Canadian Chinatowns

Futures of Historic Chinatowns: Heritage Policies and Preservationist Movements in Canada 

Monday, 22 November 2021 | 12:30 to 14:30 EST 

With Kimberley Wong, Howard Tam and Jessica Chen 

Moderated by Corals Zheng 

Many Chinatowns in Canada are declining, for better or worse. As Chinatowns are part of the urban fabric of many cities and memories, this virtual public event is intended to celebrate this space as well as interrogating it critically.

This webinar will bring together perspectives from Chinatowns in three cities—Vancouver, Montréal and Toronto—as told from planners and activists engaging with the space.  

We seek to raise public awareness of the on-going “SaveChinatown” movement across Canada and explore the relationships between the preservationist movement of historic Chinatowns in Canada, intangible heritage, and urban and regional development.   

This event is organized by Tracy Ying Zhang (Communication & Media Studies) and Corals Zheng (ERA Architects). This YCAR event is co-presented by the City Institute.  

What Flowers They Bloom

The new documentary “What Flowers They Bloom” takes an intimate look at Asian Canadian small business owner Andy Sue as he explores the psychological trauma of a first-hand encounter with anti-Asian racism during the pandemic. The film examines the social and public health implications of our digital media reality, where social media algorithms detect bias to translate fear, blame and outrage into profit.

Water Tossing Boulders by Adrienne Berard

A generation before Brown v. Board of Education struck down America’s “separate but equal” doctrine, one Chinese family and an eccentric Mississippi lawyer fought for desegregation in one of the greatest legal battles never told

On September 15, 1924, Martha Lum and her older sister Berda were barred from attending middle school in Rosedale, Mississippi. The girls were Chinese American and considered by the school to be “colored”; the school was for whites. This event would lead to the first US Supreme Court case to challenge the constitutionality of racial segregation in Southern public schools, an astonishing thirty years before the landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision.

Unearthing one of the greatest stories never told, journalist Adrienne Berard recounts how three unlikely heroes sought to shape a new South. A poor immigrant from southern China, Jeu Gong Lum came to America with the hope of a better future for his family. Unassuming yet boldly determined, his daughter Martha would inhabit that future and become the face of the fight to integrate schools. Earl Brewer, their lawyer and staunch ally, was once a millionaire and governor of Mississippi. When he took the family’s case, Brewer was both bankrupt and a political pariah—a man with nothing left to lose.

Call It What It Is - Racism Against Asian Americans