Archives and Special Collections
92 Snell Library
360 Huntington Ave.
Boston, MA 02115
(617) 373-2351

Archives and Special Collections Finding Aids

Printable Finding Aid. Back to Browsing Version.

Collection Overview
Title:Chinese Progressive Association records
Location Code:56/3
Reference Code:M163
Extent:12 cubic ft. (12 boxes)
Scope and Content Abstract:This collection documents the activities, events, and administration of the Chinese Progressive Association and its Workers' Center. Topics documented include strike organizing, workers' rights, racial violence, urban development in Chinatown, bilingual education, tenants' rights, and retraining of adult workers. Records include correspondence, meeting minutes and agendas, memoranda, booklets, programs, handbooks, fact sheets, fliers, brochures, pamphlets, newspaper clippings, reports, transcripts of garment worker interviews, posters, VHS tapes, photographs, and slides.
Historical Abstract:The Chinese Progressive Association is a grassroots community organization founded in Boston's Chinatown in 1977 to advocate "for full equity and empowerment of the Chinese community in the Greater Boston area and beyond." The focus of the Association was to provide Chinatown residents a forum for their concerns and a way to communicate their vision for the community to officials of the City and Commonwealth. The Association aimed to provide support for workers and immigrants, particularly new Asian immigrants, needing translation services or other support. The Association also organized community support for victims of anti–Chinese racial violence, lobbied the Commonwealth for unemployment forms and office support in Chinese and other Asian languages, worked to increase Chinese–American involvement in electoral politics, and raised awareness of the struggle of immigrant workers. In the mid–1980s, the Association worked with laid–off workers from P & L Sportswear and Beverly Rose Sportswear to establish Commonwealth–funded bilingual retraining programs. This led to the founding of the Association's Workers' Center in 1987. In the 1990s, the Association was actively involved in the debate over the development of Parcel C in Chinatown. The Association continues its work on tenants' rights, workers' rights, political empowerment, and local Chinatown issues, including a campaign to re–establish a branch library in Chinatown and to secure the future of Chinese and Vietnamese bilingual ballots for Boston voters.
Language and Scripts:The collection is primarily in English but also includes a large number of documents in Chinese.
System of Arrangement:Arranged in 5 series: 1. Administration; 2. Events; 3. Community Organizing; 4. The Workers' Center; and 5. Audio–Visual.
Subjects and Contributors:
  • The Chinatown Coalition (Boston, Mass.).
  • Chinese Progressive Association Workers' Center (Boston, Mass.).
  • Chinese Progressive Association (Boston, Mass.).

  • Bilingual education
  • Chinese Americans
  • Community development
  • Community organization
  • Displaced workers
  • Garment workers
  • Immigrants

Conditions Governing Access:Several files are restricted for 50 years. Please contact the University Archivist for more information.
Immediate Source of Acquisition:The collection was donated to the Archives in May 2008 and October 2010 by Lydia Lowe of the Chinese Progressive Association.
Accruals:Further accruals are expected.
Related Materials:

The Archives and Special Collections Department captures the website content of the Chinese Progressive Association, which is accessible at:*/

Processor:Finding aid prepared by Hanna Clutterbuck, January 2011

Scope and Content Note

This collection is organized into five series and documents the founding, growth, and development of the Chinese Progressive Association from its inception in 1977 to the early 2000s. The collection also documents the foundation and development of the Association's Workers' Center, founded in 1987 in response to the sudden closing of two sportswear factories in Chinatown and the resulting displacement of garment workers.

The collection reflects the growth of the Association through its involvement with the community and local issues. The Association's first major project was organizing for Long Guang Huang's assault case against the Boston Police Department in 1985; the Association found volunteers to attend hearings, write letters, create petitions, and lobby Boston public officials in support of Huang. The Association's involvement with displaced garment workers in the mid–1980s led to the foundation of the Workers' Center which enabled staff and community members to collaborate on labor–related issues. The Workers' Center files document the early development of the Center, the growth of its involvement in national labor issues, and the Center's video documentary project on the P & L garment workers (Box 14).

The Association also helped create the Coalition to Protect Parcel C, a group concerned about proposed land development in Chinatown in the 1990s. The Coalition files reflect the complexity of the project and its successful conclusion when the Parcel C land was granted back to Chinatown for a community center. The Association was also active in educating the Chinatown community about voting rights and education issues, including the debate over bilingual education and the drive to have English declared the state language of Massachusetts. The Association held various fundraising, educational, or social events including movie screenings, coffee hours, and potluck dinners, documented in the collection by promotional, planning, and fundraising materials.

The records also document the Association's involvement with projects sponsored by other Chinatown and city–wide organizations such as the Asian American Resource Workshop, the Chinatown Initiative, and the Boston Foundation's Persistent Poverty Project. Topics documented include urban development, unionization, unemployment rights, immigrants' rights, workers' rights, race–related violence, tenants' rights, bilingual education, Chinese cultural activities, strike organizing, and retraining of adult workers

Historical Note

The Chinese Progressive Association, originally called the Chinatown People's Progressive Association, was founded in 1977 to advocate "for full equity and empowerment of the Chinese community in the Greater Boston area and beyond." Early projects included promoting the normalization of diplomatic relations between the United States and China, working with tenants on eviction and other tenant issues, and organizing community support for victims of racial violence, including Wei–ti Choi in 1979 and Long Guang Huang in 1985. The Association also organized celebrations in recognition of Chinese holidays, such as the August Moon Festival, Chinese New Year, and Chinese National Day.

In the early 1980s, the Association registered voters, raised awareness of electoral issues in Chinatown, worked for bilingual education, and lobbied Massachusetts politicians to provide forms and office support in Chinese. The Association also provided limited translation services, created bilingual pamphlets on workers' rights, and held informational sessions on unemployment insurance and workers' rights.

In the mid–1980s, the Association worked closely with displaced garment workers from the P & L Sportswear and Beverly Rose Sportswear factories to establish Commonwealth–funded bilingual retraining programs and greater awareness for the issues concerning garment workers and, more generally, immigrant workers in Boston. The Association's involvement with the garment workers led to the founding of the Workers' Center in 1987. In 1988, the Center produced a video documentary about the garment workers, "Through Strength and Struggle" (Box 10).

In the 1990s, the Association and the Workers' Center advocated for workers' rights, increased awareness of exploited workers in American sweatshops, and they promoted the increase of unemployment insurance benefits provided by the state. The Association worked to ensure that the Commonwealth's new unemployment claim telephone system provided multilingual access for all state residents. The Association also became involved in the struggle between Chinatown residents and the City of Boston over the proposed development of Parcel C in Chinatown. The New England Medical Center had negotiated with the City to build a multi–story parking garage on Parcel C which had previously been promised to Chinatown as land for a community center. The Association's advocacy, along with that of other community groups, led to the withdrawal of the Medical Center's plan. Chinatown was formally granted land for a community center, and discussions over future development began in the late 1990s. In addition, in 1994 the Association began the Chinese Youth Initiative program designed to bring Asian and Asian–American youth to work in the Chinatown community during the summer.

The Association continued its work on tenants' rights, workers' rights, and local Chinatown issues into the 2000s, becoming involved in, among other projects, a campaign to re–establish a branch library in Chinatown. In 2000, the Association, along with other community organizations and activists, was one of the members of the Chinatown Initiative group convened to update the 1990 Chinatown master plan. This process included holding community meetings and conducting interviews of Chinatown residents to develop a sense of the community's vision for Chinatown. The Association also continued its involvement in land issues, advocating for a community voice in the development plans for Parcel A and Parcel 24 in 2003 and 2004 respectively. In 2005, the Association joined the Chinatown Gateway Coalition to work toward the goals laid out in the revised Chinatown Masterplan 2000, including addressing the shortage of housing in Chinatown, quality of life issues caused by the proximity of Boston's red–light district (the Combat Zone), and maintenance and improvement of Chinatown's physical environment. The Association continues its work on tenants' rights, workers' rights, political empowerment, and local Chinatown issues, including a campaign to re–establish a branch library in Chinatown and to secure the future of Chinese and Vietnamese bilingual ballots for Boston voters.

1977Chinatown People's Progressive Association is founded on July 17th.
1978Becomes founding member of Chinatown Housing and Land Development Task Force.
Offers first ESL classes.
1979Organizes community support for Wei–ti Choi, victim of racial assault attending Charlestown middle school.
1983Begins voter registration and electoral involvement work with Chinatown residents.
1984Helps Warren St. tenants win compensation and replacement housing after 5–year anti–eviction campaign.
Establishes Chinatown Employment and Job Training Task Force with other agencies to organize for community job opportunities at new Lafayette Hotel.
Joins African American and Latino community leaders to file lawsuit against gerrymandering of electoral districts; succeeds in redrawing a district to include Chinatown, South Cove and Mission Hill.
1985Organizes community support for Long Guang Huang.
Launches campaign against Combat Zone.
1986Helps displaced garment workers to get the first state–funded bilingual retraining programs in New England.
1987Lydia Lowe becomes director, replacing Suzanne Lee.
Garment Worker Committee and Garment Workers Support Committee establish the CPA Workers' Center.
Provides organizing and translation support to African American and Chinese immigrant tenants to establish Castle Square Tenant's Organization.
1988Produces "Through Strength and Struggle" video documentary on garment workers' struggle for job training.
Helps displaced Andy's Sportswear workers advocate for combined ESL / job training programs.
Organizes unemployed women to launch Unemployed Rights Campaign with Greater Boston Legal Services.
1989Works with ILGWU to organize women workers at Knight Medical against poor working conditions.
1990Moves office to 164 Lincoln Street.
Unemployed Rights Campaign wins apology to the Chinese community, Chinese interpreter services, right to interpreters at appeal hearings, and multilingual written information at Mass. Division of Employment and Training.
1991Helps former Dynasty Restaurant waiters organize the first labor picket in Chinatown and win back wages.
Publishes first bilingual Chinese/English literature on workplace rights in New England.
Works with Health Care for All on campaign to inform Chinese community about health care rights of unemployed and uninsured, increasing enrollment in Health Security Plan.
Organizes ten voter registration sessions in Chinatown.
1992Works with ILGWU and IRATE to help Chinese women workers at wholesale flower market unite with Latino workers to stop institution of piece–rate wages.
1993Organizes, with other Chinatown organizations and American Friends Service Committee, community–based plebiscite on parking garage development.
Holds workshops for unemployed workers interested in street vending or starting small business.
1994Plays key role in campaign to halt development plans for 455–car parking garage on Parcel C in center of Chinatown; wins community development rights of Parcel C in fall.
Helps Parents at Chinese Church Head Start stop merger with South End Head Start.
Launches Chinese Youth Initiative, an internship program for Chinese–American youth.
1995Helps Lei Jing construction workers organize and win back wages.
Participates in Coalition for a Living Wage to increase minimum wage.
Launches two–year, weekly law clinic for Chinese workers in collaboration with Greater Boston Legal Services.
1996Helps lead community coalition to win relocation of proposed Central Artery "temporary" off ramp away from Chinatown residential streets.
Moves office to 33 Harrison Avenue.
Organizes workers to expand Chinese bilingual services at Mass. Division of Employment and Training.
Launches Saturday Coffee Hour with workshops, recreational activities, and informal discussion for immigrant workers.
Initiates annual Workers' Justice Award to popularize Chinese workers' victories.
1997Participates in community coalition to stop Central Artery permanent Ramp DD from increasing traffic and air pollution in Chinatown.
Working with Campaign on Contingent Work, helps Chinese unite with multiracial group of laid–off Woolworth workers to organize against age discrimination and for fair severance package.
Launches multi–year campaign against substandard employment.
1999Assists Chinatown residents organize tenants' associations and participates in the development of the Chinatown Masterplan 2000.
2002Wins City of Boston recognition for Chinatown Resident Association as a neighborhood council.
2005Helps launch the Chinatown Gateway Coalition.
2006Completes $1.5 million capital campaign for permanent office at the Metropolitan.

M163, Box 3, Folder 8, "History"

M163, Box 3, Folder 14–29; Box 4, Folder 1–15, "Publications"

M163, Box 8, Folder 7, "Historical Background"

Chinese Progressive Association Website, accessed September 2009.

The Chinatown Coalition Website, accessed August 2009

The Chinatown Gateway Coalition Website, accessed August 2009

Chinatown Masterplan 2000, accessed August 2009

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1. Administration, n.d., 1977–2007
Volume:3 cubic ft.


This series documents the daily operations, staff activities, and publications of the Chinese Progressive Association. Researchers interested in publicity, invitations, or programs relating to particular Association events, such as anniversary or New Year's banquets, should refer to Series 2: Events. Newspaper and Magazine Clippings: General files (Box 2) contain material from local and national publications, documenting Chinatown events, activities of other Chinese community organizations in Boston, and international events involving the United States and China, Taiwan, or Hong Kong.

Also included in this series are writings, including bachelor's and honors theses completed by Boston area students who were involved with the Association or who worked with the Association to gather data about Boston's Chinatown community. These writings include information on garment workers, restaurant workers, and immigration. Topics covered in this series include the operation of the Association's office, including procedures for dealing with clients; community members seeking assistance or information on unemployment insurance, Medicare benefits, or immigration and nationalization; and membership forms and surveys used by the Association to understand the needs of Chinatown residents. Records include correspondence, memoranda, meeting agendas and minutes, client in–take forms (restricted), by–laws, financial reports, mission statements, histories, the Association's and Worker's Center newsletter, and newspaper clippings.
1General (4 folders)n.d., 1977–2000
1Annual and Progress Reports1984–1986, 1992–1998, 2002
1Awards1995, 2004
1Beach Street (25–27)1986–1987
1By–lawsn.d., 1985, 1992
1Capital Campaignca. 2004
1Center for Grassroots Leadership and Organizing2006
1Client In–Take Forms (restricted) n.d., 1986–1992
1Correspondence (3 folders)n.d., 1977–2002
1Budgets1981–1992, 1997
1Community Works Board1990–1991
1Fundraising: Generaln.d., 1985–1992
1Fundraising: Realizing the Vision Banquet2006
1Grants: Proposals and Correspondence (12 folders)1986–2006
1Statements and Auditor's Reports (2 folders)1991–2006
1Tax Exempt Status1987–1991
1History 1977–1997
1Job Survey Forms1984–1985
1Leadership Development Trip to New York Chinese Progressive Association1997
1Mel King for Mayor Endorsement1982–1983
1General (2 folders)n.d., 1979–1998
1Forms (2 folders)1977–1985
1Surveyn.d., 1995–1998
Newspaper and Magazine Clippings
2General (8 folders)n.d., 1985–2006
2Labor Issues1989–1999
2Political: Local, National, and International (2 folders)1988–2001
2Public Affairs1989–2000
2Racial Violence, Racial Discrimination1985–1999
2Social Issues1988–1998
2Organizational Chartn.d.
215th Anniversary Commemorative Booklet1992
225th Anniversary Commemorative Booklet: "Forward Together For Justice"2002
230th Anniversary Commemorative Booklet: "Celebrating 30 Years of Promoting Justice, Democracy and Equality" 2007
2Brochures (2 folders)n.d.
2"Facts about Your Rights: Discrimination"1991
2"Chinatown People's Progressive Association" (3 folders)n.d., 1978–1984
2–3"Chinese Progressive Association / Workers' Center" (23 folders)1985–2007
3"Workers' Center News"1987–1988
3"A Handbook on Unemployed Rights" 1990–1993
3"The Right to a Living Wage:" Booklet1997
3"Shop Reps' Dictionary"1988
3Rainbow Coalition Multiversity Award1988–1990
3San Francisco Chinese Progressive Association: Newsletter and Newspaper Clippings1977, 1982
3Service Logs (restricted)n.d., 1992–1998
3Staff: Job Descriptions and Meetings Notes 1998, 2001
3Steering Committee: Elections and Minutes (11 folders) (Restricted)n.d., 1978–2002
3Summer Events Schedulesn.d., 1979
3Summer Internship Program1988–1989
3University of Connecticut Harassment Incident1988
3Volunteersn.d., 1990–1999
3Henry Wong: Biographical Information and Interviews with and about n.d., 1990–1992
3"Chinese Immigrant Women in the Garment Industry in Boston, MA, 1965–1985, Margarita C. Lam"1991
3 "Chinese Restaurant Workers in the Boston Area," Ava Lee and Maitreyi Mazumdar,1995
3 "Immigrant Workers Challenge Workplace Abuse: " LCD Community Project1997
3"Politics of Deindustrialization and Grassroots Organization Among Chinese Garment Workers," Catherine Tse1987
3"What Happens When the Revolution Doesn't?" Katie Lee2005
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2. Events , n.d., 1977–2008
Volume:1 cubic ft.


This series contains promotional and publicity materials produced for events that the Association either sponsored or collaborated on with other organizations. Files for the anniversary banquets include copies of the commemorative booklets produced for the occasion. Other events documented in this series include Chinese New Year banquets, International Workers' Day, rowing teams for the Dragon Boat Race, and day trips to local museums and historical sites. This series also includes files relating to memorials for Deng Xiaoping, activities held to celebrate Chinese National Day, and Zhu Rongji's visit to the United States. Records include correspondence, fliers, newspaper clippings, programs, and brochures.
3General n.d., 1991–1996
3–4Anniversary Celebrations (10 folders)n.d., 1978–2002
4Announcements and Fliersn.d., 1997
4August Moon Festival1985, 1991–1995
4Calendarsn.d., 1982, 1993–1995
4Celebration for Return of Hong Kong to China1997
4China's National Day Celebration (2 folders–1 oversize)n.d., 1978, 1997–2008
4Chinatown Film Association1977–1978
4Chinese Consul General (Tang Xing Bo) Reception1986
4Committee of New England to Celebrate Hong Kong's Return1997
4Death of Deng Xiaoping1997
4Dragon Boat Race1988–2000
4Educational Tripsn.d., 1979–2001
4Event Notebook and Recording Forms (2 folders)1985, 1988–2002
4Founding of People's Republic of China Anniversary1976
4Fundraising Films: Fliers and Posters (2 folders–1 oversize)n.d., 1976–1980
4International Women's Day1981, 1987, 1998
4International Workers' Day (May Day)n.d., 1983–1995
4Labor Day Fair: Program Booklet, Fliers and Speechn.d., 1998–1999
4Leadership Training1992
4Macau Reunification Dinner1999
4Mao Tse–Tung Anniversary of Death (2 folders)n.d., 1977–1978
4New Year's Celebrations (10 folders)n.d., 1983–2005
4Normalization of United States and China Relations1979
4Open House 1990, 1996
4Performing Arts Troupes from China1985–1987
4Picnicsn.d., 1979–2000
4Ping Pong Tournament1992
4Play Scriptsn.d.
4Premier Zhu's Visit to MIT 1999
4Song Lyrics and Sheet Musicn.d., 1972
4Spring Banquet (3 folders)1995–2006
4Suzanne Lee Celebration1999
4Table Tennis Tournament1978
4Turkey Dinner1985
4United Asian American Dinner1987
4Walk for Peace1988–1990
4Work in the 21st Century: Focus Group1991
4Workshops and Training (3 folders)1994–2002
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3. Community Organizing, n.d., 1983–2006
Volume:3.5 cubic ft.


This series documents the efforts of the Association to advocate for Boston's Chinatown and to provide education, including English as a Second Language and nationalization classes, and assistance with state or Federal welfare or immigration paperwork, to the Chinatown community. The Committee to Support Long Guang Huang was the Association's first major project, mobilizing community support to aid a Chinese immigrant arrested by Boston police for solicitation. The Association found volunteers to attend hearings, write letters, create petitions, and lobby Boston public officials in support of Huang. Committee records include clippings, correspondence, and publicity. The Coalition to Protect Parcel C files reflect the complexity of the project and its successful conclusion when the land was granted back to Chinatown for a community center.

Also included are records from projects which the Association collaborated on with other groups including the Asian American Resource Workshop, the Chinatown Coalition, and the Chinatown Initiative. Topics documented include racial violence, urban renewal, health care, community development, youth programs, bilingual education, and state tax laws. Records include correspondence, memoranda, brochures, fliers, buttons, newspaper clippings from Chinese and English language newspapers, and fact sheets.
4Generaln.d., 1995
4Asian American Resource Workshop (3 folders)n.d., 1986–1999
4Asian Community Development Corporation2002
4Asian Pacific American Agenda Coalition2000
4Asian Women Immigrant Advocatesn.d., 1989
4Asian Youth Clubn.d., 1985–1986
4Boston Chinatown Resident Association 1999–2005
4Campaign to Protect Chinatown: Newsletters1998–1999
4Census 20001999–2000
4–5Center for Community Economic Development (2 folders)n.d., 1995–1996
5China / US Relations n.d., 1989–2000
5Chinatown Action for Community Controln.d., 1985
5Chinatown Central Artery / Tunnel Task Force1996
The Chinatown Coalition
5General (2 folders)1994–2003
5Agendas and Minutes (2 folders)1993–1999
5Boston Empowerment Zones1994
5The Chinatown Coalition Newsletter1994–1999
5The Chinatown Initiative1999
5Economics Committee2000
5Fliersn.d., 1996–2000
5Governance Structure and Operating Procedures1998–2000
5Healthy Boston Initiativen.d., 1993–1995
5Housing Reportca. 1995
5Retreat Notes1994
5Riley Foundation Grants1997–1999
5Statisticsn.d., 1996–1997
5Surveys and Evaluationsn.d., 1996–1999
5Chinatown Housing and Land Development Task Forcen.d., 1988
5Chinatown Organizations1978, 1984
5Chinatown / South Cove Neighborhood Council (2 folders)n.d., 1985–1999
Chinese Youth Initiative
5Generaln.d., 1994–2005
5Bridge Project1995
5"Chinatown Through Our Eyes: Young Voices:" Video Project2005
5Grant Application1994
5History of Chinatownn.d.
5Intern Information Packetn.d.
5Program Report1994
5Voting Project2004
5Wang YMCA of Chinatown1999–2000
Coalition for Asian Pacific American Youth at University of Massachusetts, Boston
5Booklets, Brochures, and Fliersn.d., 1997, 2003–2004
5Conference Materials1993–2004
Coalition to Protect Parcel C for Chinatown
5Generaln.d., 1990–1997
5Agendas, Minutes, and Notes (4 folders) (Restricted)1993–1995
5Buttons and Balloonn.d.
5Chinatown Community Center, Inc. (4 folders)1989–1996
6Coalition against the Asphalt Plant1993–1994
6Coalition for Community Control of Development1987–1990
6Correspondence (3 folders) (Restricted)1993–1995
6Greater Boston Legal Services: Retainer Agreement1994
6Health Care for All: Boston Health Access Project (2 folders)n.d., 1991–1994
6Historical Background1993–1995
6Memory Projectn.d.
6Newspaper Clippings (4 folders)1992–1995
6Organizational Chart and Committee Listsn.d., 1993
6Parcel C Design and Development Task Force (2 folders)n.d., 1997–1998
6Parcel C Newsletter1994–2005
6Petitions and Letter Writing Campaign (4 folders)1993–1994
6Press Releases and Other Publicity (3 folders)n.d., 1993–1994
6Quincy School Community Counciln.d., 1992–1993
6Rally Fliers199?
6Recreation Day and Community Organizing Subcommittee1993–1994
6"An Analysis of the Impact of Traffic on Air Pollution and Safety in Boston's Chinatown" (Restricted)1995
6Boston Redevelopment Authority: Call for Designs for Chinatown Community Service Facility1989–1990
6Boston Redevelopment Authority: Chinatown Reportsn.d., 1988, 1998
6Boston Redevelopment Authority: Scoping Determination1990s, 1993
6Comments on New England Medical Center Draft Environmental Impact Report (3 folders)1994
6Comments on New England Medical Center Draft Project Impact Report1994
7Comments on New England Medical Center Garage Plan1993
7New England Medical Center Draft Project Impact Report / Draft Environmental Impact Report1994
7New England Medical Center Master Plan Amendment Notification1990
7New England Medical Center Parking Garage Project Proposals1993
7"Report on the Financial Resources of Major Hospitals in Boston"1993
7"Review of Draft Project Impact Report / Draft Environmental Impact Report"1994
7"The Struggle over Parcel C," Andrew Leong1997
7T–Shirt Design1990s
7Traffic Counts1993
7Traffic Safety1993–1995
7Urban Land Use Task Force1994
7Youth Internsn.d., 1993
7Committee to Stop Japan's Distortions of WWII Historyca. 1982
Committee to Support Long Guang Huang
7Articles, Newspaper Clippings, and Fliers (2 folders)n.d., 1983–1989
7Fundraisingn.d., 1985–1986
7Press Releases and Community Updatesn.d., 1985
7East Coast Asian Student Union (2 folders)1988–1989
7Generaln.d., 1991–1997
7Academy of the Pacific Rim: Memo to Trustees and Advisors1996
7Baldwin Elementary Schooln.d., 2003
7Bilingual Education 1989–2002
7Boston Parent Organizing Network1995–1999
7Chinese Church Head Start Programn.d., 1995–1998
7Federation for Children with Special Needsn.d., 1994
7Josiah Quincy Schooln.d.
7National Coalition of Advocates for Studentsn.d., 1999–2001
7Reformn.d., 1992, 1997
7Snowden High School Student Expulsion2000
7Generaln.d., 2000
7Election Day1990
7Interpreter System Petitionn.d.
7Massachusetts Democratic Party: Asian Pacific Caucus1990
7Multilingual Voting Rights Coalitionn.d., 2001–2002
7Voter Registration (3 folders)n.d., 1990–1993
7Voter Registration and Education Fund1994–1995
7Voter Registration Reformn.d., 1987–1995
7Voter Surveys (2 folders)2000
7Voting Rightsn.d., 2006
7Employment: Boston Empowerment Center1996
7Employment: Petitionca. 1999
7Event Fliersn.d., 1991–2000
7"Free Enterprise Zones:" Report1986
7Greater Boston Legal Services: Brochure Translation1991
7Haitian–Americans United, Inc.2001
Health Care
7General1991, 2002
7Health Care for All1991
7Health Security Plan (2 folders) n.d., 1990–1992
7Housing and Urban Development1988, 1999
Immigrant Rights and Welfare Reform
7General (2 folders)n.d., 1987–1996
7Campaign for Immigrant Rights, Racial and Social Justice (2 folders)n.d., 1995–1997
7Fact Sheetsn.d., 1990–1997
7Immigrant and Refugee Leadership Development Initiative Conference2002–2003
7Kennedy–Simpson Immigration Bill1989
8Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition1995–2004
8Massachusetts Law Reform Institute1988, 1996–1998
8Newspaper Clippings and Articlesn.d., 1989–1993
8Simpson–Mazzoli Immigration Bill n.d., 1982
8Publicity: Fliersn.d., 1995–1997
8Ralliesn.d., 1995
8Interim Coordinating Committee for Chinese Americans1986, 1988
8Jiang Zemin Visit to Harvard1997
8Lafayette Place Development1984
8Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law of the Boston Bar Associationn.d.
8Liberty Place and Combat Zone1985, 2002
8Lobbying Expenditures1990–1991
8Low Wage Workers' Conference1994–1995
8Macau Returns to China1999
8Massachusetts Coalition for Corporate Responsibility2002–2003
8Massachusetts English Plus Coalition: Brochuresn.d.
8Massachusetts Turnpike Extensionn.d.
8Politics, Voting, and Unemployment: Newspaper Clippings (2 folders)1985–1988
8Poverty and Homelessnessn.d., 1986
8Protest against Japanese Revisions of World War II Historyn.d., 1982–1985
8Tenants of Oak Terrace1994?
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4. The Workers' Center, n.d., 1983–2006
Volume:2 cubic ft.


This series documents the activities of the Association's Workers' Center and its two history projects. The first project focused on the garment workers and resulted in an hour–long video documentary, "Through Strength & Struggle." The second, the Workers' Oral History Project, collected more general oral histories from workers in Chinatown. Also included in this series is documentation of the Workers' Center involvement with the Boston Foundation's Persistent Poverty Project roundtable series in 1992.

Topics documented include local labor issues, advocating for workers' benefits, advocating for providing state services in Chinese, and national labor relations problems, including a garment workers' strike against Jessica McClintock in California and an International Paper workers' strike in Maine. Records include correspondence, fliers, brochures, newspaper clippings, interview and oral history transcripts, and scripts, and a timeline and other documentation for the "Through Strength and Struggle" video documentary (Box 8).
8Generaln.d., 1984–2002
8Annual and Progress Reportsn.d., 1993–1998
8Anti–Sweatshop Legislation 1997–2003
8The Boston Foundation's Persistent Poverty Projectn.d., 1992
8Brochuresn.d., 1988
8Campaign on Contingent Work1997–1998
8Chinese Working Women Network2004
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Department of Employment and Training
8General (2 folders)n.d., 1991–1997
8Chinese Language Packet1992–1996
8Meeting Minutes and Notes1995–1996
8Translation Services1989–1993
8Fair Labor and Business Practices1996–1997
8Community Labor Standards1998
8Community Labor Unitedn.d., 2003–2005
8Economic Development and Industrial Corporation / Bostonn.d., 1988–1991
8English as a Second Language and Training Program Proposal198?
8Events n.d., 1998–2000
8Garment District Relocation: Newspaper Clippingsn.d., 1981–1988
8Garment Factories in Chinatownn.d.
Garment Workers
8Generaln.d., 1986–1989
8"The Chinese Progressive Association's Community Organizing Methods: Case Study of the Dislocated P & L Garment Workers Struggle in Boston," Man Chak Ng1991
8Correspondence (2 folders)1986–1989
8Fact Sheets and History1980s
8Funding Proposal1986
8Garment Workers' Documentation Project (6 folders)n.d., 1986–1988
9Garment Workers Support Committee (2 folders)1986–1989
9Newspaper Clippings 1986–1987, 1993
9Petition of Support for P & L Sportswear Workers198?
9Report: "Importance of the Garment Industry to Boston's Neighborhoods and Workforce," Carol Schwartz1982
9Retraining (3 folders)n.d., 1986–1987
9"Through Strength and Struggle" Video Planning (7 folders)n.d., 1986–1991
9Worker Surveys1986
9Greater Boston Legal Servicesn.d., 1990–2005
9Labor Notes1993–1994
9Legal Immigrantsn.d., 2002
9Legal Services for the Unemployedn.d., 1991
9Lists of Workers by Workplacen.d., 1989–1990
9Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational and Health Safety1996
9Massachusetts Industrial Policy Group1988
9Massachusetts Workers' Rights Board2004–2005
9Newspaper Clippings and Articles1988–1992
9Northeastern University Immigration Law Task Force1995
9Older Worker Opportunity Program1991–1993
9 "The Meaning of Unemployment for the Lives of Women," Paula Raymanc.a. 1986
9 "Summary of Social and Economic Justice Report"2004
9"Working Hard, Earning Less: The Story of Job Growth in America," National Priorities Project1998
9Retraining Programs1986, 1992, 2005–2006
Strikes and Worker Support
9General1994, 2004
9Assi Market Boycott (Los Angeles)2002
9Hyatt Regency Hotel Boycottn.d., 2005
9International Paper 1988–1990
9Jessica McClintock Strike (2 folders)1989–1993
9Kayem Foods Workers' Support2001–2003
9Mexican Garment Industry Workers1986–1989
9Nursing Home Caregivers Supportn.d., 2004
9PICO Korean.d., 1990
9Restaurant Workers1991–1993
9Royal Workers1996
Unemployed Rights Campaign
9General (5 folders)1986–1995
9Correspondence (4 folders)1986–1994
9Fact Sheetsn.d., 1989–1993
9Interpreter Services Bureau1990
9Legislation n.d., 1988–1990
9"Mend the Safety Net" Rally1989, 1991
9Newspaper Clippingsn.d., 1988–1991
10Questionnairen.d., 1993
10Testimoniesn.d., 1989–1994
10Unemployment Insurance1987–1991
10United States Department of Labor Women's Bureau "Working Women Count" Survey1994–1995
10UNITE HERE: National Housekeeping Campaignn.d., 2005
10University of Massachusetts: Labor Studies Program1994
10Worker Safetyn.d., 1996
10Workers' Center: "Mental Health and Unemployment," Ramsay Liem Book Prospectus1988
10Workers' Center Committee1996
10Workers' Centersn.d., 2005
10Workers' Compensation1996–1998
10Workers' Oral History Project: Questions, Logs and Interviews (2 folders)n.d., 1987–1998
10Workers' Surveys (2 folders)1986–1987, 1998
10"Working for a Decent Living:" Conference1999
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5. Audio–Visual, n.d., 1976–2005
Volume:2.75 cubic ft.


This series contains audio–visual material produced by the Chinese Progressive Association and the Workers' Center. Topics documented include protest rallies, events, anniversary celebrations, national and international trips, and documentary projects. The bulk of the series consists of photographs, negatives, contact sheets, and slides that reflect the activities of the Association.

Events documented include Association anniversaries, including photographs from a scrapbook prepared for the Association's 10th anniversary; rallies and protests against the expansion of Tufts– New England Medical Center in Chinatown; and special events such as International Workers' Day, Labor Day, and the August Moon Festival. Also included are photographs of Association staff and board members, including Henry Wong, who was instrumental in the creation of the Association, and Association directors Suzanne Lee and Lydia Lowe. The series also includes photographs of the Association's offices on Beach Street, Lincoln Street, and Harrison Avenue, including images of the clean–up and repair projects done at the Beach Street location in the mid–1970s. "Exhibit Photos and Text" includes exhibit text in Chinese and English. The "Thanksgiving" folder includes photographs of the 2000 Association election, held at the same time as the 2000 Thanksgiving dinner.

The "Trips and Outings" files include photographs from trips to Toronto and Vancouver; Washington, D.C., San Francisco, New York City and other destinations in the United States; and from trips to China and Taiwan in the 1970s and 1980s. Also contained here are photographs from annual Association picnics and barbecues.

The "Protests and Rallies" records include photographs from demonstrations in support of striking workers at the Dynasty Restaurant in Chinatown, the International Paper mill in Jay, Maine, and Power One in Allston, Massachusetts, and four QuickTime movies of speeches from the "Fight Liberty Place" rally. There are also images from rallies in support of bilingual education, reform of the Combat Zone (Boston's red–light district), and Long Guang Huang, a victim of police brutality in Chinatown. The "Parcel C" folders include images of rallies and protests, community meetings to discuss land development, prints used in a photo essay about Chinatown to publicize the Parcel C struggle, and pictures of the victory celebrations and groundbreaking.

Of special interest is the P & L garment workers' documentary, "Through Strength and Struggle" which includes English and Chinese versions. Other materials about the documentary are found in Series 4: The Workers' Center. The series includes photographs, negatives, contact sheets, slides, VHS, Beta and U–Matic tapes, 1" film reels, CDs, 1 audio cassette and QuickTime movies which work best when downloaded.
10"Asian Communities in America" Workshop (Audio Cassette)n.d.
10Andrew Leong Interview about Chinatown2010
Photographs, Negatives, and Slides
11Unidentified1970s ?
11Adult Educationn.d., 1992
11Anniversaries (14 folders)1978–2004
11Asian American Resource Workshop Slideshown.d.
11"Asian Communities in America" Workshop1980
11Asian Community Development Corporation1988
11Association Opening in 19771977
11August Moon Festivaln.d., 1985–1997
11Children's Party1988
11China Flood Fundraisern.d.
11Chinatownn.d., 1970s
11Chinatown Residents Associationca. 2000
11Chinatown Task Force Fundraisern.d.
11Chinese American Joint Action Committeen.d.
11Chinese New Yearn.d., 1985–1996
11Chinese Progressive Association History Slideshown.d., 1978
11Christmas Party (2 folders)n.d., 1986–1987, 1992
11Classes at the University of Massachusetts–Boston1991
11Diplomats and Consular Visits (2 folders)n.d., 1979–1999
11Dragon Boat Festival1979–1987, 1996–1997
11East Asian Students Union1970s
11Events, Individuals, Groups, and Places (7 folders)n.d., 1977–200?
11Exhibit Photos and Textn.d.
11Farewell Partyn.d.
11First Dinner 1977
11Garment Workers (2 folders)1985–1988
11Immigrant Labor Day1991
11Immigrant Rights and Welfare Reformn.d., 1996
11Informational Presentations1977, 2004
11International Women's Dayn.d., 1981–1988
11International Workers' Dayn.d., 1983–1989
11Interview with Community Member1992
11Labor Dayn.d., 1999
11"Meet the Donors" Event1988
11Mel King for Mayor1983?
11Memorials for Mao Zedongn.d., 1977–1978
11Mexican Workers Visit1988
12New Year's Celebrationsn.d., 1983–1996
12Offices (2 folders)1970s–1990s
12Parcel 19 Photographic Essayn.d.
12Parcel C (10 folders)n.d., 1989–2002
12People's Republic of China Anniversaries (2 folders)1976–1999
12Protests, Rallies, and Activism (19 folders) (6 CDs)n.d., 1977–2002
12Raising the Flag at City Hall Plazan.d.
12Reception for Youxie Delegation1970s
Robert Williams Program1978
12Roxbury Community College Eventn.d.
12Staff Retreatsn.d., 1992–1996
12Social Eventsn.d.
12Spring Festival1980?
12Table Tennis Competitions1970s–1982
12Turkey Dinnern.d., 1979–1987, 2000–2005
12Trips and Outings (17 folders)n.d., 1970s–2000
12University of Massachusetts Labor Studies 20th Anniversary Awardn.d.
12Visit to New York Chinese Progressive Associationn.d.
12Voting Rights and Registrationn.d., 1983–1992, 2005
12Henry Wong n.d.
12Workers' Centern.d., 1990s
12Youth Programs1977, 1990–1999
10"CPA Final" (Beta)n.d.
10"Food Service Graduation / Roxbury Community College Graduation / P & L Garment Workers Strength" (VHS)1987
10Liberty Place Protest: Traffic Jam, Suzanne Lee (?) and Chuck Turner (QuickTime)n.d.
10Liberty Place Protest: Chuck Turner and Henry Yee (QuickTime)n.d.
10P & L Garment Workers (1" Reel and Digital Betacam)198?
10To Prepare for Citizenship Exam: Introduction (VHS)1990
10Project V.I.T.A.L. Compilation Tape (VHS)n.d.
10"Struggle & Strength: P & L Garment Workers" (VHS)1988
10Temporary Solution (VHS)n.d.
10"Through Strength and Struggle" U–Matic (2 tapes)198?
10"Through Struggle and Strength" (1" Reel) (English)198?
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