You are currently viewing Event Recap: Exploring Asian American History in DC — Washington DC Asian American Context Study Celebration

On June 3rd, we gathered at the Chinese Community Church in DC’s Chinatown for a lightning round presentation community event with food, friends, and education. The event celebrated the near-completion of the first historic context study on Asian Americans ever published in DC, a comprehensive look at Chinese American and Korean American history in DC.

Ted Gong opened our event with a welcome and a special thank you to the late Franklin Odo, whose pioneering work on Asian American context studies paved the way for the style and methodology that the DC context study follows. Michelle Magalong of Asian Pacifica Islander Americans in Historic Preservation introduced the concept and importance of context studies in preservation work.

In this commemoration, the context study team presented on a variety of subjects that their research had explored over the last several years, such as traditional Chinese medicine practices in DC, the origins of the Chinese Community Church, and the Korean Independence Movement in DC. These lightning-round presentations touched on the depth of material to be included in the context study and displayed the diversity of topics of study included. In addition to the context study team’s research, community partners from a number of different cultural institutions in DC were invited to present, whose tireless work on Asian American public history and heritage enhances the lives of AAPIs in the DMV. These presentations offer a promising window into future research and avenues for collaboration. The commemoration closed with Q&A moderated by context study advisor Tony Sarmiento.

The entire event recording is available below:

Special thanks to moderators Mia Owens, Sojin Kim, Michelle Magalong, A/V support Brandon On, and CCC site support staff.