Hi all! I'm running the 2020 Boston Marathon to support the Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center - please consider donating to support a wonderful organization serving a working class Asian American community in Boston!
Though I've only lived in Boston for my four years of college, I owe a lot to Boston's Chinatown. Having volunteered for the Phillips Brooks House Association (PBHA)'s Chinatown Afterschool and Chinatown Adventure Programs, I've grown to know and love this community that has provided so much for recent immigrants adapting to life in the U.S.
Boston's Chinatown has also taught me a lot about struggle and perserverance. Having grown up in upper middle class, predominantly white communities and been exposed to mainstream "model minority" narratives of success, I wasn't aware of the specific issues affecting Chinatowns across the United States, and the rampant income inequality within the Asian American community. Gentrification and displacement is happening at an alarming rate in Chinatown, where the median yearly household income is $14,289, less than my fundraising goal for this race. Luxury developments, speculative real estate practices, and the encroachment of Tufts Medical Center have chipped away at Chinatown, and in 2010 the Asian population dropped down to below 50% for the first time. I knew my volunteer work had to be connected with a greater effort to preserve Boston's Chinatown when I attended a rally organized by the Chinese Progressive Association and saw the parent of one of my fifth graders sharing her family's experience of being displaced. Hearing about their resilience and learning more about how their experience drove them to become more involved in community organizing inspired me to action as well.
So that's why I'm running. Not just to raise money for a nonprofit doing amazing work, but to highlight Asian American issues that go unnoticed and the incredible work being done to solve them. BCNC is an indispensible asset in a neighborhood facing unique pressures. In a political climate increasingly volatile for immigrants, I find it especially important to support the work that BCNC does.
Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center (BCNC) empowers Asians and new immigrants to build healthy families, achieve greater economic success, and contribute to thriving communities by providing a broad range of innovative programs and services for children, youth, and adults. We provide a broad range of innovative programs and services centered around education, workforce development, family support, and arts and culture, leaving a significant and lasting impact on the lives of more than 13,000 children, youth, and adults every year. For more information, visit bcnc.net.