On Friday, February 19 at 4:00 EST, MOCA’s monthlong celebration of Lunar New Year will feature The Honorable State Senator Mae Yih in the MOCA Spotlight Series. Click here to register.
The Honorable Mae Yih, Oregon State Senator. Photo by Lia Chang
Each month, this intimate virtual conversation will highlight the timely and distinctive narrative of a Chinese American icon and friend of MOCA. Through this conversation, MOCA hopes to shed light on the distinctive yet universal American journeys of these luminaries, touching upon key moments of personal trial and stratospheric success, all within a casual, inviting, and inspiring format.
As MOCA’s 2019 Legacy Awards Honoree, Ms. Yih is an internationally esteemed and admired legislator who made history 45 years ago when she won a seat in the Oregon House of Representatives as the first Chinese American elected to a state legislature anywhere in the United States. As a revered public official, Ms. Yih served 26 years in the legislature, six years in the House and twenty years in the Senate after she had served on the board of two local elementary and high schools for 13 years–a total of 39 years of outstanding elected public services. Mae was born in Shanghai, China and came to the US when she was 19 years old to visit her two brothers in the U.S. at Princeton University and then attended college and graduate school in New York.
Ms. Yih’s many accomplishments in the State of Oregon include introducing and helping to pass legislation that created a sister-state relationship between Oregon and Fujian province in China, organizing four legislative leadership friendship and trade delegation visits to China, and establishing a trade office between Oregon and China in Shanghai in 1999. She has made a significant impact in the development of U.S.-China relations for more than three decades. Her book, titled East Meets West: A Bridge to Understanding, Friendship, Trust, Peace, and Prosperity Between My Mother and Adopted Countries, shares her experiences and powerful lessons that she learned from life in China, America, and in public services.
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This program is brought to you by MOCA friends and partners, including Bloomberg Philanthropies.