Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association

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The headquarters of the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association in San Francisco (a.k.a. Chinese Six Companies) is located on Stockton Street, directly across from the Kuomintang headquarters. Due to its traditional association with the KMT, the flag of the Republic of China continues to fly atop the building.

The Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association (CCBA) (traditional Chinese: 中華會館; simplified Chinese: 中华会馆; Mandarin Pinyin: zhōnghuá huìguǎn; Jyutping: zung1wa4 wui6gun2 in the West and Midwest; 中華公所 (中华公所) zhōnghuá gōngsuǒ (Jyutping: zung1wa4 gung1so2) in the East) is a historical Chinese Association established in various parts of the United States with large populations of Chinese. It is also known by other names such as Chong Wa Benevolent Association in Seattle, Washington and United Chinese Society in Honolulu, Hawaii.

San Francisco[edit]

Chinese Six Companies (Chinese: 六大公司) refers only to the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association in San Francisco, California.[1]

Early officers of San Francisco's Six Companies in traditional dress, with riding jackets over changshan.

The six original Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Associations in San Francisco were already operating as separate entities with some degree of mutual coordination[2] before the first Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association was formally established in 1882.[3] At the time, San Francisco had the U.S.'s largest Chinese population.[4]

The Six Companies consisted of the six most important Chinese district associations of California at that time: the Sam Yup Company, Yeong Wo Company, Kong Chow Company, Ning Yung Company, Hop Wo Company, and Yan Wo Company.[5] Among their early efforts, they attempted to deter prostitution in the Chinese community, to encourage Chinese immigrants to lead moral lives, and to discourage what they described as excessive continuing Chinese immigration creating hostility toward Chinese already in America.[6] In 1875, they endorsed the position that continued Chinese immigration was resulting in a general lowering of wages, both for whites and for Chinese already in America.[7]

New York City[edit]

In New York City, the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association (CCBA) was established in 1883.[8] The parent organization of the Chinese Community Center, the CCBA was founded in 1883 and has represented and served the needs of Chinese Americans in New York City ever since. Historically it has performed a quasi-governmental role in the Chinese community. Throughout its history, business ownership has been a goal of many residents of Chinatown, and has been supported both financially, and through training, by the CCBA. Today there are local CCBA agencies in 26 cities with substantial Chinese populations across North America.

Currently, the CCBA represents the Chinese Americans living in the Greater New York Metro area. Internally, the CCBA is the hinge that keeps the Chinese American community intact and vigorous. Specifically, the CCBA:

  • Provides social services
  • Provides personal and commercial conflict resolution and mediations
  • Promotes Chinese traditions and cultural heritage
  • Serves as a bridge between Chinese American immigrants and the main stream groups
  • Promotes Chinese American interests
  • Engages in charitable activities
  • Sponsors educational and recreational activities
  • Sponsors and promotes youth services
  • Provides and advocates for small businesses

In New York City, the CCBA is an umbrella organization of 60 member organizations representing a cross-section of New York’s Chinese community. They include professional and trade organizations such as the Chinese Chamber of Commerce and the Chinese American Restaurant Association; civic organizations such as the American Legion, Lt. Lam Lau Post; religious, cultural and women’s organizations; fellow-provincial organization such as the Hoy Sun Ning Yung Association and the Lin Sing Association; and family organizations such as the Lee, Eng, and Chan Family Association.

CCBA spearheaded the move to form the Chinese Voters Federation in May 2004 to encourage qualified Chinese American citizens to register and vote in the 2004 Presidential election, a community-wide effort that produced an increase of 24.2% in the number of Chinese American voters in Chinatown. It strongly supported the formation of the Chinatown Partnership Local Development Corporation, the Asian Job Service Employer Committee and the Greater New York Chinese Community Dollars for Scholars program, all of which benefit the Chinese communities in many important ways.

Immediately following the earthquake and tsunami disasters in south Asia, CCBA led an emergency community-wide campaign to raise much-needed funds for the victims, a drive that raised more than $500,000 for the American Red Cross Emergency Response Fund. In September 2005, right after the Hurricane Katrina disaster, CCBA and Sing Tao Daily joined together and raised $170,000 for the victims.

Recently, CCBA solidified the relations with different City departments and agencies to solve many on-going problems in Chinatown, including insufficient parking spaces, illegal enforcement of parking regulations, confusing sanitation enforcement regulations, etc. Working closely with the NYPD, the NYPD community affairs bureau now hosts monthly seminars on different safety topics at the CCBA. Its efforts have resulted in the establishment of a direct channel to the government without language barriers.

The CCBA also works with many mainstream organizations to provide services to the Chinese American community, such as the Visiting Nurse Service of New York and the American Cancer Society. In December 2006, CCBA and the American Red Cross of Greater New York signed a Memorandum of Understanding to coordinate programs in Chinatown that will help prepare and train the Chinese community for any kind of emergency.

The CCBA fulfills its functions by working closely with local businesses and residents as well as by maintaining close contact with Chinese American organizations located throughout North America and integration into the mainstream of American society.

Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association of New England[edit]

The Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association of New England, popularly known as CCBA, is a tax-exempt organization establish in 1923. Currently with 35 members consisting of family associations and community organizations, CCBA serves as the umbrella organization for the Chinese communities of New England. Originally located at 14 Oxford Street, it relocated to its current address at 90 Tyler Street in the 1980s when the City of Boston sold the building that was the Quincy Elementary School to CCBA for one dollar.

A president, an English secretary, a Chinese secretary, a treasurer, and an auditor complete the executive board of directors who manage the daily affairs of CCBA with the help of several office workers. Unlike the 43 members of the board of directors who are delegate representatives from member organizations, the 5 members of the executive board is elected by the board of directors biennially.

To fulfill our mission and pledge to the constituents of the Chinese community, the CCBA building is a community center where programs are held to benefit people across the ages. The building comes alive each afternoon as grade school age children and teens from low income families arrive to participate in after school programs managed by the Phillips Brooks House through Harvard University. Three nights a week, the CCBA sponsored Ping Pong Club is in session, providing a setting for exercise and socialization for people with a passion for ping pong. A flurry of activity fills the minutes and hours each weekend as dances from China are taught to children, giving them a glimpse of their culture and a connection to their roots; adults get together to sing and perform excerpts from famous Cantonese operas; classes learn and practice the Yuanji Dance, a combination of martial arts, physical therapy, meditation, dance, and qi-gong exercises for the benefit of mind, body and soul; and the elderly boogie to the music of Saturday Night Live, the Macarena, and the Electric Slide.

CCBA is also home to two family associations, a federal credit union, Chinese and English classes, a magazine and media services group, and the well-known Chinatown Crime Watch program, where volunteers patrol the streets of Chinatown daily to provide the ever-present vigilance needed to keep crime rate at a minimum around the neighborhood.

Besides sponsoring activities, CCBA manages Tai Tung Village and Waterford Place, apartment complexes that provide the much needed affordable housing to the Chinese community. Partnering with Chinatown Main Street and other organizations, CCBA coordinates activities such as the lion dance celebration for the Lunar New Year, the annual August Moon Festival to attract visitors to Chinatown to further economic growth in Chinatown, and hosts dignitary visits to the Chinatown community. www.ccba-ne.org

Seattle[edit]

Chong Wa Benevolent Association, Seattle

In Seattle, Washington, the Chong Wa Association was established around 1915.[9] New information however shows that it was already in existence in 1892. (see link below: Chinese in Northwest America Research Committee).

Branches[edit]

Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association, San Diego
Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association, New York
Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association, Chicago
Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association, Washington,DC

The Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association has several branches in the United States and Canada including in:[10]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "The Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association/Huiguan System", p. 62 in Him Mark Lai, Becoming Chinese American, Rowman Altamira (2004). ISBN 0-7591-0458-1.
  2. ^ "A Memorial…", p. 18–23 in [Yung et al. 2006], is an example of a document jointly issued by the Six Companies as early as 1876.
  3. ^ Delehanty
  4. ^ "A Memorial…" claims 30,000 out of 60,000 in California and 150,000 nationwide in 1876; the 1860 U.S. Census shows 63,199 nationwide; the 1870 U.S. Census shows 105,465 nationwide.
  5. ^ [Yung et al. 2006] p. 23.
  6. ^ [Yung et al. 2006] p. 20 et. seq.
  7. ^ [Yung et al. 2006] p. 25.
  8. ^ CCBA (New York) official site.
  9. ^ Chong Wa Association (Seattle) on vrseattle.com
  10. ^ The C.C.B.A. in North America

Citations[edit]

External links[edit]