Preserving All Under Heaven: The Gentrification of Chinatown

Recorded February 23, 2022

In this timely virtual panel, we will investigate the question of how we can make our voices heard in a democracy by examining community reaction to the gentrification of Boston’s Chinatown. How can we preserve and empower the voice of the community, its history and its heart, in the face of encroaching development, displacement, and decline of housing? Join Angie Liou of the Asian Community Development Corporation, U Mass Boston’s Professor Andrew Leong, artist, writer, and educator Cynthia Yee, and journalist Ling-Mei Wong for this engaging and relevant event.


  • ANDREW LEONG is an Associate Professor in the Philosophy Dept. in the College of Liberal Arts at UMass Boston where he teaches legal studies, Latino and Asian American Studies. His specialty is on law, social justice, and equality pertaining to disenfranchised communities, with a focus on Asian Americans. He has been active in community and civil rights work, having served on the board of trustee of numerous Asian American and civil rights-related organizations.
  • ANGIE LIOU is a seasoned community leader specializing in affordable housing and community development since 2004 and having served as the project lead on over $150 million worth of projects. Under her leadership, Asian Community Development Corporation (ACDC) has expanded its programs in housing support, resident and youth engagement and leadership, community planning, and placekeeping. In 2022, Angie was selected to serve on HUD’s Housing Counseling Federal Advisory Committee representing the Real Estate industry.
  • LING-MEI WONG is a journalist with experience in ethnic media coverage and technical writing. She led a community paper, the Sampan, as the editor of a bilingual Chinese-English newspaper based in Boston’s Chinatown from 2012 to 2020.
  • CYNTHIA YEE is an educator, writer, artist and artistic collaborator. She writes creative, nonfiction essays from the viewpoint of an American-born Taishanese girl coming of age in Boston’s Chinatown and Combat Zone through the 1950s and ’60s. She continues exploring the themes of what makes for thriving community life and child development, how structural racism oppresses, how feminism can be nurtured, and how social justice can look in America.

This event is supported in part by a grant from the Lowell Institute.

In the Essential Questions Series, we bring together diverse panels to explore six essential questions that both the nation’s founders and contemporary Americans still grapple with today and discover how these keystones illuminate current events.Click here to learn more about this series and the Essential Questions.

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