2020 was perhaps the most challenging year in GNCA’s history, but it was also been one of our best years. While the COVID-19 crisis has prevented us from gathering together since January, we have found new ways to bring the community together and continue to fulfill our organization’s mission. Here is a list of some of the highlights of the past year:
- We held our 2020 Chinese New Year Gala at Lipscomb University on January 11, just before the world first learned about COVID-19. (We also held the 2021 Gala earlier this month — check out the 2021 videos here!)
- Middle Tennessee’s Chinese community was at the vanguard of the COVID-19 pandemic response throughout 2020, first helping donate supplies to the initial outbreak in Wuhan and then locally as the first cases were reported in Nashville. In response to an increase in anti-Chinese sentiment, we made an effort to highlight Chinese Nashvillians’ contributions to the fight against COVID. In May, we organized a team to translate Metro Nashville’s complete plan for reopening the city.
- In May our Board of Directors chose a new president, several new officers and board members, and a host of new volunteers, giving us a strengthened leadership team and organizational structure that have served us well during these trying times.
- As it became clear that we would be unable to hold in-person gatherings, we made the decision to hold our Duanwu Festival and Mid-Autumn Festival events online. Both events, held live on Zoom and featuring dozens of videos submitted by our members, drew hundreds of viewers and revealed our community’s talents and interests in new and unexpected ways.
- In July we unveiled the first issue of the GNCA Journal, a quarterly, Chinese-language publication intended to showcase the diverse voices of Middle Tennessee’s Chinese community. The first issue focused on the pandemic; the second issue, released in October, examined the idea of hometowns and our complex feelings about them in a community where many of us were born abroad. The third issue, which was just released this month, GNCA Journal has already not only proven popular among our members but has even begun to be shared with other Chinese communities around the country.
- Over the summer we launched GNCA’s Youth Volunteer Association (YVA), which aims to give our youth members (grades 9-12) a chance to participate more actively our organization and create their own service projects and initiatives. Despite not being able to meet in person and many students still attending classes virtually, the group has managed to set up an initial group of leaders, start several service projects, and set up internships with GNCA’s main working groups.
- Throughout the year we have worked to increase civic engagement in the Chinese community, most notably by promoting participation in the 2020 Census and encouraging everyone to vote in the 2020 elections. Such efforts aim to give our membership a stronger political voice and increase our active participation in the broader community – important goals for all Americans, but especially so for our large immigrant contingent.
- For several years GNCA has been working to secure Chinese embassy visits to Nashville in order to assist Chinese citizens with critical services such as passport and travel permit renewals. This year we were able to get Nashville added to the list of cities visited regularly; due to the pandemic, however, this year’s visit has been delayed and has yet to be rescheduled.
One final benefit of being physically separated throughout the year is that we have greatly strengthened our web presence and are available on a number of platforms besides this website:
- GNCA WeChat public account: Our primary Chinese-language social media platform. See sidebar for QR Code. (NOTE: If you’re a longtime subscriber, be sure you’re signed up to our new WeChat account, which we switched to over the summer.)
- GNCA mailing list: See sidebar for signup form
- GNCA Facebook page: Our primary English-language social media platform
- GNCA Facebook group
- GNCA Youtube channel: Home to all of our videos, including an ever-growing archive of past events. While you’re there, please subscribe to our channel to give us enough subscribers to obtain a customized Youtube URL!
- GNCA Twitter account
Here’s to an even better 2021, and the hope that we can once again gather in person as a community!