Issue Date: March 3, 2023
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nathaniel Jue, Communications Coordinator
firstname.lastname@example.org, (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 email@example.com.
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.