The Announcement Event of building Chinese American Museum in DC, November 8, 2018
On November 8th, 2018, the Chinese American Museum in Washington, DC, (CAMDC), celebrated its first event. With over a hundred people in attendance, the CAMDC’s announcement of building Chinese American Museum in DC marks the beginning of their work to bring further awareness to the Chinese-American experience. Many notable Asian-American individuals attended this event in support of the mission and work of the Museum. The program reflected the ethos of what CAMDC conveys, featuring performances on the traditional Chinese instrument, the guzheng, and commemorative accounts of Asian Americans’ immigrant stories.
General Joseph Carvalho was one of many distinguished speakers. As a third-generation Chinese American from Hawaii, he told a powerful story of overcoming financial barriers and of his thirty-eight year career in the U.S. Army. General Carvalho grew up in a blue-collar family of five children with aspirations of becoming a physician. Initially signing up for an ROTC program to pay for his college tuition, he found a passion for serving our nation, a true testament to American patriotism that transcends one’s ethnicity. He served in a variety of positions during his long tenure as well as fulfilling his childhood dream: serving as an Army physician, retiring in 2017 as a Major General. However, throughout his life journey thus far, he emphasizes that he “never thought of [himself] as disadvantaged…all [he] ever wanted was to have a chance.” Although claiming at the beginning of his speech that his upbringing was “atypical,” his unique story perfectly embodies the complexity of Chinese Americans experiences. At the end of his speech, he puts forward a strong call to action: “tell the myriad stories of Chinese Americans who, together, paint the picture of integral contributions that forged this country into the greatest nation on Earth.”
Also, in attendance was Christina Poy, Administrative Director, Governor’s Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs and Governor’s Commission on South Asian American Affairs, of the Maryland Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives. She represented Governor Larry Hogan at the event. The Governor of Maryland has been a proponent of Asian American initiatives and is married to Yumi Hogan, the first Korean-American First Lady in the United States. Christina Poy read a letter from the Governor expressing his excitement for the establishment of CAMDC and its mission.
This event serves as a benchmark for future ventures and all associated with the Chinese American Museum in Washington DC are thrilled to begin presenting the unique stories of Chinese American, adding their color to the vibrant immigrant experience in the U.S.