AABANY Joins 12th Annual Commemoration of Private Danny Chen

On Tuesday, October 3, 2023 on the corner of Canal and Elizabeth Streets in Manhattan’s Chinatown, a crowd gathered for the 12th Annual Commemoration of Private Danny Chen. Danny Chen ended his life while deployed in Afghanistan after suffering from persistent and severe verbal and physical abuse by his fellow soldiers as a result of his race. 

At the Commemoration, Pvt. Danny Chen’s life and legacy were told in twelve chapters by twelve speakers. The speakers included his family and friends, his teachers and mentors, community activists speaking on behalf of Chinatown Head Start and OCA-New York, and award-winning playwright David Henry Hwang. The Commemoration transported us from Danny Chen’s colorful childhood in Manhattan’s Chinatown to the gruesome details of the harassment and humiliating treatment he was subjected to while he served his country. You can watch the 12th Annual Commemoration of Private Danny Chen here.

AABANY members Rocky Chin and Marilyn Go, as well as Yang Chen, Executive Director attended the ceremony. The New York Times reported on the observance.

Pvt. Danny Chen’s legacy is immortalized by the opera An American Soldier. With a libretto by Tony and Grammy winner David Henry Hwang, An American Soldier recounts the powerful true story of a young soldier from Manhattan’s Chinatown who sought to serve his country, only to find his biggest threat was the very people who swore to protect him. It is told through the multidimensional music of Huang Ruo and directed by Obie Award winner Chay Yew. The opera will premiere in NYC from May 12–19, 2024 at the Perelman Performing Arts Center.

To keep Pvt. Danny Chen’s legacy alive means to continue the fight against racially motivated injustice and discrimination. Twelve years after his death, Asian Americans are still perceived by individuals and elected officials as “perpetual others.” AABANY, alongside numerous community partners, will continue to honor Pvt. Denny Chen’s legacy as we pursue our mission of advancing social justice, diversity and inclusion for the AAPI community.

Chinese Exclusion Act Repeal Commemoration on Dec. 16

On December 16, 2018, a commemoration of the 75th anniversary repeal of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 was held at the First Chinese Baptist Church in NYC Chinatown.   It was sponsored by the Chinese American Citizens Alliance of Greater NY and AABANY. The entire text of the Chinese Exclusion Act was read, followed by a reading of the writings of Wong Chin Foo, a 19th-century activist who has been called “the first Chinese American,” protesting the Chinese Exclusion Act.

Thanks to the following organizers and speakers: Corky Lee, Ben Chan, Barbara Chin, Shirley L. Ng, Shirley Kwan, Henry Chang, Chris M. Kwok, and Bayer Lee.

The 103rd Official Commemoration of the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire

Tuesday, March 25, 2014 

12:00pm The 103rd Official Commemoration of the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire

At the site of the fire, the corner of Washington Place and Greene Street (23-29 Washington Place, New York, NY 10003)

The theme of this year’s anniversary commemoration is We Are All Workers, in recognition of the struggle of workers everywhere to find safety and dignity. The legacy of outrage following the tragic deaths of 146 workers at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory urges us to demand lasting change now.  We hope you can join us and please spread the word on facebook!     

5:30pm From Triangle Shirtwaist to Bangladesh: The Garment Industry, Tragedy, and Workplace Safety Reform

Roosevelt House at Hunter College, 47-49 East 65th Street (btwn. Park and Madison Avenues), New York, NY 10065

Please join us for a panel discussion of the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire and its effect on labor laws and workplace safety in the US, and of recent factory fires and collapses in Bangladesh and how these tragedies might help drive similar reforms in Bangladesh and elsewhere in the developing world. The event is organized by Hunter College Human Rights Program and will feature:

  • Judy Gearhart, Executive Director, International Labor Rights Forum, Washington, D.C.
  • Dan Katz, Provost, National Labor College, Washington, D.C.
  • Alice Kessler-Harris, R. Gordon Hoxie Professor of American History at Columbia University
  • Dina Siddiqi, Professor of Anthropology, BRAC University, Dhaka, Bangladesh
  • Moderated by: Donna Haverty-Stacke, Associate Professor of History, Hunter College.

All are welcome for this free event, but please RSVP