Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association
Chinese Community Center, Inc
62 Mott Street, New York, NY 10013
Tel: (212)226-6280          Email:          Fax: (212)431-5883

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Details Information about the CCBA-NY

1.       The Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association of New York

The Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association (CCBA) was founded in 1883 to serve and protect the interests of the Chinese people in the New York metropolitan area. Historically it has performed a quasi-governmental role in the Chinese community.  The President of the CCBA has always been referred to as the unofficial "Mayor of Chinatown".

2.       The Functions of the CCBA

Externally, the CCBA represents the Chinese-Americans living in the Greater New York area. Internally, the CCBA is the hinge that keeps the Chinese-American community intact and vigorous. More specifically, the CCBA:

· Provides social services
· Preserves Chinese traditions and cultural heritage
· Serves as a bridge between Chinese and non-Chinese groups
· Promotes Chinese-American interests
· Engages in charitable activities
· Sponsors educational and recreational activities
· Provides citizenship applications and voter registration services.

3.       The CCBA Membership

The CCBA is made up of 60 member organizations that represent a cross-section of the Chinese community in New York, including fellow-provincial organizations such as the Hoy Sun Ning Yung Association and the Lin Sing Association; clansmen organizations including the Lee, Eng or Wong Family Associations; professional and trade organizations such as the Chinese Chamber of Commerce and the Chinese American Restaurant Association; as well as religious, cultural and women's organizations. In other words, the CCBA is an umbrella organization.

4.       The Founding of the CCBA

The Chinese presence in New York has been noted since the clipper ship days in the 19th century. Some were merchants and sailors. Others were Chinese migrants from Cuba, Peru, and the Caribbean. The larger numbers did not come until after the Gold Rush of 1849 and the completion of the transcontinental railroad. When the tracks of the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific were joined at Promontory Point, Utah, in 1869, about 30,000 Chinese railroad workers lost their jobs. Many chose to come to New York because of the virulent anti-Chinese climate in the West.

An 1870 census shows there were only 23 Chinese living in New York City. But the numbers increased to 120 in 1872, 853 in 1880, 2,559 in 1890, and 6,321 in 1900. They were mostly active in such lines of business as laundry, cigar and tobacco sales, groceries and restaurants.

However, anti-Chinese feelings ran high. The Chinese were regularly persecuted and attacked. Discriminatory laws were passed, forbidding them to become citizens. In 1882, Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act, which prohibited Chinese persons from entering the country except for a select few exempt classes. The discriminatory regulations resulted in anti-Chinese hostility and created many problems for the Chinese already living in this country.

To address these issues, community leaders proposed the formation of an organization representing all the Chinese groups in the New York area.

This proposal became a reality in 1883, when the Imperial Manchu Court established a Consulate in New York. The newly created organization was known as the Chinese Charitable and Benevolent Association of the City of New York. It was incorporated in New York State in 1890.

By 1948, organization membership had increased to 60 and the Association was renamed the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association of New York.

5.       The CCBA President Is Elected Every Two Years

The Association President is elected by the CCBA General Assembly from among the candidates nominated by both the Hoy Sun Ning Yung Association and the Lin Sing Association. The term is for two years and the President's position alternates between candidates from the Hoy Sun Ning Yung Association and the Lin Sing Association. The President takes office on March 1st of even years.

This form of election has been in effect since 1922, because early Chinese immigrants came predominantly from the county of Hoy Sun (Taishan) in Kwangtung (Guangdong) Province, while those from all other counties outside of Hoy Sun formed the Lin Sing Association. In Chinese, Lin Sing denotes "united formation."

6.       Fulfilling the Functions

The CCBA operates like a skilled Chinese artist who uses two brushes at the same time to paint a picture. On the one hand, the CCBA maintains close contact with all Chinese-American organizations in the nation; on the other, it tries hard to integrate into the mainstream of American society.

These efforts were reciprocated in 1954 with an epoch making event. Robert Wagner, who had been Manhattan Borough President, visited Chinatown after taking office as Mayor of New York City. In doing so, Mr. Wagner became the first incumbent New York City Mayor in history to visit the CCBA.

In May of the following year, a Congressional group arrived in Chinatown, becoming the first fact-finding mission from Capitol Hill to officially visit the community. Five months later, on October 10, 1954, a number of U.S. political and business leaders attended a gala reception hosted by the CCBA at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in midtown Manhattan in celebration of the "Double 10" National Day of the Republic of China. Also present were Governor K.C. Wu of Taiwan Province and Paul Cardinal Yupin, the Archbishop of Nanking.

7.       Relationship with the CCBAs or Other Similar Organizations in Other Cities

There are sister CCBA organizations in many of the major cities of the United States with large Chinese populations. In early 1957, the CCBA in New York initiated the convocation of the first National Convention of Chinese in America. It was held in Washington, D.C., with 124 delegates attending from 35 cities.

The Convention called on all Chinese-Americans to strengthen solidarity, abide by the U.S. Constitution, and seek equality with other ethnic groups. It also called upon the U.S. Government to increase the immigration quota for China and for immigration officials to refrain from harassing Chinese immigrants without a warrant.

This Convention was held bi-annually thereafter until 2000.

8.       Educational Facilities of the CCBA

The CCBA has three levels of schools -- for the young, the very young, and adults -- in Chinese and English.

l          The New York Chinese School was founded in 1909, with the purpose of providing young Chinese in the United States with an opportunity to learn the language and culture of their ancestral land. Enrollment has multiplied from the initial two dozen students to the present 3,000, ranging in levels from kindergarten to 12th grade. The school is open seven days a week. It also conducts classes in such specialized subjects as piano, Chinese music, painting, dance, handicrafts, and martial arts. The school's 70-member drum-and-fife corps is a Chinatown institution. It has been invited to perform on innumerable occasions at special occasions inside and outside the community.

 l         The Chinatown Day Care Center was established in 1976 by the Chinese Service Center. When the Center ran into financial problems in 1987, the CCBA took over its operation. The Day Care Center now has an enrollment of 200 toddlers each month.

 l         The CCBA Adult English Classes opened in the fall of 1970 to meet the needs of an increasing number of newly arrived immigrants who wanted to learn English. In the beginning, 400 students were enrolled in 21 evening classes. Day classes were added during the 1980s. At present, it is one of the best places for new immigrants to learn English in the Chinatown area.

9.       Recreational Activities that the CCBA Supports

The CCBA supports programs for all age groups.

l          The East Coast Summer Volleyball Invitational tournament has been an annual event since 1988. Both men's and women's teams from more than three dozen East Coast cities in the United States and Canada participate.

 l         The North America Chinese Invitational Volleyball Tournament has been held annually, except for the years during World War II, in alternating years in New York City, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Boston, Montreal, and Toronto. The 62nd annual tournament took place in NYC in 2009.

 l         A total of 29 table tennis teams compete against each other annually at the CCBA facilities. Several of these teams are organized by athletes from other ethnic groups.

 l        The CCBA hosts three major celebrations annually: Chinese New Year, Asian Heritage Month and Double Ten National Day, each featuring an annual parade.  Federal, State and City officials, as well as community leaders, are invited to celebrate these important occasions.

 l        The CCBA supports Asian art and cultural groups in the city.  Chinese Opera groups perform in CCBA's Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Auditorium annually after Lunar New Year and Double Ten National Day.  Other art and cultural groups perform in the auditorium throughout the year.

10.   The CCBA’s Relationship with China

Since its creation in 1883, the CCBA has maintained a close relationship with China. For example:

l          At the turn of the 20th century, when China was under Manchu rule, the CCBA supported the democratic movement initiated by Dr. Sun Yat-sen. The movement culminated in 1912 with the founding of the Republic of China, which still exists in Taiwan today.

 l          In 1915, when Japan attempted to conquer China, the CCBA and the Chinese Chamber of Commerce in New York started a boycott of Japanese goods.

 l          In 1931, Japan began carrying out its plans for conquering China by occupying Manchuria in Northeastern China. From then until the end of World War II in 1945, the CCBA and dozens of other Chinese organizations united in support of boycotting Japanese goods and shipment of U.S. scrap iron to Japan, by collecting donations and raising funds in support of China's war of resistance against Japan.

 l          In the early 1940s, there was a series of severe famines in several counties of Kwangtung Province in South China, and the CCBA helped organize relief efforts for the victims.

l          On October 1st, 1949, Mao Zedong came to power on mainland China. Despite enticements and threats from the Chinese Communist Government, the CCBA rejected their entreaties and remained loyal to the Republic of China Government on Taiwan.

11.   The CCBA’s relationship with the Republic of China

The great majority of CCBA's members and their families are from the Chinese mainland, but the CCBA supports the Republic of China in Taiwan.  The CCBA is pro democracy.  Compared to Mao's brand of Communism, the CCBA believes Dr. Sun Yat-sen's Three Principles of the People -- Nationalism, Democracy and People's Livelihood -- upon which the Republic of China was founded in 1912, are the principals which all people should have the right to enjoy. It is also closer to Abraham Lincoln's ideal of "government of the people, by the people, for the people."

12.   Dr. Sun Yat-sen and New York

Dr. Sun Yat-sen was a Chinese revolutionary and political leader. As the foremost pioneer of Republican China, Dr. Sun is frequently referred to as the Father of China. Dr. Sun played an instrumental role in overthrowing the Qing Dynasty in October 1911, the last imperial dynasty of China. He was the first provisional president when the Republic of China (ROC) was founded in 1912 and later co-founded the Kuomintang (KMT) where he served as its first leader.

 Dr. Sun was a medical doctor, and he was our fellow Chinese-American. While Dr. Sun was developing his revolutionary plan, he frequently visited New York’s Chinatown and gained the support of overseas Chinese-Americans.  He visited New York in the summer of 1896, December of 1903, November of 1909 and February of 1911.  He successfully established a strong network of overseas Chinese Americans who supported his revolutionary plans and ideals.  In his last visit in February 1911, he delivered a speech at the CCBA, which was located at 16 Mott Street at the time. After that speech, the CCBA announced its full support of the Chinese Revolution.

13.   CCBA's Treatment of Chinese who are from other Countries

All people of Chinese ethnicity who come to the CCBA for help are treated equally, whether from Taiwan, mainland China, Hong Kong, or elsewhere. The CCBA has also provided assistance to many Vietnamese and Cambodian refugees of Chinese origin.

14.   The CCBA's Reaction to the Massacre of Pro-Democracy Students by the People's Liberation Army at Tiananmen Square on June 4th, 1989

The CCBA was shocked and enraged by this incident. In addition to lodging a strong protest with the Chinese Communists, the CCBA sponsored a memorial service for the victims on the morning of June 9, 1989, in Chinatown's Columbus Park. The number of mourners was estimated at 10,000 to 20,000. After the memorial service, they marched, despite heavy rains, in a procession to demonstrate in front of the Communist Chinese Mission to the United Nations in midtown to vent their indignation.

 Four months later, on October 1, 1989, (Founding Day of the People's Republic of China), another memorial service was held in front of the offices of the Communist Chinese Consulate General on 42nd Street in Midtown Manhattan, which had been renamed "Tiananmen Square" by the then Mayor Ed Koch.

15.   Dealing with Ridicule and Discrimination Problems against Chinese Americans

Americans of Chinese descent have long been the target of ridicule and discrimination. In response to such incidents, the CCBA has taken all forms of action permitted by law -- organizing rallies and demonstrations, sending messages of protest, negotiating with the parties/authorities concerned, and/or instituting legal proceedings. For example:

l    Prior to 1944, aliens were prohibited from owning real property in the United States. The restriction was rescinded after tenacious protests from the CCBA and organizations representing other ethnic groups.

 l    In 1966, when Mayor John Lindsay wanted to abolish the 5th Police Precinct in Chinatown and place Chinatown under the jurisdiction of the 1st Precinct, the CCBA considered this move as a denigration of the Chinese community. Led by CCBA President, Chung Ping Tom, more than 5,000 local residents protested in front of the 5th Precinct station house. As a result, the order to close the 5th Precinct was rescinded and it has remained on Elizabeth Street, and has continued to play a significant role in safeguarding the peace and security of Chinatown.

16.   The demonstration against the building of a new prison in Chinatown in 1982

In the summer of 1982, New York City decided to build a new prison in Chinatown, in addition to the two existing detention houses already in the neighborhood. The news stirred up an outcry of protests from local residents and business people. What the community needed most was not a new correctional facility but more apartments for low-income families as well as more schools, day-care centers, clinics, and commercial space.

In spite of the community's opposition, the New York City Planning Council voted to proceed with the original prison plan.

On the morning of November 7th, the CCBA executives tried a new form of protest. Led by CCBA President Joseph Mei, more than 10,000 local residents of both sexes and all ages sat in silence in front of City Hall, while their community leaders went inside the building to deliver their message of anger and frustration.

As a result, the City Government compromised by constructing a senior citizens building and a shopping mall on the edges of the site designated for the new prison.

17.   The Incident of Yang-hsun Yao

On the afternoon of April 25, 1975, a car driven by a white male collided with another car driven by a Chinese-American at the intersection of Bayard and Elizabeth Streets. The mishap was apparently caused by the former, but the police sided with the white male and let him go. Infuriated, the victim and several witnesses to the accident went to the 5th Precinct to vent their anger. When Yang-hsun Yao, a young engineering student who witnessed the incident, accused the police of mishandling the case, he was arrested for obstruction of justice and brutally beaten by two officers.

On the morning of May 19th, some 20,000 Chinese Americans, headed by M. B. Lee, CCBA President, staged an unprecedented demonstration first at the station house and later at City Hall. In the end, the Precinct dropped all charges against Yao and disciplined the two officers implicated in the student's beating.

A ripple effect from this demonstration resulted in beefing up manpower at the 5th Precinct, and the Precinct became friendlier with the CCBA and other Chinese-American organizations. PS 65 was renamed the Sun Yat-sen Junior High School. Other schools in Chinatown were provided with more facilities for bilingual education, and several new senior citizens centers were added.

18.   The Formation of New York City's Chinatown

According to historical records, the first Chinese visitor to New York City was Pang Hua, a commercial intermediary of the Astor American trading company in Canton, China. The year was 1807.

The first sailboat from China arrived in New York Harbor on July 10, 1847. Among the passengers aboard was Yung Wing. He was the first Chinese student ever to enroll in an American school, and was graduated from Yale University in 1854. PS 124 on Division Street is named after him.

The first Chinese immigrant to have permanent residence in New York City was Lee Hua, who had amassed a fortune as a gambler and became the owner of a gambling house in 1851. Seven years later, a merchant by the name of Ah Kam settled on Mott Street and subsequently opened a cigar-and-tobacco shop on Park Row and a grocery store on Pell Street.

Thus, with Mott Street as a "beachhead," the early Chinese settlers gradually expanded their sphere of influence along Chatham Square, the Bowery, Park Row, and such nearby streets as Doyer, Pell, Elizabeth, Bayard, Mulberry and Baxter.

19.   Tourism in Chinatown

In 1890, newspapers began reporting about the tasty flavors of Chinese cuisine. By 1897, "chop suey" had become a household term and a favorite of many American gourmets. The craze was further enhanced by an article in the now defunct New York World, which said that, during his East Coast tour of the United States, Prime Minister Li Hung-chang of the Manchu Court stopped over in New York to eat that delicacy at Man Wen Lou in Chinatown.

20.   Chinatown Becomes a Bustling Business Center

It is a well-known fact that early immigrants from China were mostly manual laborers or laborers-turned retailers who succeeded through diligence, perseverance and ingenuity. Until the early 1940s, activities of the majority of Chinese Americans had been limited -- due primarily to language barriers and discrimination -- to the areas centering on Mott Street. Besides engaging in the laundry or restaurant businesses, the jobs most commonly available for them were in sales of cigar-tobacco products, grocery goods, laundry supplies, medicinal herbs, clothing, and handicrafts.

During World War II, Congress repealed the infamous Chinese Exclusion Act. This opened many new avenues for enterprising young Chinese entrepreneurs, and led an increasing number of the younger generation to join the ranks of the professional elite -- accountants, bankers, doctors, engineers, lawyers, managers, scientists, and teachers. The success of these professionals has helped to improve the image of Chinatown.

21.   Chinatown and its Boundaries

Chinatown began in 1870 with a cluster of stores on Mott Street in Lower Manhattan serving the Chinese people. As Chinatown grew, the core area was bordered by Baxter Street, Madison Street, Grand Street and Worth Streets. Today, Manhattan's Chinatown has expanded its borders into Little Italy, the Lower East Side, and as far north as Houston Street and southward beyond the Brooklyn Bridge.

A Chinatown landmark is Confucius Plaza, a housing project built near the entrance to the Manhattan Bridge. Two structures, one 44 stories high and the other 19 stories high, contain 762 apartments, street-level stores, and the Yung Wing Elementary School, known as PS 124.

In addition, satellite Chinatowns has sprung up in Flushing, Queens, and in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. Both these areas are now vital and thriving business and residential communities, reversing the decline that had threatened these neighborhoods.

22.   Chinese-Americans in New York City

According to the 2000 census, the Chinese population in the five boroughs of New York City was 361,531. This was proven to be an undercount by the Census Bureau. Each year, many Chinese immigrants have made New York City their place of destination. Along with natural increase, the Chinese population by the year 2010 is expected to reach at least half a million.

The Chinese are a highly educated group. About 27% over age 25 have a college education, and many, especially those with English language skills, have successfully found employment in the mainstream marketplace. For example, Dr. David Ho was named Time Magazine's Man of the Year for 1996 for his discovery of a method for treating AIDS. Yo-Yo Ma, the famous cellist, performs regularly in Lincoln Center and in major concert venues around the world. Vera Wang is a renowned designer who dresses the most fashionable celebrities.

As three-fourths of New York's Chinese are foreign-born, many do not have the English fluency to compete, so they have created their own jobs and businesses.

As a result, it is safe to say that the Chinese have contributed enormously to the New York City economy.

23.   Political involvement of Chinese Americans in New York City

In recent years, Chinese-Americans have grown into a powerful force in New York City politics. In 2001, John Liu was elected the first Asian American New York City Councilman representing District 20 in Flushing.  In 2004, Jimmy Meng was elected the first New York State Assemblyman representing the 22nd Assembly District in Queens.  He was succeeded by Ellen Young in 2006 and Grace Meng (Jimmy Meng's daughter) in 2008. 

In 2010, John Liu was elected the first Asian American Comptroller in New York City history.  Peter Koo won the election for the District 20 (Flushing) seat in the City Council, and Margaret Chin became the first Asian American City Council member representing the Chinatown area. 

CCBA spearheaded the move to form the Chinese Voters Federation in May 2004 to encourage qualified Chinese-American citizens to register and vote.  Since then it has successfully registered thousands of voters and encouraged them to vote on Election Day.  

24.   CCBA's Disaster Relief Efforts Following Global and Local Disasters       

Immediately following the 911 Attack in 2001, CCBA President Henry Chung transformed the CCBA building on Mott Street into an emergency center to assist the thousands of affected people in the Chinatown area. Government agencies and humanitarian organizations immediately setup temporary offices at the CCBA to provide different kinds of emergency services. 

Right after the earthquake and tsunami disasters in south Asia in 2006, CCBA raised more than $500,000 for the victims.  In recent years, CCBA has cooperated with the American Red Cross of Greater New York, to raise funds for the victims in different disasters worldwide, including Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the Bangladesh cyclone in 2007, Sichuan Earthquake in 2008, Taiwan Flood in 2009, and Haiti Earthquake in 2010. 

In December 2006, CCBA and the American Red Cross of Greater New York signed a Memorandum of Understanding to coordinate programs in Chinatown that help prepare and train the Chinese community for any kind of emergency or disaster. The CCBA President sits on the Advisory Board of the ARC in its Manhattan office. In recent years, the CCBA staff has continuously responded to local disasters involving Chinese Americans in New York City. 

25.   Location of the CCBA 

The CCBA is located at 62-64 Mott Street, New York, NY 10013. Its building was constructed with community funds and houses the CCBA headquarters, the New York Chinese School, an auditorium, sports facilities, and street front stores. The CCBA telephone numbers are (212) 226-6280, (212) 226-6764 and (212) 226-6765. Fax number: (212) 431-5883. 

26.   Detailed Information About The New York Chinese School 

During the Chin Dynasty in the year 1909, a number of organizations in the New York Community Center, along with other interested individuals, suggested the establishment of an overseas Chinese School in New York.  In the beginning, there were only about twenty students, but with the support of the New York Overseas Chinese Community Center, the number of students grew rapidly.  The growth of the school can be compared to a little flower bud blossoming into a flower that has never faded since. Today, New York Chinese School (NYCS) is the largest continuously-operating Chinese School in North America. 

The New York Chinese School is a non-profit 501 (C) (3) school, staffed by dedicated teachers.  Currently, the school has a faculty of over 50 people. The teachers of New York Chinese School have been working diligently to promote the forms of Chinese language to students. In the New York Chinese School, students will gradually increase their levels of Chinese language proficiency, and this learning experience will also provide them with a better understanding of the traditional Chinese virtues and values. 

The school believes that if everyone abides by traditional morality and an intimate familial relationship, a harmonious society can be readily established.   

The initial 20 students of the school have multiplied to more than 3,000 students, all attending grade levels that range from kindergarten to high school.  There are now 98 classes taught in both Mandarin and Cantonese.  Teachers stress the importance of writing and reading abilities, as well as cultivating the children's interest in calligraphy and art. 

Targets are set and students are encouraged to achieve them. Their progress is closely monitored with regular testing, mid-terms, and a final examination at the end of the school year. Besides studying Chinese in classrooms, our teachers also extend learning through many different extracurricular activities.  The New York Chinese School has the following classes and organizations: 

l  After School Tutoring Program

This program is offered to students whose parents are non-English speakers and are not capable of assisting their children with the English homework. 

l  Piano Classes

With a history of more than 40 years, the class has trained many students in the field of piano performance. This class also teaches branches of Eastern and Western music. 

l  Drawing Class

This class teaches the basic techniques of different types of paintings to children of all ages and levels.  

l  Adult Mandarin Class

This class is offered in three different levels: beginner, intermediate, and advanced.  Students in the class are taught how to speak, read, and write Chinese. 

l  Dance Class

This class promotes and preserves Chinese Traditional and Folk Dance. Students in the program not only receive fundamental training in Chinese dance, but also in acting and rhythmic movements. 

l  NYCS Patrol

NYCS Patrol is a highly disciplined students' organization. Its mission is to learn, to serve and to protect. Patrol membership offers opportunities to learn leadership, management and personal development skills. http: / / 

l  NYCS Drum Corps

The drum corps, known as the Crimson Kings, offers lessons to a variety of musical instruments such as horns, fifes, and drums. It has been awarded many times at National competitions and festivals. 

l  Singing Program

This is a free program, in which students learn Chinese Folk songs and foreign songs. The Singing Class has performed at many concerts. 

27.   Detailed Information About the Chinatown Daycare Center 

The New York Chinatown Day Care Center is a reputable non-profit private day care organization located at 35 Division Street, right in the center of New York’s Chinatown. It was established in 1975 and has been servicing pre-school and school-aged children living in the vicinity as well as others who travel all the way from the other four boroughs. 

The center is a five story building with ten classrooms. Each classroom is about one thousand square feet in size. There is a full kitchen in the basement and a rubber surface playground on the rooftop. 

The Chinatown Day Care Center currently offers four different educational programs for children. They are Infant Program, Pre-school Program, and School-aged Program. and the Universal Pre-kindergarten Program. 

The curriculum is designed to cater to the ability of individual children. It includes active and passive activities as well as group and individual learning. The center offers children a healthy, safe, and happy environment in which to learn and play. 

In order to answer to the needs of working parents, the Chinatown Day Care Center is open all year round, five days a week from 8:00a.m. to 6:00p.m. 

The Chinatown Day Care Center is a Chinese and English bilingual center. There is at least one teacher who can speak Chinese in addition to English in each classroom to ensure that no new immigrant students are left behind.