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Town Hall Seattle: Civics Series

Town Hall’s Civics series highlights everything from local policies to world politics. These events offer perspectives on a range of topics as diverse as Seattle itself—a bustling forum for activism, discovery, and thought-provoking discussion.

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Nov 19, 2020

For more than five decades, Ron Chew has fought for Asian American and social justice causes in Seattle. He joined us for this livestreamed presentation to share stories from his deeply personal memoir My Unforgotten Seattle.

In conversation with journalist Naomi Ishisaka, Chew documented the tight-knit community he remembers, describing small family shops, chop suey restaurants, and sewing factories now vanished. He untangled the mystery of his extended family’s journey to America during the era of the Chinese Exclusion Act. With deeply intimate profiles of his parents and leaders like Bob Santos, Ruth Woo, Al Sugiyama, Roberto Maestas, and Kip Tokuda, he highlighted Seattle’s unsung champions in the fight for racial inclusion, political empowerment, Asian American arts, and revitalization of the Chinatown-International District—including reflections from his campaign to find the Wing Luke Museum a permanent home. Join us to deepen your understanding of local history and the legacy of the Asian American community in our city.

Ron Chew is a Seattle-based historian, journalist, and museum visionary. His books include Reflections of Seattle’s Chinese Americans: The First 100 Years and Remembering Silme Domingo and Gene Viernes: The Legacy of Filipino American Labor Activism. He served as editor of the International Examiner and as executive director of the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience.

Naomi Ishisaka is the Social Justice columnist for The Seattle Times. She is a journalist and photographer who focuses on racial equity and social justice. Through writing and photography, Ishisaka documents social justice movements, issues and events. Her writing and photography have appeared in The Seattle Times, Seattle Magazine, CityArts, South Seattle Emerald, and many other publications.

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Presented by Town Hall Seattle and Wing Luke Museum. To become a Town Hall member or make a donation click here