CAA has a long and storied history of advancing education equity for low-income, working class, and immigrant students. Today, we are excited to share an important chapter in that story with the new short documentary Block by Block: The Struggle to Bring Community College to San Francisco Chinatown. This documentary constitutes the first activity of the CAA Oral History Project in collaboration with UC Berkeley Asian American Research Center and Ethnic Studies Library.

Block by Block Trailer

For decades going back to the 1970s, San Francisco Chinatown had yearned for a permanent City College campus to meet the varied educational needs of its community members including the importance of stronger English as a Second Language programs and more vocational training. In the 2000s, as that dream of building a permanent campus was becoming closer to a reality, powerful and selfish interests in the Financial District mounted a high-priced campaign of opposition to block the campus.

In response, a tremendous and determined community coalition assembled by CAA came together and quickly became a force to be reckoned with.  Despite a host of obstacles, the community would forge ahead, refusing to give up to ensure that education would be more equitable and accessible for Chinatown and all of San Francisco.  

We invite you to learn more about this ultimately triumphant story and to help us share it. In-person public and private showings of Block by Block are currently being scheduled and if you’d like updates as they are available, or to consider hosting a screening, please fill out this form.  

We are already thrilled that Block by Block will be featured at the Architecture + the City Festival this September and more information will be provided to those who complete the form. You can buy your tickets here.