Anna Huang and Chloe Chan stretched ahead of an early morning run that also served as a history lesson.
They’re the founders of Mott Street Girls. The two of them hold tours on Chinese-American history in Chinatown.
“By learning history most people can draw parallels to their own history of suppression and aggression. By building that you build empathy for each other,” Huang said.
All of the money from ticket sales and donations is going to help Asian and immigrant undeserved communities in the city.
“We’re going to be fundraising for Apex for youth, all the proceeds will be going to them. So far, we raised $1,350 and the fundraiser will go until Monday,” Chan said.
On Saturday, they teamed up with Run for Chinatown. Leland Yu is its founder. The group holds free weekly runs through the neighborhood.
“Chinatown has been through a lot and that’s why I started Run for Chinatown. There is a lot to say and a lot of things have happened,” Yu said.
With the rise in Anti-Asian hate crimes, he thinks it’s extremely important to raise awareness for Chinese-American culture.
“Just a few weeks ago my mom got attacked living in the neighborhood,” Yu said. “I’m hoping to do something positive with Chinatown to inspire the community.”
Dozens showed up to run. They moved all throughout Chinatown and Lower Manhattan.
The tour highlighted injustices faced by Chinese Americans throughout history.
“The Chinese Exclusion Act was the first U.S. law that banned any certain ethnic group from coming to the U.S. for over 60 years. Under this law, only 105 Chinese laborers per year were able to come in here,” Chan said.
Runners like Bryan Lozano think events like this are crucial to building a sense of community within Chinatown — from learning its history to showing support after the pandemic.
“I think it’s important considering everything that is going on. There are a lot of neighborhoods around NYC, including Chinatown, that just need continued support,” Lozano said.
The run lasted three miles. It started and finished at Dreamers Coffee House in Chinatown.
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