2017 Chinese Reconciliation Park Docent

Project Background and Description

Students in the Chinese Language and Culture courses routinely seek opportunities outside of the classroom to practice the language they have been studying as well to experience the culture and customs they are learning. Unfortunately, due to the 1885 “Tacoma Method,” the City still has an underrepresented Chinese community. The annual Tacoma Moon Festival, however, provides an event in which students can participate, both as volunteers and festival goers, to learn about Tacoma’s past history, current reconciliation effort (Chinese Reconciliation Project Foundation), and Chinese and other Asian cultures. Students can taste moon cakes & Chinese tea while listening to live Beijing opera performances. Volunteers have the opportunity to meet and work alongside other volunteers of Chinese descent, students and teachers in other Chinese classes as well as international students, community leaders and local residents.

What you want to read about before you go:

To help each participant understand the complexity of the experience and put it in a larger context, please learn the park history and Chinese cultural topics:
·    Tacoma Anti-Chinese Riot of 1885
·    The Tacoma Method
·    Request for Reconciliation (1991)
·    City Council Resolution (1993)
·    The Chinese Reconciliation Park
·    Park History in Chinese
·    Chinese Moon Festival Traditions
·    Moon Festival Celebrations by Regions & Cultures
·   “Of Race and Reconciliation” Emmy-nominated documentary produced by KBT

Relate, engage, go above and beyond:

·    Not just volunteer but participate in as many activities as possible as festival goers
·    Try something different and new
·    Go out of your way to interact with the people you’re serving, other volunteers, and staff people
·    If you finish the task you came to do, ask for another project that could use your help or just step in and volunteer at another activity tent

Remember to take notes and share:

You are encouraged to share the moments, your thoughts and experiences on the festival day and later. We will have two post-event meetings to discuss and share your experiences.

·    Take notes (on your phones, notecards, journals, etc.)
·    Take photos
·    Post on Social Media
·    Tell a friend or a family member
·    Write in your journal
·    Post on Social Media
·    Enter the photo contest Instagram #TacomaMoonFestival
·    Attend one of the post-event sessions: TBA

How can participants connect and share:

·   GroupMe Group  [Tacoma Moon Festival 2017!!]
(closed group)
·    Instagram #TacomaMoonFestival
·    UPS Chinese Program FB
·    Tacoma Moon Festival FB

What you might like to reflect on?

·    What has been rewarding or disappointing about this experience?
·    What do you bring to this site/event? As in what can you connect this site/event with from your past, heritage, previous courses or other aspect of your person?
·    What is one idea/takeaway from this event?
·    Why is this an important event to support?
·    Why is it important to have the Chinese Reconciliation Park?​

Logistics (volunteer schedule; ride sharing)

2017 Festival sign up for one or more of the volunteer shifts on the event date (9/16)
·   Morning Set up 12 – 2:00 (1-2 drivers; 6-8 volunteers)
·   Afternoon 1:00 – 3:30 (drivers; docents/volunteers)
·   Afternoon 3:00 – 5:00 (drivers; docents/volunteers)
Afternoon 4:30 – 6:30 (drivers; docents/volunteers)
·   Evening Tear down 7:00 – 8:00 (drivers; volunteers)

Project Goals

·    To provide opportunities for students of Chinese to practice and use what they have learned in the classroom
·    To raise students’ awareness and understanding of a culture that many have not been exposed to outside of the classroom
·    To engage students in not just new information and ideas but, through volunteerism and physical labors (loading and unloading, set up and tear down for the events), to exercise their minds as well as their bodies
·    To instill interest and motivation in learners of a difficult Asian language that requires constant effort and perseverance
·    To provide an informal but personal immersion learning experience that could complement the formal classroom study
·    To connect students to the community, and to allow them to network with a diverse group of organizations and businesses
·    To learn about the City’s past history, its continuing reconciliation effort and how individuals can contribute to it
·    To place students in volunteer positions where they may learn new skills and can build camaraderie among themselves

for 2017 Project Participation

·    Participate in one of the training sessions, scheduled on September 1 (4:00-5:00 pm) and September 9 (10-12:45 pm)*
·    Be a current or past student in a Chinese language and culture course OR have other Chinese/Asia-related experience and/or heritage background
·    Read articles on the Tacoma Method and Chinese Festivals (to be distributed and available online on program website)
·    Participate in the Tacoma Moon Festival as a volunteer or a festival goer
·    Attend one of the post-event reflection sessions, TBA
* If scheduling conflicts do not permit participation of the post-festival info session, interested students should contact Prof. Perry to make arrangements. Participation would still be possible if students go through training materials posted above. 

Project Faculty and Student Volunteer Leaders/Coordinators

Chinese Language and Culture Faculty:
Prof. Menjun Li | Prof. Lotus Perry
Assistant Teacher Tina YuHistory Department Faculty:
Porf. Andrew Gomez2017 Event Student Coordinators:

Zoe Fuqua (傅雨雯)
Hi! I am a Sophomore/Transfer student from Kentucky, double majoring in Theatre and Chinese.  I transferred from a Gap year program in Sevilla, Spain, so while I am a Chinese major, I also have an interest in Spanish.  This is only my second year studying Chinese, and I’ve felt very welcomed by the program!  I really enjoyed working at the Tacoma Moon Festival 2016, and I’m happy to be volunteering again this year and am excited to work with the other volunteers and docents!Zoe Maalouf (沐蓉青)
Hi everyone! I am a sophomore from Northern Nevada. I am studying Politics and Government here at UPS and minoring in Chinese and English. I love language and I love other cultures, so my greatest aspirations involve living as a global citizen. My experiences with the Asian Studies program have only increased my ability to experience Chinese culture up close, through experiences like the Tacoma Moon Festival. Although I volunteered last year and it was wonderful, this year I am thrilled that I get to be even more involved with my fellow volunteers!Special thanks to Prof. Andrew Gomez, and students in his Digital History (399) course during spring of 2017, who created the TacomaMethod.com project, and provide lectures, resources and training to our docents.