Becoming U.S.: The Economics of Hard Work

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Becoming U.S.: The Economics of Hard Work

Thursday, 3/28/19
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Event Type

Lecture/Panel Discussion
Historical Society of Pennsylvania
1300 Locust Street
1907 Philadelphia , PA

Chinese restaurants, Korean dry cleaners, Vietnamese nail salons: the phenomenon of immigrant work clusters is pervasive enough to elicit both stereotypes and serious study. What’s driving immigrants to these particular industries with long hours and low pay? We’ll bring together a panel of Philadelphians to share their own experiences.

Guest panelists include:

  • Chenping Wu, a Philadelphia-based senior marketing director and community organizer. She immigrated to the United States at 8 years old with her older sister and parents, who opened the first Happy Garden Chinese Restaurant in Philadelphia almost 30 years ago.
  • Ben Miller, chief strategist of marketing at South Philly Barbacoa and husband of the restaurant's chef Cristina Martinez. South Philly Barbacoa has risen in popularity since appearing on Netflix’s Chefs Table.
  • Olivia Vazquez, a DACA-mented community organizer and educator based out of South Philadelphia who migrated to the United States when she was 10 years old. 
  • Shahidul Gaffar, a restaurateur and chef who owns several Indian restaurants, including Makhani Modern Indian, Desi Villiage, Khajuraho, and Tandoor, which is one of the oldest Indian restaurants in the city.

The conversation will be moderated by Dr. Faye Allard-Glass, assistant Professor of Sociology at the Community College of Philadelphia. Her primary areas of research and expertise are U.S. race relations and education.

Becoming U.S.
This program is presented as part of our series Becoming U.S.: Community Conversations about Immigration. Becoming U.S. is an ongoing series of programs designed to encourage sharing across ethnicity, race, and citizenship status. We want to hear and learn from each other about the human endeavor of transition and settlement.
Becoming U.S. is made possible in part with funding from the Connelly Foundation.