January 19, 2007

Chinese American Philanthropy

I just saw this today.

I somewhat agree with Jessica Chao, who says, "“The Chinese-American community really has an opportunity because there’s a critical mass that wasn’t there before,” said Jessica Chao, a vice president at Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors. “A critical mass of wealth and opportunity, and a critical mass of awareness of the social issues that impact poverty.”"

I agree with the "critical mass" part in terms of the numbers, but I don't think there has been enough investment in Chinese-American social and intellectual capital Without social and intellectual capital, it is hard to direct a community's energy in meaningful ways. The network and knowledge simply isn't there, and you get people doing stupid things like praising Maxine Hong Kingston and naming Asian American theaters after David Henry Hwang (I wish I were kidding about this, but I'm not).

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