Dallas Asian American Historical Society

A nonprofit organization

0% complete

$15,000 Goal

The Dallas Asian American Historical Society was established in April 2022 by co-founders Stephanie Drenka and Denise Johnson to research, preserve, and amplify the legacy of Asian Americans in the Dallas Area. Read more about the inspiration behind the organization and view our online collection.

On July 7, 2023, Leftover: The Enduring Legacy of Chinese Cuisine in Dallas opened to the public. Since opening night, more than 600 visitors have stepped through the doors of the Wilson House and into history. 

Asian Americans—though the fastest growing population in North Texas—do not have a designated space or resource/cultural center in Dallas. Like the early Chinese immigrants who set up their restaurants here, we are trying to carve out a legacy in a system not built to include us. 

In May 2024, we premiered our documentary, "Hear Me ROAR" at the Angelika Film Center. Hear Me ROAR offers a profound glimpse into the triumphs, challenges, and contributions of Asian American changemakers from the Dallas community. The ongoing oral history series will be available to the public online.

Our vision is to (re)claim a space for Asian Americans to belong. Where exhibitions like Leftover are a permanent fixture and accessible to everyone. With room for community members to preserve their stories, weaving them into our proverbial tapestry.

The Dallas Asian American Historical Society hopes to secure a home within the next year for our growing collection of Asian American research, books, and artifacts, with an oral history studio and digitization equipment to preserve more stories from the community. The physical space would enable us to build capacity and offer more resources for the community.

We believe Asian Americans deserve our rightful place in the city and narrative. Please consider making a gift that will help us leave something behind for future generations. 

Giving Activity


Researching, preserving, and amplifying the legacy of Asian Americans in the Dallas area


* organizational capacity-building

* office/community resource space

* online catalog software

* digital audio and/or video recording equipment

* recording and storage media

* archival equipment and supplies

* research materials and books;

* funding to support a public presentation (event or exhibition) highlighting the outcomes of our research

Equity Statement

As historians, we know U.S. history is filled with examples of systemic racism and oppression that dehumanize people. Discrimination against people of Asian descent began as early as the 1800s, with the arrival of the first Chinese immigrants, and continues today.

According to StopAAPIHate.org, a total of 10,905 hate incidents against Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) persons were reported to Stop AAPI Hate between March 19, 2020 to December 31, 2021.

At the Dallas Asian American Historical Society, we condemn racism, xenophobia, misogyny, and racial and gendered violence. We also acknowledge that transformation and sustainable change require dismantling systems of oppression through a comprehensive and multi-racial approach.

We prioritize community-based responses and education/awareness to protect against anti-Asian hate incidents rather than relying on increased policing or law enforcement intervention that would perpetuate violence and trauma against fellow Black and Brown communities.

We believe cross-cultural community education and a fuller understanding of our history will promote empathy and racial healing. We strive to collaborate with others who are working to change the narrative and amplify historically-excluded voices.

The Asian diaspora was largely facilitated by imperialism, colonialism, and militarization. We are no strangers to economic exploitation, incarceration, and forced migration. We have been scapegoated and pitted against others to benefit White Supremacy.

But our history is also filled with examples of coalition and movement building. In 2013, the Association for Asian American Studies set a precedent as the first academic association to adopt a resolution supporting “the protected rights of students and scholars everywhere to engage in research and public speaking about Israel-Palestine.”

We formed this organization in response to rising anti-Asian hate crimes that were fueled by dehumanizing narratives. We are committed to antiracism and anti-imperialism. And, most importantly: an obligation to ensure underrepresented stories are told, preserved, and uplifted. The silencing of voices and destruction of cultural memory are antithetical to our narrative change work.

We stand unequivocally with Palestinians against the genocidal actions led by the Israeli State and funded by the United States government. Additionally, we call for an end to Islamophobic, anti-Muslim rhetoric targeting Arab and West Asian Americans. As Yuri Kochiyama once said, “We must strive for unity amongst all oppressed communities.”

Get Involved

View our current participation opportunities.

Online Volunteering

Help Us Make History


Ongoing opportunity

Organization Data


Organization name

Dallas Asian American Historical Society

Tax id (EIN)




Arts, Culture & Humanities

Operating Budget

Less than $100,000

Counties Served

Collin, Dallas, Denton, Tarrant

BIPOC Serving

Asian/Pacific Islander, Other

BIPOC Leadership

Both the Executive Director/CEO and Board Chair

Equity Statement

Equity Statement


5614 Abrams Road
DALLAS, TX 75214