A Tale of Three Chinatowns

Screening and Talkback

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A Tale of Three Chinatowns Screening and Talkback

Join Revolutionary Spaces for a documentary screening of A Tale of Three Chinatowns and explore how preservation is tied to the voice of the people. The conundrums the founding generation faced are still challenging us today in real, tangible ways: “How is my voice heard? What happens if I am silenced or marginalized?” We ask: how are these challenges activated through the lens of community preservation?

Old South Meeting House has long been a space for the community to come together and solve problems facing Boston; Revolutionary Spaces is thrilled to continue the tradition, pairing this screening with a talkback panel featuring filmmakers Penny Lee and Lisa Mao, UMass Boston Professor Andrew Leong, and expert Beyazmin Jiminez as we tackle these questions and more. Opening remarks will be given by writer, teacher, activist, and artist Cynthia Yee.

As we sit together in an incredible 18th century meeting house, we will reflect – together – on the notion that there’s more worth preserving than just brick and mortar.

The program will include a casual reception, celebrating the film and the Chinatown community.

Admission is free and open to the public. The program is generously supported by the Lowell Institute.

About the Film

A Tale of Three Chinatowns is a feature-length documentary that explores the survival of urban ethnic neighborhoods. Specifically examining Chinatowns in three American cities, the film looks at the forces altering each community and the challenges that go with them. The film profiles Chinatowns in Washington, D.C., Chicago, and Boston and features the voices of residents, community activists, developers, government officials, and others who have a connection to this ubiquitous neighborhood. Through these perspectives, the film presents the present day pressing topic of urban development and gentrification through the eyes of those on the frontlines. Chicago’s Chinatown is a story of growth where the Asian-American population has increased and its borders have expanded. In contrast, Washington, D.C.’s Chinatown has dwindled to an estimated population of 300 residents of Chinese descent. The Chinatown neighborhood in Boston finds itself somewhere in between these two extremes as various groups fight for the land on which it sits.


Friday, June 17, 2022

Old South Meeting House
Admission is free.

Old South Meeting House

About the Panelists

Andrew Leong is an Associate Professor in the Philosophy Dept. in the College of Liberal Arts at UMass Boston where he teaches legal studies, Latino and Asian American Studies. His specialty is on law, social justice, and equality pertaining to disenfranchised communities, with a focus on Asian Americans. He has been active in community and civil rights work, having served on the board of trustee of numerous Asian American and civil rights-related organizations.

Penny Lee is a documentary producer and film & video editor. She has over 25 years experience in editing documentaries, reality television series, promotional and educational video projects. Some of Lee’s clients include Discovery Channel, National Geographic, Travel Channel, as well as military and government agencies and corporate companies like Deloitte. Her first doc that she directed and edited was a short film called “Through Chinatown’s Eyes: April 1968”. Her passion projects are stories about the immigrant experience in the US with a primary focus on the Chinese American voices.

Lisa Mao is the director, writer and co-producer of A Tale of Three Chinatowns. As a development executive and producer of non-fiction television, Lisa is responsible for the creation and launch of more than 500 hours of programming for channels including History Channel, National Geographic Channel, HGTV, Animal Planet, Investigation Discovery, and Travel Channel. Her credits include Travel Channel’s “Man Vs. Food Nation,” ID’s “Extreme Forensics” and “Deadly Shootouts” on Reelz. In addition to her television work, she also wrote and produced the award-winning short documentary “Through Chinatown’s Eyes: April 1968.” Lisa is committed to helping people share their stories to reveal the complex fabric of the human condition. She resides in Washington, DC with her husband and son.

Beyazmin Jimenez serves as the Senior Account Director for The Lazu Group where she leads the DEI agency’s client development and real estate business lines. Previously, she was the Director of Economic Opportunity at the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce where she led work in economic access and equity for the business community of the Greater Boston region. Most notably, Beya oversaw the Pacesetters program, an initiative to increase supplier diversity spending across corporate and anchor institutions in response to closing the racial wealth gap. Beyazmin holds a Master’s in Urban Planning from Boston University where her focus was housing and economic development. She is also a local writer on issues related to housing and racial justice. Beyazmin serves on the Board of YW Boston and is the Board President of a pro-housing advocacy group she helped co-found in 2018, Abundant Housing MA. In 2021, she was appointed to serve on the City of Boston’s Fair Housing Commission. In addition, she holds a seat on Mayor Wu’s Rental Stabilization Committee and Blue Cross Blue Shield MA’s Health Equity Council. She lives in the neighborhood of Jamaica Plain and enjoys traveling, wine tasting, and exploring new cities for street art.

Cynthia Yee is an educator, writer, artist and artistic collaborator. She writes creative, nonfiction essays from the viewpoint of an American-born Taishanese girl coming of age in Boston’s Chinatown and Combat Zone through the 1950s and ’60s. She continues exploring the themes of what makes for thriving community life and child development, how structural racism oppresses, how feminism can be nurtured, and how social justice can look in America. Her poem “My MaMa’s Back,” a tribute to Chinatown women garment workers, is now living outside Mayor Michelle Wu’s office.