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Know Your History: Exploring the Legacy of the Transcontinental Railroad

  • 03/02/2022
  • 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
  • Zoom, please register to receive the link!


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FCCNY Presents: Know Your History

Exploring the Legacy of the Transcontinental Railroad

Wednesday, March 2, 2022: 7-8:30pm EST

Join FCCNY and learn about the history of Chinese American contributions in the United States and to the Transcontinental Railroad, as well as archeological, organizational, and arts-based efforts to uncover and uplift the stories and contributions of Chinese Transcontinental Railroad workers and their descendants in America. 

Some topics we will explore are:

  • History of the Chinese American contribution to the US and TR left out of history books 

  • Historical, archeological, and archival research on the TR 

  • Recent activism and advocacy through arts and education to promote the history of TR and the historical contribution of Chinese Americans in the US 

  • A Descendant’s Story: The TR and its legacy, from the perspective of the grand-nephew of a TR worker

This event is open to anyone interested in learning more about Chinese-American history! (Ages 16+) 

The event will NOT be recorded. Please register online at to receive the Zoom link!

About our panelists:

Christopher Merritt, Ph.D.

Merritt received his Ph.D. from the University of Montana in Anthropology in 2010, focusing on the archeological and historical investigations of the Overseas Chinese. 

Since 2012 he has worked as an archeologist for the Utah Division of State History and has spent time investigating the life and role of Chinese railroad workers in Utah.

Max Chang 

Max Chang received an MBA from The Wharton School of Business at UPenn and is currently the CEO and partner of American Estate Management Corporation in Salt Lake City, Utah. 

Max served on the Spike 150 Foundation Board, which commemorated the 150th anniversary of the completion of the nation’s first transcontinental railroad. Max is dedicated to educating students and teachers about the contribution of Chinese railroad workers. Through the Utah Shakespeare Company, he was also involved in producing Jason Ma’s musical, “Gold Mountain,” a story of Chinese transcontinental railroad workers in the Sierra Mountains.

Russell Low, MD

Russell Low is a California-born 4th generation Chinese American physician who is a great-grandson of Hung Lai Wah, a Transcontinental Railroad worker, and Tom Ying, a rescued child slave. His story sheds light on the trafficking of young Chinese women in the 1800’s as part of the illegal slave trade. 

The story of his great grandparents and their descendants has been featured on the History Channel, BBC Radio, National Public Radio, the Voice of America, and is included in the California State Railroad Museum, and the Smithsonian Museum of American History. Russell’s passion for research, family history, and storytelling come together in a recently published novel entitled “Three Coins.”

About our moderator:

Vivian Louie, PhD

Vivian Louie is Professor of Urban Policy and Planning and Director of the Asian American Studies Center and Program at Hunter College.  Louie studies what it means to be an American, in public policies and discussions, civic participation and civic education, and the role of race, ethnicity, immigration, social class, and gender. She also writes about the factors that shape success along the educational pipeline of immigrants and the children of immigrants and in the workplace. 

Louie frequently comments on why we need Asian American Studies & Ethnic Studies not only in schools but across diverse settings. She serves on the New York State Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, the Board of Youth Communication, and the Russell Sage Foundation, Advisory Committee for Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration. 

Chinese Adoptee Alliance
We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization supporting Chinese adoptees and allies.
"C double A", formerly FCCNY.

PO Box 21670
2300 18th St NW Lobby
Washington, DC 20009 

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