D.C.’s Chinatown’s both visibility and invisibility makes for a unique case study. Its relatively small footprint within the city’s center has transformed dramatically over the past forty years. Furthermore, D.C.’s Chinatown rarely makes it into the public dialogue amongst larger, and more well-known Chinatowns across the continent, despite being marked by similar patterns of gentrification and erasure, albeit at a smaller scale in comparison to San Francisco, New York City, or Boston.
However, we understand that this issue is bigger than Washington D.C.’s Chinatown.
This project aims to be in conversation with the issues of equity, affordability, and cultural erasure in Chinatowns across the continent and is in solidarity with neighborhoods across Washington, D.C., particularly in Black and Brown neighborhoods that are bearing a disproportionate burden from displacement and cultural erasure as a result of gentrification across the District.
We encourage you to check out other mapping projects that we continue to learn from and be inspired by that also amplify longtime community voices and perspectives and what they treasure about their neighborhoods:
- Love Letters to Chinatown by the W.O.W. Project, New York City
- Takachizu by Little Tokyo Service Center, Los Angeles
- Your Story, Our Story by the Tenement Museum, New York City
- Anti-Eviction Mapping Project
Washington, DC Maps
- Mapping Segregation in Washington DC by Prologue DC
- D.C. Music Map by Smithsonian Center for Folklife & Cultural Heritage
If you are intrested in learning more about D.C.’s Chinatown and Asian American history in DC, or are looking to better understand how gentrification shows up in the neighborhood, check out these resources below.
- Gentrification in D.C.’s Chinatown by UNA-NCA Snapshots
- The “Past and Future of D.C. Chinatown” by Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum
- A Tale of Three Chinatowns by Tiger Sisters Productions
Education and history
DC based organizations are linked below. Check out the past events, stories, and history recorded on these websites, as well as the local and national organizations that help make it possible:
- 1882 Foundation
- D.C. AAPI Coalition
- D.C.’s Chinese American Museum
- AALEAD (Asian American Youth Leadership Empowerment and Development)