AIISF in the News
The Immigration Station recently came alive with interactive activities and some very special entertainment for families who participated in AIISF’s Family Day. This multi-generational gathering included guests who are descents of Angel Island detainees, who shared the unique ways in which they are honoring their immigration heritage. Soprano Heather Klein, genealogist Grant Din, and choreographer Lenora Lee led very special activities at the event.
Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation was proud to be honored at the Asian Americans for Community Involvement (AACI) 2018 Gala. Our Board Members accepted the Gordon N. Chan Leadership Award on behalf of the organization.
In his remarks at the event, Board President Buck Gee said, “The mission of the Foundation is simple – to remind this nation that the unifying thread in our immigration past, both legal and illegal, is that decent, hard-working men and women – the wealthy and poor, the educated and less educated, the skilled and unskilled, Christian and non-Christian, white and non-white – come to this country to seek a better life for themselves and their children. And the lesson here is that this is the greatness of America.”
The history of Chinese Americans has largely been neglected in our nation’s schools. However, new legislation in California is about the change that. Assemblyman Ed Chau of Southern California’s 49th District introduced the legislation, which was signed by Governor Jerry Brown and will go into effect in 2019. Watch the news story by CCTV’s May Lee here.
The Berkeley Rep Theatre's weekly podcast featured three descendants of immigrants who were detained at Angel Island Immigration Station. Felicia Lowe, Judy Yung and Katherine Toy reflect on reclaiming the buried history of Chinese Exclusion. This podcast was done to explore themes in the concurrently running play, "Angels in America." You can listen to the free podcast here.
Professor Erika Lee, co-author of the seminal book on Angel Island Immigration Station, spoke to the NY Times about our nation's immigration history, in light of the "Zero Tolerance" family separation policy.
On Saturday, June 16, 2018, the Russian Museum of Culture in San Francisco held an event commemorating the arrival of the US Army Transport Merritt at Angel Island on July 1, 1923, carrying 526 Russian refugees who had fled from Vladivostok as the Bolsheviks closed in. Historian Maria Sakovich and Eugenia Baily, whose parents Paul and Mary Nikonenko were married on their journey on the Merritt, were both speakers at the event. Read more stories from our Immigrant Voices archives about the Russian refugees who arrived at Angel Island during that tumultuous summer of 1923.
AIISF Board President Buck Gee co-wrote an article for USA Today, commenting on President Trump’s dismissive comments towards Haitian and African immigrants. At Angel Island Immigration Station, we recognize that name-calling and pejorative remarks aimed at entire ethnic groups is an unfortunate repetition of our nation’s racist past, namely the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and unfair detention practices. We hope that our society can learn from this difficult history.