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Ted Gong | Executive Director

Ted Gong is Executive Director of the 1882 Project Foundation and President of DC chapter of the Chinese American Citizens Alliance.  Before retiring in 2012, Ted was a career diplomat in the U.S. Department of State where he served primarily in East Asia on policy and operational issues related to border management and security, migration and refugees, and consular affairs.  He has degrees in History, Asian Studies, and National Strategic Studies form the University of California, University of Hawaii and the U.S. Army War College. Ted is also included in The Guardian‘s The Frederick Douglass 200, a list of two hundred people — abolitionists, diplomats, writers, feminists, and more — who best embody the spirit and work of Frederick Douglass.

Franklin Odo | Deputy Director and 1882 Symposium

Franklin Odo was Founding Director of the Asian Pacific American Center at the Smithsonian Institution, 1997-2010. He was Interim Chief of the Asian Division, Library of Congress in 2011. Odo was among the few faculty members when Asian American Studies was established at UCLA, and has served as a professor of Ethnic Studies, History and/or American Studies at several universities, from the University of Hawai`i, to the University of Pennsylvania, Hunter College, Princeton, and Columbia Universities in the 1990s. He has published No Sword to Bury: Japanese Americans in Hawai`i during World War II, and most recently in 2013, Voices from the Canefields: Folksongs from Japanese Immigrant Workers in Hawai`i. He has a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association for Asian American Studies and a Distinguished Service Award from the Asian American Justice Center. Odo was appointed Humanist in Residence at the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities at Brown University in April 2013. He currently leads a “Theme Study on Asian American Pacific Islanders” for the National Historic Landmarks Project of the National Park System.
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Sojin Kim | Deputy Director and 1882 Symposium

Sojin Kim is a curator at the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. She previously worked as a public historian in Los Angeles, collaborating with diverse local communities on exhibitions, documentation and media projects, and public programs. From 2008 to 2010, she was curator of history at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. From 1998 to 2008, she was curator at the Japanese American National Museum. Sojin holds a PhD in folklore and mythology from University of California, Los Angeles. She serves on the board of the Alliance for California Traditional Arts.

Stan Lou | Talk Story Director

Stan Lou was born in Greenville, Mississippi, of immigrant parents from China. Stan earned Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Michigan and had a career with the Federal Aviation Administration before retiring in Washington, DC. He is most proud of his three accomplished children who all reside in California now. Upon retirement Stan went to China in 2003 to teach English to university students and to learn about himself there for almost three years. He returned to the Washington, DC, area where he has committed himself to become busily engaged with understanding more about his heritage as a Chinese American. With that as his motivation, he has worked with the Asian Pacific American community to improve the quality of life for its members. Most of his focus has been with OCA-Asian Pacific American Advocates, where he has served as co-president of the Greater Washington DC Chapter and is currently the Vice-President for Education & Culture on the OCA National Board. He worked with the 1882 Project and is active with a group that created the Talk Story series that engages the DC community in sharing the stories of their experiences living as APAs.
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Ting-yi Oei | Curriculum & Education Director

Ting-Yi Oei is a lifelong educator. He received his BA in History from Hamilton College and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Brown University. He taught middle and high school social studies for 20 years and was a high school administrator for another ten in Virginia. Along the way he served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in South Korea, was a Fulbright Teacher in Scotland, and spent a year teaching in the Dominican Republic. He was also awarded a one-year research fellowship at Teaching Tolerance, the education project of the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Ala. Now he is a curriculum consultant with a particular interest in improving the quality of teaching of Asian Pacific American history.

John Kusano | Historic Preservation Director

John develops historic preservation programs for the 1882 Foundation and is also the Vice-Chair of the Advisory Council of the Conference on Asian Pacific American Leadership in Washington, DC.  He recently retired from a 35 year career with the US Forest Service. He is a third-generation Californian and a graduate of UC Berkeley and UC Santa Cruz.

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Jenn Low | Deputy Director and Chinatown Programs

Jenn is an integrative designer and landscape architect with over twelve years of experience as a Landscape Architect in New York City, San Francisco, and Seattle. She is also a design educator with experience in both secondary and higher education. Jenn holds an MDes in Integrative Design at the Stamps School of Art and Design at the University of Michigan and a Bachelor in Landscape Architecture from the University of Washington. Expanding her skillsets beyond traditional modes of urban design practice, her work centers issues in design, power, and spatial justice. In collaboration with the 1882 Foundation, her thesis project, Dear Chinatown, DC, explored how we can redesign public engagement practices that give community members a more meaningful role in how our neighborhoods are planned and designed.

May Cheh | Senior Advisor for Programs

May Cheh earned degrees in Chemistry and Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley and American University.  She had a career at the National Institutes of Health doing research in medical informatics and directing a training program for visiting fellows at her institute.  May was born in Guangdong, China, and came to the United States as a toddler.  The first member of her family came to the United State during the California Gold Rush in the 1800’s, but, because of the U.S. Chinese Exclusion Act against Chinese immigration, May and her mother were the first women in their family to immigrate to the United States.  May’s passion is to preserve the history and stories of Chinese families in America.

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Lily Liu | 2020 Summer Internship Mentor

Lily Liu is AARP’s Historian Emerita. In 2015, she took a hiatus from the workplace in order to handle full-time responsibilities as her mother’s family caregiver. Prior to that, Lily worked at AARP, most recently serving as AARP’s historian and archivist — collecting, preserving and storytelling about the history of AARP. She conducted oral-history interviews and also made speeches around the country about the founder of the Association. The majority of Lily’s career at AARP was spent in AARP’s Communications Group, including positions as a Speechwriter for the Executive Director/CEO and the Board of Directors. She was the Lead Speechwriter for AARP’s first African-American National volunteer President, Dr. Margaret Dixon, a retired educator. In subsequent positions at AARP, Lily served as the award-winning editor of Inside AARP, the staff newsletter, and as the Volunteer Resource Education Specialist in the AARP Volunteer Center.  She co-founded AARP’s Asian-American Employee Resource Group, a staff affinity group. In early 2016, Lily was interviewed for the AARP documentary about three Chinese-American family caregivers, “Caregiving:  The Circle of Love.”  She has participated in outreach events around the country to share her personal family caregiver story. Lily is the daughter of two retired educators originally from China. She immigrated to the U.S. when she was six. Her academic training is in English Literature and Comparative Literature (English and French).  She is fluent in speaking Mandarin Chinese and has had her translations of the essays of contemporary Chinese women writers published in journals in the U.S. and Asia.

Beth Zhao | Public Affairs Coordinator

Beth graduated magna cum laude from George Mason University Class of 2019 where she double majored in Government and Chinese and will be pursuing her J.D. at The George Washington University Law School. She first joined 1882 Foundation as an intern in 2018. Last summer, Beth launched 1882 Foundation’s first podcast on the legacy of the Supreme Court decision on U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark to interpret the 14th Amendment and affirm birthright citizenship for people born in the United States regardless of their immigration status. This summer, Beth is coordinating 1882 Foundation’s internship program while working with OCA-DC on census and voter outreach.

Linda Wen | Programs Associate

Linda Wen is a senior at Georgetown University majoring in Government and English, with plans to attend law school and specialize in immigration law. Linda started with the 1882 Foundation as an intern in the summer of 2018. Since then, her work has focused on outreach + partnerships with other organizations working in the advocacy space. In addition, she assists with the DC Chinatown preservation and documentation initiatives at the 1882 Foundation.

Bianca Villao | Communications and Public Affairs Associate

Bianca Villao first joined the 1882 Foundation as an intern in the Summer 2019 cohort, aiding primarily in the development and promotion of the Foundation’s Inaugural Chinese American Women in History Conference. Bianca hails from the Bay Area, California and moved to Washington, DC in 2017 to attend the George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs. Bianca received her B.A. in International Affairs in the Fall of 2020, with a concentration in Asia region and minor in Chinese Language and Literature. She is excited to be back to work as a part of the Foundation’s Communications Team.

Kyle Wang | Programs Associate

Kyle Wang is a rising senior at Stanford University studying English and minoring in Mathematics. He’s passionate about anticolonial histories, all kinds of poetry, and the weird universes of comics and videogames. He started working with the 1882 Foundation last summer as an intern with the organization’s historic preservation and Literature Corner initiatives, and he’s excited to be back again this summer to continue his work with the team.



Sabrina Brogniart | Programs Associate

Sabrina Brogniart graduates this summer from Michigan State University with a degree in Comparative Cultures and Politics as well as minors in German and Asian Pacific American Studies. She hails from the metro Detroit area, comes from a multi-racial family, and has had the opportunity to have lived in France, Okinawa, Morocco, Germany, and Taiwan. Sabrina started with the 1882 Foundation as an intern in the summer of 2020 and worked on projects pertaining to development in DC Chinatown and fundraising for a memorial at Range 99 in the Congressional Cemetery. Currently, she is launching a new project initiative on mixed and/or multi-cultural Asian Americans. After graduation, Sabrina hopes to receive the Fulbright award or study at an international graduate school.

2021 Summer Interns

Anouk Yeh

Anouk Yeh is a rising senior at Saratoga High School in Saratoga, California. She is interested in lobbying for Asian American studies in K-12 education and exploring the legacy of US imperialism in Asia. Anouk joined 1882 this summer and is excited to contribute to 1882’s Literature Corner projects and education initiatives.

Julia Lin

Julia Lin is a rising senior at Walkersville High School from Frederick, MD. She intends to major in Economics at university. Julia is very excited to be interning at the 1882 Foundation this summer to learn more about her identity as a Chinese American. She looks forward to expanding her horizons by exploring projects outside of her comfort zone that piques her interests! She can’t wait to work with everyone for a summer full of self-discovery and learning.

Claudia Vinci

Claudia Vinci is a rising second-year in the public history master’s program at American University. She is from Brownsburg, Indiana and moved to Washington, D.C. this January. Claudia worked with the 1882 Foundation this past spring semester in her public history practicum course, where she worked with two other interns, Mia Owens and Mengshu Ye, on the AAPI in D.C. historic context study. Claudia is thrilled to be working here again and for her team to continue their relationship with the Chinese Community Church, which was the major point of focus for their work this Spring.

Rachel Li

Rachel Li is a rising sophomore at Georgetown University from Columbus, Ohio. She intends to major in Government and History. She is looking forward to learning more about Chinese culture and history, especially through the lens of living in the United States. She is very excited to work on spreading awareness about the Chinese-American community, the broader AAPI community, and the challenges these groups face.

Mia Owens

Mia is from Birmingham, Alabama, and she is a Public History M.A. student at American University. She received her B.A. in Global Studies and French from Samford University in 2019.  After completing her undergraduate degree, she joined the AmeriCorps-Ohio History Service Corps as a Local History member for the Trumbull County Historical Society.  Mia is the inaugural AU Public History Fellow in the History of Slavery and Its Legacies in Washington, DC. For the first year of the two-year fellowship, she assisted the White House Historical Association with their Slavery in the President’s Neighborhood research initiative. Beginning in fall 2021, she will be working with the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University. She is excited to be working with the 1882 Foundation this summer on research for D.C.’s first Asian American Historic Context Statement.

Kenneth Vaca

Kenny Vaca is a rising senior at the University of Houston where he’s majoring in supply chain management and minoring in marketing. As a person of multiethnic descent, Kenny is deeply interested in the ways that a person’s culture contributes to their identity. During his time with the 1882 Foundation, Kenny looks forward to learning more about the intersections of Asian American history with modern circumstances and working with others on projects to benefit the AAPI community.

Angela Lau

Angela Lau is a student from Seattle, Washington attending Western Washington University with a major in Chinese Language. She looks forward to delving into the little known history of Asian Americans in the United States, and also hopes to study more about how the history of Asian Americans has affected our country.

Mengshu Ye

Mengshu Ye is a student at American University’s Public History Graduate Program. She is from Changchun, China, and this summer with the 1882 Foundation, she looks forward to continuing to work on the Asian American Context Study and exploring the military aspect of the DC API community.

Audrey Meigs

Audrey Meigs is a rising Junior Political Science major and East Asian Studies minor at Davidson College. She is a John M. Belk Scholar and a Political Science Honors student. Audrey is from Asheville, North Carolina and was born in Yueyang in Hunan Province of China. Since starting college, she has worked as a Writing Fellow in the Davidson Writing Department and works as a Research Assistant in the Davidson Political Science Department. Audrey is the Social Chair for the Pan-Asian Student Association and is incredibly passionate about Asian American culture and identity. She has interned for North Carolina Asian Americans Together and OCA Asian Pacific Advocates, organizations that help advance the rights of AAPI communities. In her free time, Audrey loves reading, hiking, cooking, performing in plays, and playing with her three dogs. After Davidson, Audrey plans to go to graduate school to pursue a career in human rights work. She is so excited to have this opportunity with the 1882 Foundation!



Board of Advisors

Walter Woo

Shirely Woo

Carolyn Chan