Letter from the Chairman of the Board of the 1990 Institute

April 2020

Dear Friends of the 1990 Institute:


During this time of global crisis, the 1990 Institute hopes that all of you are staying safe and healthy. We view this duo pandemic of COVID-19 and Sinophobia as opportunities to learn and improve ourselves and our country. This is a time to be positive and strong. It is not a time to fight with one another, hurl racial epithets, or place blame on others. We should reflect on our lives and we should improve our society after this health crisis has passed. I ask that you consider some lessons that can be learned from COVID-19 and Chinese American xenophobia.

No matter what you think about China, it has flattened its curve and its factories are now geared up to produce supplies for us and the rest of the world. Yes, China is a competitor, but also a partner of the US. This should not be a fight between ideologies. We can compete and also work with China, just like we do with other western countries.

COVID-19 has also been a catalyst for Sinophobia to rear its ugly head ever more strongly. Chinese Americans and indeed all Asian Americans are now facing a two-front war against the novel coronavirus and racism. Instead of being falsely accused of being the source of this virus, we should be hailed for our fight against it. Asian Americans are a significant proportion of frontline healthcare and other critical workers fighting against COVID-19. Asian Health Services in Oakland is providing care to 50,000 lower income patients who need medical support. Chinese Americans are looking for cures and getting badly needed supplies from China. Fortunately, many organizations and individuals have shown us their compassion, friendship, and solidarity (including the Jewish Council for Public Affairs and the Silicon Valley Leadership Group). We are deeply grateful for this support!

The 1990 Institute believes passionately in collaborating with others to make constructive changes in our society. We are committed to ensuring the fair and equal treatment of all citizens and to a constructive relationship between the US and China. We hope that you will join us in this endeavor by supplying us with ideas, volunteer on our projects, and provide us with the financial support that is needed to carry out this mission.

With best wishes,

Dan Chao