DENVER — Colorado Asian Pacific United (CAPU) recently launched a fundraising campaign with a goal of re-envisioning the historic Chinatown that used to be part of Denver’s Lower Downtown (LoDo) neighborhood.
“What we're trying to do is raise awareness of the Chinatown that used to be in Denver back in the late 1800s,” said CAPU member Kai Vong.
Vong said historic Chinatown was mostly forgotten after an anti-Asian race riot in 1880 pushed out the majority of Asians who worked and lived in the area.
Last spring, CAPU began publicly campaigning to remove one of the only items commemorating the riot — a plaque across from Coors Field that many find offensive.
Vong said the plaque fails to accurately describe how Chinatown residents were attacked. It names white Denverites who helped those fleeing the violence, but does not name Look Young, the Chinese man who was killed.
Vong said money from the fundraiser will allow CAPU to address the inaccuracies of the plaque and bring awareness to historic Chinatown.
“We want to have historic markers at very key points of this historical Chinatown, such as where the unfortunate race riot that happened in 1880, where it started, where it ended,” Vong said.
Vong said CAPU also plans to create a mural to honor the history of the area.
So far CAPU has raised almost $4,000 of the organization’s $10,000 goal.