By Marsha Ma
The 28th annual celebration of the Harry H. Dow Memorial Legal Assistance Fund took place Dec. 6 at China Pearl.
The Dow Fund is named after Harry H. Dow (1904-1985) who became the first Asian American attorney admitted to the Massachusetts Bar in 1929. His work demonstrated a lifetime commitment to all people regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, age or gender.
Incoming Boston city councilor at-large Michelle Wu was the keynote speaker of the night. Wu, 28, is a South End resident, attorney and the first Asian American woman elected to the council.
Wu planned to connect families to opportunity by increasing access to services. As a former restaurant owner and legal guardian of her younger sister, Wu understood firsthand the barriers that families and communities face. Running on a platform for “Pipelines to Opportunity” through innovative ideas and increasing access to opportunity, Wu garnered almost 60,000 votes on Nov. 5 citywide.
The Dow Fund created a permanent endowment to improve access to the legal system for Asian Americans. Over the past 27 years, the Fund aided numerous projects, including the Anti-Asian Violence Education Project, the Asian Battered Women Project, the Asian Immigrant Rights Initiative, the Cambodian Outreach Project, the Chinatown Stabilization Project and other community efforts.
This year, the Dow Fund supported the Dorchester Organizing and Training Initiative, a program of the Asian America Resource Workshop, which works with the Coalition to Protect Asian American Voting Rights in the Vietnamese community. Given the attacks on voting rights in recent years, the right to bilingual ballots is fundamental to ensuring access and participation for all voters.
This post is also available in: Chinese