Connie Young Yu

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Connie Young Yu
Connie Young Yu at Hall of Labor.jpg
Connie Young Yu speaking at the Labor Hall of Honor, Washington, D.C., 2014
Connie Mary Young

(1941-06-19) June 19, 1941 (age 77)
ResidenceLos Altos Hills, California
Alma materMills College
Occupationwriter, historian, lecturer
Years active1969–present
Spouse(s)Dr. John Kou Ping Yu

Connie Young Yu (born 1941) is a Chinese American writer, historian, and lecturer. She is "the author of countless articles and three books: (Profiles in Excellence: Peninsula Chinese Americans; Chinatown San Jose, U.S.A.; and The People's BiCentennial Quilt: A Patchwork History)... through articles, essays, lectures, and community activities, she has devoted her energies for more than a quarter of a century in rediscovering a history of Chinese and Asian America that has, for the most part, been forgotten, overlooked, and even hidden." (Profile: "Connie Young Yu, 1941-, writer, Notable Asian Americans, edited by Helen Zia and Susan B. Gall, Detroit: Gale Research, 1995).

Shelley Fisher Fishkin, in "Writing America," cites Connie Young Yu's involvement in saving the detention barracks of Angel Island Immigration Station that had Chinese poems carved on the walls: "Most of these poems were forgotten until they were rediscovered by a California State Park Ranger named Alexander Weiss in 1970. Connie Young Yu, a community historian and activist who would play a central role in getting the Angel Island Immigration Station designated a National Historic Landmark, said, 'In 1970 all that remained on the site were the deteriorating barracks.' The California State Parks administration had plans to demolish the entire site. Yu describes the arduous process by which that destruction was averted...." ("WRITING AMERICA: Literary Landmarks from Walden Pond to Wounded Knee," by Shelley Fisher Fishkin: Rutgers University Press, 2015)


Yu grew up in San Francisco, California with her older sister, Janey Young Cheu, and younger brother, Alfred John Young. Her father was John C. Young, a Colonel in the United States Army Reserve and businessman. Her mother was Mary Lee Young, an artist and art collector. She is married to Dr. John Kou Ping Yu, an oncologist, and together they have 3 children: Jennifer Yu, Jessica Yu, Marty Yu, and 3 grandchildren.

Connie graduated from George Washington High School (San Francisco). She studied literature and journalism at Mills College where she was the Valedictorian of her 1963 graduating class. From 1970-72, Connie served on the Mills College Board of Trustees.

She has taught fencing for over 25 years at the Fencing Center of San Jose, California, and serves on the board of directors of this non-profit club. Connie was chosen Western Region Coach of the Year, 1999, by the U.S. Fencing Coaches Association, and presented the "Award of Merit," by the USFCA in 2010.

A former Chair of the Board of Trustees of Hakone Gardens Foundation in Saratoga, California, and Trustee Emeritus Board member of the Chinese Historical Society of America.

Yu was a founding member (1974) of the Angel Island Immigration Station Historical Advisory Committee (AIISHAC) that saved the immigration barracks for preservation.

At their "Voice and Vision Gala 2012," the Chinese Historical Society of America recognized Connie Young Yu, U.S. Congresswoman Judy Chu, and China Daily founding member Manli Ho (daughter of Ho Feng-Shan) as "History Makers" inductees.

Yu spoke on behalf of all the descendants of Chinese Transcontinental Railroad workers at the United States Department of Labor induction of the Chinese Railroad Workers into the Labor Hall of Honor on May 9, 2014.[1]

"Yu said she takes comfort in seeing her great grandfather's efforts remembered in the halls of the U.S. government".[2]

On April 24, 2016, she was presented the State of California's 13th Senate District "Woman of the Year" award by Senator Jerry Hill.[3]

Photo taken of Connie Young Yu and Norman Mineta in Washington D.C. 2014.

At the 150th Anniversary of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad on May 10th, 2019, Connie Young Yu gave the opening Commencement speech at Promontory Point, Utah's "Golden Spike" Ceremony.[4]


  1. ^ "May 2014: Dept of Labor Inducts Chinese Transcontinental Railroad Workers into Hall of Honor : Chinese Railroad Workers in North America Project". Retrieved September 2, 2018.
  2. ^ "Descendants Of Chinese Laborers Reclaim Railroad's History". Retrieved September 2, 2018.
  3. ^ "Connie Young Yu awarded "Woman of the Year" by Senator Jerry Hill". April 27, 2016. Retrieved September 2, 2018.
  4. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)

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