Officials in the U.S. state of California on Tuesday joined community members in San Francisco's Chinatown to announce plans to restore and preserve the artifacts and oral histories of Chinese Americans.
California Assemblymember Matt Haney announced funding of 850,000 U.S. dollars to rehabilitate the Julia Morgan Dance Hall, a historical building where the Chinese Historical Society of America and its archives are housed.
The funds will also help digitize the archives and bolster augmented and virtual reality assets for museum programming.
Last year, Haney, then San Francisco supervisor, introduced a resolution to formally apologize to Chinese immigrants and their descendants for past racism and atrocities against the Chinese community.
With the unanimous passage of the resolution early this year, San Francisco became the fourth city in California to make such an apology, following Antioch, San Jose and Los Angeles.
"With the increase in AAPI (Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders) hate and violence here and all around the country, there's never been a more important time to tell the important history and contributions of the Chinese Americans who built this city," said Haney.
Justin Hoover, executive director of the Chinese Historical Society of America, said the funding would help establish a new digital learning center to transform the more than 20,000 pieces of artifacts into an augmented and virtual reality learning resource.
"Chinese Americans have helped make this country what it is today. I proudly supported this state investment because we must preserve that history to not only highlight our contributions but also provide learning opportunities that foster greater understanding amid Asian hate," said Assembly Budget Chair Phil Ting during Tuesday's announcement.