July 15, 2020
Jenn Low (MDes ’20), Senior Advisor for Programs at the 1882 Foundation, recently joined a conversation with community leaders, activists, and artists representing Chinatowns across the country. The session was hosted by the W.O.W. Project to kick-off a month-long series of workshops entitled, “Care as Community Medicine” to commemorate the organization’s four-year anniversary. Adriel Luis moderated the talk. Luis is an artist, community organizer, and curator at the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center. Voices from Seattle, San Francisco, Oakland, Los Angeles, Boston, and Edmonton, and Washington, D.C. gathered to talk about love letters, bound liberations, intergenerational solidarity, and local resilience across Chinatowns.
Representing the 1882 Foundation, Jenn spoke to Washington, DC’s Chinatown through the Dear Chinatown project, a direct response to city planning’s public engagement processes that do not meaningfully engage the people who are most affected by the forces of gentrification. Dear Chinatown showcases community strengths and assets to demonstrate how public officials can reimagine engagement processes that facilitate mutually beneficial exchange and work toward distributing more power to its past and present residents and community leaders who have supported their own community for decades.
The W.O.W. Project operates out of the Wing on Wo & Co., a porcelain shop in New York City’s Chinatown. Mei Lum, the fifth generation shop owner, transformed the shop into a cultural community and artists space to complement the existing family business. All proceeds from the month-long workshop series will go toward W.O.W.’s 5th year programming, COVID recovery, and advocacy of community care and police accountability in New York City. You can find more information and registration details on their month-long event series here.
Illustration by Sarula Bao (@ bao___haus) / Courtesy of the W.O.W. Project