History | Chinese-American Planning Council
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A Legacy of Uniting Youth Communities

In 1971, Asian American community activists started Project Reach to provide services to immigrant youth, a direct response to the rise in Chinese youth gangs. Over 25 years ago (1985) in an action unprecedented among race-segregated youth programs, Project Reach opened its door to all young people and put in place an innovative and dynamic youth organizing training space where understanding and confronting discrimination and systemic oppression would form the foundation of its core youth organizing training curriculum.

Project Reach creates opportunities for youth - and adults who work with them - to incubate new approaches and strategies and to build institutions that address discrimination and injustice and place social control in their own hands. Organizing readiness, youth organizing, and community empowerment are the products of these opportunities.


Project Reach, a service provider for Chinese youth, became innovational by opening it’s doors to young people of all backgrounds.

Major accomplishments have included:

  • Pro-RADS:  the first LGBT youth drop-in center on the Lower East Side
  • Homophobia-Heterosexism Documentation Project
  • Womyn’s Space Gender=Sexism=Violence Campaign
  • Positive Youth: employment project for HIV+/young people living with AIDS
  • Young Men’s Anti-Sexism/Re-Defining Manhood Project.



Project Reach Timeline 


PROJECT REACH OPENS in an Eldridge Street storefront working with immigrant youth, victims of Chinese gangs.


ALL RACES WELCOME The program's doors are, for the first time, opened to black Latino and Italian youth for the "social issues project" Over the next two years, the program's population would grow from 15 young people to 50-70 young people every summer.


TRAVELING ANTI-RACISM PROJECT Tensions between Korean market owners and Carribean residents in Brooklyn move Project Reach to create the Traveling Anti-Racism Project.


MOVED TO 1 ORCHARD STREET Previously located on Henry Street, Project Reach moves into a building on the corner of Orchard and Division.


PRO-RADS OPENS; FIRST LGBT YOUTH CENTER ON THE LOWER EAST SIDE Pro-Rads (Project Reach Anti-Discrimination Space) is established. It is the first safe space for Lesbian and Gay youth on the Lower East Side


WOMYN'S STRIKE Protesting sexism within the organization, 13 young women poster, picket, sit-in, and lock 40 young men out of the organizations space; resulting in institutional policies which mandate and prevent any programming where women make up less than 50% of the community.


ANTI-SEXISM MEN'S TRAINING is institutionalized at Project Reach


POSITIVE YOUTH A program employing 12 HIV-infected young people starts as the result of a first-ever dinner workshop bringing together over 70 young people and HIV/AIDS service providers.


POLICE BRUTALITY PROJECT Over 60 Project Reach young people join CAAAV (Committee Against Anti-Asian Violence) to protest Brooklyn DA Hyne's cover up of police brutality: the killings of black, Latino, and Asian youth.


YOUTH SPEAK OUT AND COMMUNITY WALK Over 70 young people organize a walk through, sit-in and speak out at a major AIDS organization protesting discrimination against immigrants living with AIDS.


SOCIAL JUSTICE BOOT CAMP For the first time...bringing together over 60 young people from 14 youth organizations, city-wide, upstate New York, and San Antonio, Texas.