UCA | About Us
United Chinese Association of Brooklyn
Who We Are

We are the United Chinese Association of Brooklyn, commonly known as UCA. UCA is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization formed to serve the needs of the Chinese-American population in the Bensonhurst area of Brooklyn, New York City.

 


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Mission


United Chinese Association of Brooklyn (UCA) was founded in 2002 to mobilize community resources to improve the quality of life for the underserved Chinese immigrant population in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn.



Vision


Our vision is to develop a harmonious and civil mindedness community.



History


UCA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 2002. We are the only Chinese-serving organization in Bensonhurst that provides advocacy networks and direct services to youth, adults and seniors.



Our Founding



Our founding was spurred by a spate of assaults on Chinese immigrant students at Lafayette High School in 2002. The high school administration’s handling of a particularly brutal assault in November of that year led 300 angry community leaders, parents and students to form the United Chinese Association. UCA became a forum for the frustrated community to organize and sustain effective protest against Lafayette’s administration. Our community organizing efforts led to a 2004 U.S. Department of Justice investigation into the school and subsequent ruling against the school for its systemic mishandling of assaults against Asian students and for providing inadequate services for ESL and ELL students.



Issues in the Community



In the course of helping Asian immigrants stand up for their needs, UCA realizes that many of the Chinese immigrant population in the area were not getting the resources and assistance they needed to adjust to life in the United States. Inadequate access to ESL and ELL education was just one of a number of issues immigrants faced. The rapid increase of Chinese immigrants settling in Bensonhurst (up until recently, a predominantly Italian and Jewish neighborhood) in the past 20 years reflects the demographic shifts that have led to tensions in the neighborhood. The population in Bensonhurst is now 33% Asian, and 62% percent of them do not speak English "very well". Over the past five years, UCA has developed direct services and advocacy programs to help the community deal with these changes. Every one of our board members has immigrated from China or Hong Kong in the last few decades, so they know the adjustment struggles that new immigrants face. The close relationship of the board members to the community has allowed UCA to earn the trust and confidence of the community, which has helped us identify key program and service areas.

As the only organization in Bensonhurst that is dedicated to advocating for and serving Chinese immigrants, we have seen participations in our programs and services grow with the increase of the Chinese immigrant population in the neighborhood. Our board members remember moving into Bensonhurst 40 years ago as the only Chinese family on the block. Accurate estimates of how much Bensonhurst has changed are hard to find, in part because of how recent the demographic shifts are, and perhaps because of sensitivity surrounding some immigrants’ legal status.

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