The Chinese Association of West Michigan (CAWM) is a non-profit cultural organization, serving the West Michigan region including the Greater Grand Rapids area, Holland, Muskegon, Grand Haven, etc. There are over hundreds of member families in the organization as of March 2019. While most of our members are of Chinese descendant, we have members who are from other ethnic backgrounds. We welcome folks from various races and religious beliefs to be part of our organization.
Since its inauguration in 1979, the Chinese community in West Michigan has witnessed tremendous demographic growth. The Chinese population currently represents one of the fastest growing ethnic groups in the area. Most of the CAWM members work in the high-tech industries, manufacturing, higher education, information technologies, biotech research institutions and international trade industries. More and more highly educated Chinese professionals are relocating to West Michigan. Presently close to 100 Chinese PhD professionals and 40 university professors work in the area. The VanAndel Research Institute alone has over 30 Chinese medical researchers on its staff. And the number of medical researchers will likely grow as the Institute is geared to roll out its plan for a Graduate School in the near future.
With China’s growing importance in global economy and increasing Sino-US trade and cultural exchanges, there is a growing presence of Chinese culture and an increasing interest in the Chinese culture/language among the West Michigan community, esp. in the Greater Grand Rapids area. A key mission of CAWM is to advance cross-cultural understanding between China and US and between the Chinese community and the other ethnic groups, and promote the rich Chinese cultural heritage and traditions in the region.
CAWM hosts three celebration parties for three major Chinese holidays: Chinese New Year, Dragon Boat Festival and Mid-Autumn Festival. The events allow members and friends to celebrate and promote Chinese culture; enjoy authentic Chinese cuisines and a variety of cultural activities and performances.
CAWM attaches high importance to language and cultural education as an integral part of its mission. The Grand Rapids Chinese Language School, as a subsidiary to the CAWM, meets every Saturday throughout the semesters. The school provides students in the community the opportunity to learn their native language and maintain their cultural heritage. The school also offers people from other linguistic and cultural backgrounds an invaluable opportunity to learn the Chinese language for business and personal purposes and get acquainted with the Chinese culture. Due to the increasing importance of China in global economy, the demand for the Chinese language/culture is on the rapid increase in West Michigan as well as in other parts of the country and the world. As a result, the Chinese school is witnessing a rapid growth in recent years. Currently the school has over 10 classes with an enrollment of close to 100 students. Our students range from 4 years olds to working adults.
CAWM also stresses the importance of making contributions to the local community and has been working closely with the local governments, education institutions, and other organizations to improve and enrich the lives of the community and make the community a better place to live.
2019 CAWM leadership team
Board of Directors (理事会) President（会长/理事会主席）: Chen, Shuqiao (陈树巧)
Vice President (付会长): Jiao, Jerry (焦钟鸣)
Secretary/treasurer（秘书/会计）: Jiao, Heidi (焦丽虹)
Membership Management (会员管理委员会): Zhang, Xiaodan (张晓丹)
Chinese Education (中文教育委员会)：Bonarski, Yili (简怡丽) ，Yang, Guangyong (杨光勇)
Member Activity Committee (会员活动委员会)：Yang, Yongqiang (杨永强)，Shen, Keling (沈科领)，Liu, Shucheng (刘书成)
Community Service Committee (社区服务委员会)：Wang, Hu (王虎)
Newsletter Committee (通讯编辑委员会)：Huang, Lihua (黄丽华)
Digital Community Committee (数字社区委员会)：Shen, Yanbin (沈彦斌)
Art Festival Committee (食品节委员会)：Yu, Kent (俞匡平)，Yan, Xun (阎珣), Wu,Hardy (吴化东）
Advisers to the Board （顾问委员会）
Chen, Jianchu (陈建初)
Chu, Peng (楚鹏)
Deng, Danielle (邓海艳)
Gu, Wei (顾炜)
Hu, Mike (胡啸)
Huang, Lihua (黄丽华)
Jiang, Frank (蒋进喜)
Tao, Yonglei (陶永雷)
Wang, Matt (汪明)
Wu, Shinian (吴始年)
Xu, Ying (徐英)
Yi, Su (移俗)
Yu, Shawn (于向光)
Zhao, Ping (徐萍)
Zhao, Yi (赵毅)
Zhang, Guss (张光宇)
*CAWM has registered at AmazonSmile program in the effort of expanding our fundraising avenues. Please use the link (http://smile.amazon.com/ch/38-3065911) to support CAWM when you make purchases on Amazon.