United Chinese Americans National Board Retreat: Forging a Path to Unity and Progress
By Jan Xie and Ray Liang
The historic town of Lexington, Massachusetts, known for its pivotal role in the birth of the United States, became the backdrop for a different kind of revolution on October 22nd and 23rd, 2023. The United Chinese Americans (UCA) national board convened for its annual retreat at the Lexington Historical Society, hosted by the UCA Massachusetts (UCA-MA) chapter, New England Chinese American Alliance (NECAA) and Chinese American Association of Lexington (CAAL).
This retreat served as a confluence of minds, a platform where leaders from different parts of the United States came together to discuss, deliberate, and strategize on the challenges confronting the Chinese American community today.
The retreat began with a warm welcome extended by Professor Hua Wang, Chairman of the UCA Board, and UCA MA Chapter President Gary You. Their gracious reception set the stage for a series of insightful discussions that followed.
Haipei Shue, the President of UCA, introduced the purpose and objectives of the retreat, underlining the essence of unity and progress. Board members delved deep into the challenges facing the Chinese American community, addressing issues from healthcare disparities to educational access, and from immigration concerns to employment opportunities.
With a vision of a brighter future, Haipei Shue shared his perspective with the board members, prompting an invigorating exchange of ideas. The attendees, driven by their commitment to a better tomorrow, discussed strategies to bridge the gap and specific action plans to attain their goals.
Beyond the conference room, the retreat offered a unique opportunity to connect with history. Attendees took a guided tour of Lexington, visiting historical landmarks that played a significant role in the birth of the American nation, including the site of the first shot fired during the dawn of the American Revolution and the birth place of American spirit Walden Pond.
A significant portion of the retreat was dedicated to discussions about the upcoming Chinese Americans convention and fundraising initiatives, vital to sustaining the UCA's mission and its commitment to the community.
The retreat concluded on an inspiring note, leaving board members recharged and determined to make strides in growing the UCA and advancing its mission. It was a testament to the resilience and passion of the Chinese American community, committed to advocating for their rights and contributing to the diverse fabric of the United States.
In the spirit of unity and community engagement, a joint dinner was organized, enabling board members to interact with community leaders from New England who attended the New England Community Leadership Summit oct 21. Their positive impressions of the UCA's ethos of "lead, serve, and inspire" further fueled the passion and dedication of the attendees.
The event witnessed the gathering of over 60 influential figures, including UCA President Haipei Shue, Chairman Hua Wang, incoming Executive Director Ray Liang, past Board Chairmen Steve Pei, Xiaoyan Zhang, Jinjiang Cai, and other dedicated board and executive team members including Gary Yu, Yinong Shen, Jan Xie, Chen Li, Stephanie Sun, Hardy Li, Yingchao Zhang, and Qi Hong, Shirley Ma, Laura Liu, Lining He, Xiaoming Dong, Jack Ding, in addition to distinguished community leaders from New England. Like Ge Qian, Qing Liao, Lei Jing, Feiqi, Tony, Iris Zhao, MaoLi,.Jack,Hailing,Leeying,Lilly,Minwen Yang, Jaclyn, Esther Wilson Yizheng, Xiaodan, Ruru ,Lan Zhang, Olive Jin,Runxuan Shao, Chenfang dai, Ning Zhou, George, jacky, Xinxin, and Daryl Luk...... A memorable highlight of the retreat was the cultural performance by Dr. Yingchao Zhang, who made a remarkable six-hour journey from New Jersey to perform, adding a touch of artistry and culture to the event
The United Chinese American National Board Retreat in Lexington was not just a meeting; it was a manifestation of dedication and purpose. It was an opportunity for leaders to stand together, sharing their visions, building strategies, and leaving with a renewed sense of purpose. As we look ahead, it is clear that the spirit of unity and determination fostered at this retreat will continue to drive positive change and progress for the Chinese American community in the United States.
UCA President Haipei Shue
"I am particularly proud of the donation drive: it broadens the cause of the retreat, connects UCA to the local community, and enriches and makes history in the process - after all, Lexington is "The Birthplace of American Liberty". " by the UCA board chair Wang Hua.