SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — The Chinese Culture Center in San Francisco unveiled a new mural this morning. They partnered with Wells Fargo to create the artwork that depicts 12 important, but often unrecognized Asian American and Pacific Islander community leaders.
The corner of Jackson Street and Grant Avenue in San Francisco’s Chinatown now tells the stories of Asian American and Pacific Islander Leaders.
“Its been a journey.. year long process,” Chinese Cultural Center Executive Director Jenny Leung said. “We reached out to youth in the community to have it be a youth nominated process.. So that we could highlight stories that haven’t been recognized, shared or told that. Stories our youth haven’t heard about”
Some five thousand students made the nominations. Community panelists then came together to make the final decisions on who would be included.
Activists like Cynthia Choi, artists, poets and literary heroes like Judy Yung are featured beside a depiction of the I Hotel Manilatown Center and Reverend Norman Fong.
Supervisor Aaron Peskin who represents the area, says the Manilatown tenant eviction of the 1970’s was a real turning point for San Francisco pro tenant movements. It also marked when the AAPI community came of age in political activism in San Francisco.
“This is sacred ground with sacred heroes in it,” Peskin said. “Knowing those heroes are being recognized today is profoundly important.”
Hero Betty Ann Ong is also featured. She was the American Airlines flight attendant who first alerted the country of the 9/11 terror attacks. Sponsors of the project say following the rise in anti Asian violence made the mural an important collaboration.
“It’s been a difficult few years for everyone so it’s important we celebrate contributions of the community and make it a lasting legacy in Chinatown,” Cynthia Sugiyama with Wells Fargo said.
Wells Fargo has a long-standing commitment to the Asian community, spanning back to the gold rush. It was one of the first California companies to service Chinese customers in their native languages.
Wells Fargo says this mural collaboration with the Chinese Cultural Center is an example of their commitment to the financial success of AAP communities.