1882 Reception Cov and B Ted Gong

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.
Franklin Odo

Ali Smith | Communications & Public Affairs Director

Ali Smith is the Director of Communications and Public Affairs at the 1882 Foundation. She is a PhD student in Sociology at the City University of New York. In 2019, she completed her masters at The Graduate Center in International Migration Studies with a focus on Global Cities. She also works as a Museum Educator at the Tenement Museum. At the 1882 Foundation, Ali manages communications strategy and implementation, along with other collaborative initiatives through the 1882 Symposium. 

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.

Sojin Kim | Programs

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.

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.

Yuexian Huang | Historic Preservation Associate

Yuexian (Margo) Huang was born and raised in Southeast China. She received her Master’s of Science degree in Historic Preservation from the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to that, she studied urban planning in Peking University in Beijing, China. During her study in the U.S., Yuexian has developed strong interest in utilizing preservation as a tool to increase the visibility of minority groups, and to bring them more social justice. She is particularly enthusiastic about making the history of Chinese immigrants recognized and preserved. She has been working with 1882 Foundation since the summer of 2018 on various historic preservation initiatives. Now she is working as a GIS Technician for Philadelphia Parks & Recreation.

Bianca Villao | Partnerships Coordinator

Bianca Villao is a rising junior at the George Washington University in D.C. She is majoring in International Affairs with a concentration in the Asian region and is minoring in Chinese language and literature. She is currently based in Washington, D.C., but is originally from the Bay Area in California. Bianca joined the 1882 Foundation the Summer of 2019 as an intern, and she is continuing to build out programming with our institution partners, like the upcoming Chinese American Women in History Conference.

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. She first joined 1882 Foundation as an intern the Summer of 2018. Beth is facilitating the development of a podcast program at the 1882 Foundation and just finished the first podcast on the legacy of the Supreme Court decision on U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark, redefining the 14th Amendment and affirming birthright citizenship for immigrants. 

Jamelah Jacob | Program Coordinator

Jamelah Jacob is a junior at William & Mary, double majoring in Asian & Pacific Islander American Studies and Public Policy. She is passionate about expanding ethnic studies and her main interests lie in AAPI works in literature, cinema, and music. Jamelah joined the 1882 Foundation the summer of 2019 as an intern and is excited to continue her work with the team. Jamelah overlooks the monthly Talk Story events and the literature corner initiatives. Check out #WhyAPIALit!

Gabi Chu | Program Coordinator

Gabi Chu is a second-year at the University of Virginia, hoping to major in Global Development Studies and Anthropology. Originally from Fairfax, Virginia, she graduated high school in Seoul, South Korea. Her main area of interest is in oral histories and narratives, and exploring how these stories are represented through walking tours and reclaiming spaces in ethnically distinct neighborhoods. She is also interested in the intersection of the modern Asian-American experience and self-representation through fashion and art. Gabi joined the 1882 Foundation in the summer of 2019 as an intern and has since developed a walking tour of the historic DC Chinatown neighborhood and continues to expand the initiative. 

Board of Advisors

Walter Woo

Shirely Woo

Carolyn Chan

Helen Eng

Tony Eng