Back to top

Chinese Progressive Association Historical Records, Available for Research

Friday, January 1, 2010
Archives and Special Collections Department
archives [at]
(617) 373-2351
Archives and Special Collections

Chinese Progressive Association Historical Records, Available for Research

Protest against the New England Medical Center's proposal for a garage on Parcel C, 1993.

Founded on July 17, 1977 in Boston's Chinatown, the Chinese Progressive Association (CPA) supports tenants' rights, workers' rights, political empowerment, and local Chinatown issues. Among its early activities, the CPA helped found the Chinatown Housing and Land Development Task Force, worked with other activists to conduct voter registration and organize the first mayoral candidates' forum in Chinatown, and joined African American and Latino community leaders to file a successful lawsuit against gerrymandering of state electoral districts. In 1986, CPA organized with dislocated garment workers from P&L Sportswear and from Beverly Rose, another sportswear manufacturer, to win the first Chinese bilingual retraining programs in New England. The following year, the CPA Workers Center was established to continue organizing immigrant workers to advocate for their rights. In 1993, CPA worked with other Chinatown organizations and the American Friends Service Committee to organize a plebiscite on the Parcel C parking garage proposed for the center of residential Chinatown, eventually winning the designation of the parcel for community development. More recently, in 2005 the organization launched its Immigrant Workers Center Collaborative to build immigrant worker organizing and solidarity in the Chinese, Brazilian, and Latino communities. In 2006, CPA strengthened ties with communities of color, tenant organizations, and housing advocates to secure changes in Boston's Inclusionary Development Policy and its definition of housing affordability in an effort to stabilize Boston neighborhoods.

The 15.5 linear feet of material date from 1976 to 2006 and include minutes, memoranda, correspondence, event fliers and programs, newsletters, photographs, and VHS tapes.

The Chinese Progressive Association collection is open for research Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m., in the Northeastern University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections Department, 92 Snell Library, Boston, Massachusetts. A guide to the collection is available online at:

Archival Collections