American Civil Rights & the Chinese Exclusion Laws

Uncovering, Understanding and Sharing Our American Story


Virtual Talk Story! Intern Showcase

Sunday, August 9th 2PM-3:30PM

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Messages from the Executive Director, Ted Gong

The Passing of Michael Kwan


The 1882 Foundation mourns the recent passing of Michael Kwan, who was a stalwart advocate, organizer, and leader in the AAPI community.  He was a longtime municipal judge in Utah and among his many roles was former national president of the OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates.  More recently, he was one of the main organizers and leaders of the celebration in 2019 of the 150th anniversary of the completion of the US Transcontinental Railroad which highlighted the major role of Chinese workers in the building of it.  The 1882 Foundation appreciated the collaboration with Judge Kwan in making this celebration such a highly public and visible event.  We extend our sincere condolences to all of Michael Kwan’s family and friends.

Black Lives Matter


At this perilous time for our American republic –facing a relentless pandemic that has seen over 100,000 American lives lost, an economic disaster that has more Americans unemployed since the Great Depression, and violence throughout the country that exceeds the aftermath of Dr. Martin Luther King’s assassination and the LA riots–individuals and organizations throughout the country are calling for solidarity. Police brutality and systemic racism cannot continue. We must collectively take action as called for by the Chinese American Citizens Alliance in the message below.

For us, at the 1882 Foundation, I want to pause briefly and remember George Floyd as an individual whose life was lost and the personal pain of his grieving family and friends. My heart goes to them in prayer. I want to say to them that it would be naïve for us (an educational body that documents America’s recurring history of racism and violence to Chinese Americans) to think that our joining the many calls for solidarity today will ensure that George’s death will not be in vain, that his killing will be the last as our solidarity leads to political action that deals finally with racial profiling, unequal access to health care and housing. However, I can say that Mr. Floyd’s killing has reinforced our commitment at the Foundation to tell the Chinese American story in ways that remind us of our solidarity, that our lives are intertwined in struggles to complete the American story, and that armed with knowledge of our history and the memory of Mr. Floyd and so many others we can together bend the arch of justice a little further. That I can promise.

Statement from the Chinese American Citizens Alliance

Resources, as compiled by the Summer 2020 interns.

The 1882 Foundation seeks to broaden public awareness of the history and continuing significance of the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act through three initiatives:

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Encouraging Collaboration

We organize an annual 1882 Symposium in Washington D.C. to build connections among educators and public & private agencies.

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Uncovering & Preserving Our Stories

We collect oral histories and preserve story sites through monthly Talk Story Events. Talk Story encourages individuals to reveal their stories and share them with others.

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Strengthening Public Education

We aim to promote the inclusion of Chinese and Asian American experiences in our core curricula through curriculum content and resources and teacher workshops.



Learn about the 1882 Foundation's mission and meet the team!

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Find out what our monthly Talk Story events are all about.



Find our lesson plans on topics like the 14th Amendment and the Transcontinental Railroad.



Read about the Chinese American Women in History Conference, held last October!



Join us for weekly Book Chats!

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Walk the footsteps of Chinese railroad workers on the Return to Gold Mountain Tour.

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1882 Foundation
508 I Street NW (lower level)
Washington, D.C. 20001