PhD student Yingying Han is helping youth learn about Chinese American history and take action to preserve their cultural heritage. Through a multi-session workshop, which will take place the next four Saturdays from 10:00-11:30 a.m. at the University YMCA in Champaign, Han hopes to teach children about the contributions of Chinese immigrants and Chinese Americans to the history of the United States. Children participating in the sessions will be encouraged to think critically about how these groups have been marginalized and what they can do to become changemakers for their communities.
"With the passing of the Teaching Equitable Asian American Community History (TEAACH) Act, Illinois has become the first state to mandate that Asian American history be part of teaching in its public schools. I want to explore how we may use archival records and museum artifacts to facilitate learning about and discussing Asian American history with youth," said Han, whose research focuses on critical archival studies and community engagement with Chinese immigrants, Chinese Americans, and broader Asian American communities.
According to Han, the workshop came about, in part, because of her involvement with the Chinese Heritage Association (also known as the Chinese language school) and the New American Welcome Center at the YMCA. Through her work with these organizations, Han learned that Chinese immigrants want their children to learn more about their culture and history.
In the future, Han would like to bring the workshop to a wider audience, from school-aged children to college students and community members.
"I would like to bring the sessions to local schools and further co-develop them with youth from different cultural backgrounds," she said. "I also want to facilitate more academic conversations with archival and heritage scholars about building community archives with marginalized communities."
Register for the workshop here.
Watch Han discuss her workshop in this video from WAND TV and read more in this Illinois Newsroom report.