Image caption: Diana and Anthea, whose family participated CAA’s Winter Solstice party, perform the Xinjiang Dance to the song “Dance Music of Youth” in the talent show portion of the event.
In December, CAA held its annual Winter Solstice party with our community members. Traditionally, Chinese communities celebrate the Winter Solstice Festival with family, a holiday that originated in the Han dynasty to mark the start of longer days. Although the COVID-19 pandemic prevented us from gathering in person for a second year in a row, we still came together in joy and kinship.
More than 130 people joined the festivities, held online in Cantonese, to celebrate our work and accomplishments in 2021, play games, and take in some performances.
It was also a chance for our staff to update our community on news, from the historic AAPI Equity Budget in California to the permanent passage of non-citizen parent voting in San Francisco school board elections. CAA advocated strongly for both pieces of legislation.
We also reminded attendees of our direct services programs, such as our ongoing workshops in immigrant rights and our Chinese digital engagement offerings like JusticePatch.org.
In the endearing talent show portion of our event, children and adults alike entertained attendees with dance routines, piano performances, and spirited singing. We closed the event out with raffle prizes. Eighteen lucky winners won gift cards.
That same month, we also celebrated International Migrants Day with our colleagues and friends in the San Francisco Immigrant Legal & Education Network (SFILEN). CAA is a founding member of SFILEN, a coalition of 13 community organizations representing immigrants from all over the world. SFILEN provides free legal services and community education on immigrant rights in over 20 languages.
The theme of this year’s International Migrants Day celebration was “Our Solidarity Crosses Borders.” Speakers reflected on how different communities have supported one another during the pandemic and throughout the challenges of 2021. The event included interactive games, dancing, and participatory activities, such as origami, folding that transcended differences in culture and language. Over 200 people attended the online event.
CAA is proud to connect our community to other immigrant communities and work alongside them. The winter solstice signals the coming of warmer and brighter days. In this spirit, we look forward to continuing our collaborations and community-building work in the new year ahead.