Photo, 1948

Chinese women seek election to Chong Wa

My grandma, Ruby Chinn, was born in Seattle on October 5, 1915. Growing up, I knew she had been very active for decades in the Chinese Baptist Church, the sole religious institution in the Chinese community for many years. From 1958 to 1962, she taught English to women who recently emigrated from China. Classes were held in the mornings, five days a week.  To me, these seem like more typical areas for a woman to be involved in - the church, teaching, working with other women. It wasn't until later that I learned my grandma was a ground breaker. In 1948, Chinese American women sought election to the board of the Chong Wa Benevolent Association, an umbrella organization of all of the Chinese associations in Washington state. They were the first women in the nation to achieve these positions. Pictured in this photo are: (back row, from left) June Eng, Alma Lew, Rose Lew, Ruby Chow, (front row, from left) Nancy Jang, Ruth Chinn, Ruby Chinn (my grandma). Photo from Wing Luke Museum Collection

Place(s): China, Seattle,

– Cassie Chinn

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more