Wei Chen, recipient of a Peace First fellowship. Credit: Asian Americans United Facebook page
In 2009, Wei Chen, a recent immigrant from China and student at South Philadelphia High School, organized a peaceful protest of the Philadelphia Schools District's failure to respond to racial violence against Asian Americans.
Mayor Michael Nutter honored Wei Chen at a City Hall press conference this morning for winning a two-year Peace First fellowship with a $50,000 grant to continue his peace-making work.
Chen is now a member and youth leader with Asian Americans United for a Better Philadelphia.
Chen’s weeklong boycott in protest of racial violence against Asian Americans at the school that he said went ignored by school administrators became national news and led to a successful civil rights complaint filed with the U.S. Department of Justice.
The school’s principal was replaced, new policies on harassment were set up, and new policies on school bias were implemented throughout the school districtas a result of Chen’s actions.
Peace First, a national organization, announced Chen as a fellowship recipient in October.