The first week of the Chinatown Urban Institute has been very intriguing. Although only two sessions have passed, I am already starting to better appreciate and understand this neighborhood. Having recently completed my undergraduate degree at San Francisco State with a minor in Asian American Studies, I had a good general idea of Chinatown’s history. However, after Gordon Chin’s walking tour, I learned so much more about the residents and their struggles, triumphs, and resiliency through community activism. I was excited that we were meeting with Mr. Chin as I had written about him in my last semester final project which explored the topic of slow gentrification within SF Chinatown. During our second session, we were given a presentation by Malcolm Collier. I learned that Mr. Collier was present during the Third World Liberation Front strikes of 1968 at my alma mater. His careful photographic documentation over the past few decades was very impressive and memorable. The latter half of this session was very fun as we were given the opportunity to explore Chinatown through a group scavenger hunt. Some of the fun facts that were given as clues had us scratching our heads! This activity was a great way to get to know my small group as we worked together to brainstorm the scavenger hunt list. This first week has been great and I can’t wait to see what the following weeks bring in terms of new experiences and buildable knowledge.
- Megan Mah