My involvement in educational justice work began when I joined the Chinese Progressive Association in SF's Chinatown in 1984. My twin brother Gordon [in the picture on the far right] had been active in the Asian Student Union at UC Berkeley and joined CPA a few years earlier. He is now the Executive Director. Former Emeryville Unified Superintendent Henry Der is to my right, in the middle of the photo. At the time Henry was director of Chinese for Affirmative Action. He is now a senior program office for the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund. Burton High School teacher Eric Chow is to the far left.
In 1987 CPA organized thousands of students, parents and community folks to March on Sacramento for bilingual education, Ethnic Studies, adequate funding, equal opportunities to learn and against the racism and anti-immigrant sentiment of the period. My wife and I continued to support summer youth programs in Chinatown and youth leadership in the Environmental Justice movement as well into the 1990's. We also dabbled in electoral politics during the Rainbow Coalition campaigns of 1984 and 88 as well, and learned to "wield the weapon" of electoral politics to help build stronger social movements for a more democratic and just society, as one of our leaders Wilma Chan used to say. Wilma is now in the California State Assembly.
CPA also sparked my interest in US China relations, fighting against anti-Asian violence, and connecting immigrant rights and workers rights and economic justice for our communities.
CPA continues to do amazing multiethnic alliance building, immigrant rights, tenant empowerment, low wage worker organizing, and anti-globalization work as well.
For more info: www.CPASF.ORG