Towards Equality: California’s Chinese American Women

Women have played a vital role in the course of human civilization, but much of their accomplishments and contributions have been excluded from history. Throughout California’s history, Chinese American women have contributed to the economy of our state. The Chinese Historical Society of America’s new exhibition Towards Equality: California’s Chinese American Women highlights their accomplishments in education, politics, finance, business, and their pivotal role as matriarchs. The exhibit is on view at CHSA from December 1, 2018 – June 2, 2019 Extended through Fall 2019!

Towards Equality: California’s Chinese American Women will inform San Francisco Bay Area residents, with an emphasis on school-age children, as well as visitors about the history of Chinese American pioneer women in California, and their effect and impact on the Chinese family, California economy and the community-at-large.

Lectures, cultural performances, educational programs and panel discussions in connection with the exhibition will be presented at CHSA and around the San Francisco Bay Area.

Scheduled programs & events (more events to be announced soon):

  • November 30, 2018, 3:30-6:30pm: Members & VIP Preview Reception
  • December 1, 2018: Exhibit on view at the Chinese Historical Society of America

Towards Equality Women Artists Series
Program series led by local women artists exploring personal and family history through art

  • Towards Equality Artists’ Showcase – Sat. June 8, 2019, 1:00 – 2:30 pm  |  event info >
    “Towards Equality” Women Artists Lenora Lee, Katie Quan, & Cynthia Tom will discuss their experiences leading workshops at CHSA. They will show audience members new works-in-progress, inspired by their time at CHSA.
  • Brown Bag Film Screenings: Mamie Tape and The Fight for Equality in Education by Loni Ding – Every Thursday in March @ 12:00 pm – 12:30 pm
    For Women’s History Month in March, we will screen Loni Ding’s 20-minute documentary chronicles the Tape family’s quest for access to public education for Chinese Americans at the height of Jim Crow. Ding connects the family’s struggle with larger civil rights movements around public education, social justice, and equality.
  • Words On Fire: The Work of Nellie Wong, Kitty Tsui & Canyon Sam – Sat. March 30 @ 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm  |  event info >
    Three members of “Unbound Feet,” the seminal Chinese American womens’ writing & performing ensemble (1979-82) will read original poetry and a memoir. Jex Ponce Nguyen will accompany them on guitar.
  • “Stepping into Your Story” – Sat. February 16, 2019, 11:30 a.m. – 3:30 pm | event info >
    Mixed-media artist Cynthia Tom will guide participants through this experiential workshop using intuitive art-making techniques to access participants’ inner stories.
  • “Hannah Hsieh’s Dulcimer Recital” – Sat. January 12, 2018, 1:00 – 2:30 pm  |  event info >
    Taiwanese performer and composer Hannah Hsieh will showcase the musical diversity of the dulcimer, playing select songs from Chinese and American cultures while premiering her own compositions based on her experiences in California.
  • “Family History as Graphic Novel” – Sat. December 8, 2018, 1:00 – 3:00 pm  |  event info >
    Inspired by Amy Chin’s “Meet the Chin Family” graphic novel in our main exhibition, local artist Katie Quan will facilitate a two-hour workshop where participants will have the opportunity to draw their family history as graphic novels.
  • “Stories in Motion” – Sat. November 10, 2018, 1:00 – 4:00 pm  |  event info >
    Dancer/Choreographer/Artistic Director Lenora Lee will engage participants’ personal stories through movement, writing, theater, and video exercises.

Traveling exhibition 
After May 2019, the exhibition will be made available for loan to universities, libraries and community groups to reach beyond the audiences of San Francisco.

Curriculum Guide

Our companion curriculum guide meets Common Core State Standards for K-12 educators. Lesson plans will help teachers integrate Chinese American women into their lessons. Download curriculum guide (pdf) >




Exhibition & Programs Sponsored By
SF Grants for the Arts logoSF Arts Commission logo

Please contact us with any questions online or at at (415) 391-1188 x101. Thank you for your support!

Location & Hours

965 Clay Street
San Francisco, CA 94108


Mon – Tue: Closed
Wed – Sun: 11 A.M. – 4 P.M.