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Building a Chinatown for the Next Generation

Mei Lum never envisioned herself running a retail business in New York City’s Chinatown. But when Lum learned her grandparents were planning to sell Wing On Wo & Co., the porcelain wares shop her great-great-grandfather started in 1890, she couldn’t bear for it to disappear. So the 29-year-old took over the oldest store in the neighborhood and expanded its mission. With the W.O.W. Project, Mei hopes to reclaim ownership over Chinatown's future by connecting communities and fostering creativity. More than a retail space, the shop now hosts arts and activist events, providing a place for another generation of young Chinese and Asian Americans to learn about and celebrate their culture.

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