kim Ark’s courage is as important  today as it was in 1898.”  

Admission is free to the public; attendees are encouraged to RSVP via Eventbrite. For more  information about registration or further inquiries regarding this special event, please contact at  

Sponsoring organizations include the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area,  American Immigration Lawyers Association Northern California Chapter; Angel Island  Immigration Station Foundation; 1990 Institute; and the UC Law San Francisco Center for Race, Immigration, Citizenship & Equality. 

Additional Wong Kim Ark celebrations are being held by research universities throughout San  Francisco. On Thursday, March 23, at 12:30 p.m., the UC Law San Francisco Center for Race,  Immigration & Citizenship Colloquium will spotlight birthright citizenship. Professor Sam Erman  will present cutting-edge research on racism among the international lawyers who interpreted  the Constitutional provision that provides for birthright citizenship. He will be joined by UC Law  Professors Reuel Schiller and Chen. Details available here. 


The Chinese Historical Society of America in San Francisco is the oldest organization in the  country dedicated to the presentation of Chinese American history. Since 1963, CHSA has  strived to be a responsible steward of the remarkable narrative of the Chinese American  community through education and programming. 

The Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association has its origins from the first wave of  Chinese immigrants to San Francisco in the 1840s. It was formally established in 1882 at the  height of anti-Chinese laws, including the Chinese Exclusion Act, in order to protect the legal  rights and other needs of Chinese Americans. 


Download the press release here.