The Committee of 100 works to promote the full participation of Chinese Americans in all areas of American society. Issues such as education, diversity, the employment glass ceiling, ethnic profiling, civil rights, and immigration are among the topics that Committee of 100 members discuss with leaders in government, education, and the business community.
In a few cases, we have taken an active leadership role in and effort to obtain justice for Chinese Americans we feel have been unfairly treated. In 1995, C-100 worked with other organizations to ensure equal justice for Air Force Captain Jim Wang, who had been the only officer charged in a April 1994 friendly-fire incident in Iraq. He was eventually acquitted on all charges. In addition, initiative was taken in the Wen Ho Lee spy case when we drafted a letter to President Clinton in March 1999 signed by five Asian American organizations, calling for due process in the Lee case and attention to the rights of Asian Americans working in the national labs. This was the first of many C-100 actions addressing the issues of ethnic profiling and equal treatment under the law that helped galvanize Asian Americans and alter public opinion. We pursued fairer media coverage of the case as well, by facilitating an ABC “Nightline” program on Asian Americans and ethnic profiling, and meeting with the New York Times with concerns about their approach to the Lee case.
In order to encourage greater understanding of Chinese Americans and of China, the Committee has helped to promote several television documentaries. These included a series on China shown on the Discovery Channel and the Learning Channel in 1995, and a three-part series, “Becoming Americans: The Chinese Experience,” produced by Bill Moyers and broadcast in 2002. In 1999-2000, C-100 threw its weight behind this landmark documentary, organizing meetings for Moyers with potential donors.
Committee members also serve as role models for young Chinese Americans. Through panel presentations, informal networking, and the development of a mentoring program, the Committee encourages Chinese Americans to excel in their chosen career. It also encourages Chinese Americans to participate fully in the political process as well as all facets of American life.