"Chicago Chinatown during COVID" Poster - Green Card Voices

“Chicago Chinatown during COVID” Poster


Green Card Voices launched #LoveYourAsianNeighbors on March 25, 2020, a social media campaign to combat the harm being inflicted on Asian American communities by sharing important anti-xenophobic messaging related to COVID-19, and to build solidarity with all of our neighbors. As a part of the #LoveYourAsianNeighbors campaign, Green Card Voices collaborated with three immigrant illustrators to create illustrations fueled by recent xenophobic cases.

This 8×10 poster features an illustration by Japanese/Taiwanese American artist, Cori Nakamura Lin and their piece titled “Chicago Chinatown During COVID.” One one side, the piece shows an image of a bustling Chinatown, pre-Covid, in which many restaurants/businesses received steady business. The right side of the piece, shows the effects that COVID has had on those restaurants through the text in the bubbles on the piece. The text states: “No one ordered curb-side pick up this week,” “They’re afraid of the virus here,” and “How will we pay our rent? Will we ever be able to open again?”

Cori shares “having recently moved from Minneapolis, I treasure my ability to eat, shop, and hang out in Chicago’s Chinatown. Chinatowns are a vital piece of our Asian American history, and I worry about the residents and shopkeepers suffering during the global pandemic. I hope we can support Chinatowns through state funding and our individual community support!” 


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#LoveYourAsianNeighbor 8×10 illustrated poster by Japanese/Taiwanese American illustrator, Cori Nakamura Lin

Chinatowns across the nation are well-known for welcoming people from all over the world to its destination – full of restaurants, culture, art, history, shops, and community. But since the nationwide stay-at-home orders of COVID-19/Coronavirus, tourism in Chinatown drastically declined causing many restaurants to close down, cut hours, switch over to curbside pickup and delivery – resulting businesses to drop down as much as 80 percent. Chicago Chinatown’s Joy Yee restaurant, which opened in 1996 and now operates seven locations, has seen sales decline to 60 percent over coronavirus fears, shared by Vincent Li, Manager of Joy Yee. Even restaurants like Strings Ramen in Chicago, try to generate income loss by working with food bloggers and posting more on social media to draw customers.

The situation worsened as xenophobic fears and anti-Asian racism caused a large portion of the general public to avoid Asian resturants due to the virus coming from Wuhan, China. Ellen Dong, whose family owned Q Ideas in Chicago Chinatown said, “this year has encapsulated the long-standing paradox of being Asian American: of both being invisible, blending in the background, and still being alien in the eyes of others.” Eric Kwok who grew up in Chicago Chinatown and family who started in the restaurant business said, “it changed the way that I think Americans viewed their fellow Chinese or Asian American because people are thinking, “Oh, we have to stay away from the Chinese food and Chinese restaurants and the people.” Vincent Chen, a server at JiangHu BBQ says, “I don’t know how the American government works cause they just say, “it is safe, don’t worry about it, it is safe,” I was very confused, Really, it’s safe? I don’t agree with that.”

Residents and businesses will face more challenges. “I think the media is not helping for businesses. So much coverage is getting people more afraid than they should be,” Geraldo Bernaldez, Assistant General Manager at Imperial Lamian said. We cannot know yet whether our Chinatown community will have resilience enough to survive this current pandemic. Our strength goes well beyond the virus, racism, xenophobia, and fear. Our strength is bonded by community and love. Let’s shift the narratives with #LoveYourAsianNeigbors by filling everyone’s newsfeed to speak up against anti-Asian racism and xenophobia.

Additional information

Weight 0.05 lbs
Dimensions 9 × 17 in
Print Options

Digital Poster, Mailed Print


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