On March 4th, 2023, the 1882 Foundation and several collaborators hosted students from Bryn Mawr College for their second annual Unity Spring Break, where BIPOC students are invited to explore an element of ethnic American history. The 1882 Foundation administered a day-long bus tour themed around ‘Asian American and BIPOCs in DC’.

Beginning our day at the Congressional Cemetery, students visited Range 99, where over 100 early Chinese and Chinese Americans were buried and disinterred to be buried in ancestral homes in China. Students walked around the memorial and explored several other significant sites in the Cemetery, including the burial sites of prominent Native American, Black, and LGBT+ leaders. Our group proceeded to the Japanese American Memorial to Patriotism During World War II, where NJAMF director John Tobe gave a brief overview of Japanese incarceration in WWII, and led us around the memorial while explaining its significance. We ate lunch at Chinatown Garden while 1882 associate Rich Wong explained a quick organizational history of DC’s Chinatown and its governing bodies, before breaking into small groups and doing a tour rotation of several important sites in Chinatown, such as Wah Luck House, the Friendship Archway, and the On Leong Merchant’s Association. After a break, we met Tim of tour company Attucks Adams, who led our group through the U Street corridor and Howard Theater to discuss the historic Black Broadway and the history of Black music tradition in DC. We ended our day at Ben’s Chili Bowl, where we ate dinner and learned about the remaining Black businesses on U Street and their role in the resilient community. 

Special thanks to all those who assisted in administering this program. To learn more about Asian American bus tours in DC, contact gabriella@1882foundation.org.