|2021 PLCT Year-end Report|
PLCT has completed its first full year with its new slate of trustees. We have tried to build on the legacy and high standards of the previous administration. We ended this year with twelve trustees and seven advisers. My goal is to have each subchapter represented by a trustee or adviser to draw on the expertise, wisdom, and concerns of our entire organization and to maintain communication with subchapters.
Four trustees will depart the board: Sis. Virginia Li of LA, Br. Patrick Kuo and Br. Jay Ho of Seattle, and Br. Justin Fung of NJ. We have five nominees who our board have approved to bring our current total to 13. They are York Lo (BO), HJ Yang (FL), Eugene Ho (BA), Brian Pan (NJ), and Edward Cheng (NY).
To remind you, our mission is to support healthcare and education, alleviate the effects of poverty, and improve the positive image of Chinese people. This last category was added during then pandemic when anti-Chinese sentiments became a serious concern.
This year, we continued to support on-going programs like Food Angel in Hong Kong and the Grace Charity college student program spearheaded and directed by Br. Bob Woo from LA. This year, we supported 6 students from poor provinces, each for four years of college. Br. YP Chan (SE) has stepped up to assist Br. Bob in the coming years. Br. YP is also exploring other collaborations with institutes of higher learning in China.
We have added our support to a number of ambitious long-term domestic projects:
Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center’s Invigorate Boston Chinatown Initiative is a four-year project to expand services to residents of Chinatown and surrounding Asian communities who have been disproportionately and increasingly impacted by Covid. Among other services, this group provides early education, childcare, workforce initiatives, English as a Second Language classes, creative arts and cultural programs, and healthcare, including mental health support.
The Chinese Historical Society of New England’s 100 years of Chinese Students in America Initiative is also a multi-year program to produce a book, exhibition, lecture series and other educational products that tell the story of Chinese students and their contributions, especially in the Boston area.
The PLCT-sponsored San Diego Chinese Historical Museum lecture series will promote the importance and history of China’s porcelain industry.
PLCT also help support Sis. Mina Chow’s (LA) documentary, Face of a Nation: What Happened to the World’s Fair, enabling it to be shown on PBS-affiliated cable channels. This film is illustrative of the inspirational impact the US had on new Chinese immigrants and raises the question of how to recapture that imagination and spirit.
PLCT continues to support MOCA, in large part by a matching donation by Br. Donald Chu, raising a combined grant of $35,000.
We initiated a new Stimulus Grant program introduced by trustee Sis. Virginia Li (LA). The idea was to provide small seed grants to children or relatives of PL members to start non-profit programs in support of our mission. The hope was that young people with ideas to improve the lives of Chinese people will come forward with projects that we would support both to encourage innovative ideas but also to engage the younger generation.
The first project we pledged support to was a “I am Chinese. I am an American” video project. The goal was to create a video predominantly produced by members of this younger generation that could be shown on social media and in classrooms. The hope was to push back on anti-Chinese acts and rhetoric. The concept was simple: give a short history of Chinese in America, expose some of the anti-Chinese behavior in America, then get Chinese people of varied backgrounds to simple state “I am Chinese. I am an American” in a setting that gives a glimpse into their life in America. The idea was to promote a varied image of Chinese people and to show that we are just like all Americans. Legislating punishment for acts of violence or hate is one way to combat such behavior, but to really reverse these deep-seated sentiments requires understanding, familiarization, commonality, and, finally, acceptance.
Unfortunately, despite many members saying it was a good idea. I received only two videos from PL. I felt I could not proceed without substantial participation from PL. Perhaps I did not explain clearly what the project would be and what I was asking of members.
That project has been put on hold. However, in my many conversations, I was drawn to two PL off-springs, Emily Yen and James Shiang, who showed the youthful enthusiasm I was looking for. They came up with a film project which PLCT ultimately funded as a Stimulus Grant. The project, titled Exploring the Return to Anti-Chinese Sentiments, looks at post-WW2 Chinese immigrants and the anti-Chinese experience of the McCarthy Era. The study group is essentially members of their grandparents’ and parent’s generation, many of whom are PL members. These Chinese, as individuals and as a group, have contributed positively to American society. Emily and James plan to produce a full-length documentary.
The next phase of the Stimulus Grant could benefit both PLCT and PLUS. PLCT proposes to introduce this program to college students primarily through Chinese Students Associations. Not only are these students potentially full of new ideas, many are social and civic-minded. By presenting this opportunity to them, PL will have a foothold into a new pool of potential members. By partnering with PLUS, we will have far more members who have connections with local colleges and universities and who could act as liaisons. Who knows if this would allow PL to reinvigorate itself?
I would be remiss in not reminding our members that PLCT is only as strong and productive as our members. We rely on you for both donations, as well as project ideas. One of our minor fund-raising events will occur after the convention. The 1 st in our Zoom film series, The Search for General Tso, is a delightfully delicious documentary, which tells the tale of the origins of this famous dish. Producer Jennifer8 Lee will be our guest for a Q and A moderated by restauranteur and Chinese cookbook author, Mei Li, daughter of Sis. Elaine Shiang . Our 2nd screening, Far East Deep South, is on Sat. Dec. 11 th at 5 pm. PST and 8 pm. EST. You will receive a separate email invitation. Just prior to next year’s Chinese New Year, we will present Amy Tan: Unintended Memoir. Amy generously donated a collection of autographed books to raffle off. Contact Br. Daniel Chang (dchang@JandJadvisors.com) to RSVP.
Finally, PLCT was gifted with an exciting donation by an anonymous PL member in support of an endowment honoring Br. Bob Woo for his unwavering energy and dedication to educating Chinese students. This initial pledge of $20,000 will be set aside towards a Robert and Vicky Woo, Jr. Educational Endowment Fund. Building such an endowment will ensure the sustainability of Bob’s years of hard work and devotion to PLCT and its college student program. A big thank you to our donor angel and congratulations to Br. Bob and Sis. Vicky. We welcome all of you to honor Bob and our donor with additional donations and pledges to PLCT, or specifically to this new fund.
PLCT is healthy in spiritually and financially. As out treasurer, Br. Daniel Chang, has reported, we have a stable financial foundation and are planning for the future by expanding our donor base, increasing engagement with members, investing prudently, and beginning a discussion of endowments.
Robin T.W. Yuan, M.D.