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Washington State University
College of Arts and Sciences Immigrants

How Chinese pioneers helped build the Pacific Northwest

Polly Bemis sitting outside a cabin in Warren, IdahoThough often surprising to people today, Chinese immigrants once had a thriving population in the Inland Pacific Northwest. From their earliest days searching for gold to their later work constructing the Northern Pacific Railway, the Chinese endured discrimination and, in many cases, extreme brutality.

How it began

When word came that gold had been discovered in central California in 1849, many Chinese headed to » More …

Young alumna honored for legal services work

Brenda Rodriguez with awardees.WSU graduate Brenda Rodriguez (’18 Spanish), the eastern Washington network coordinator for the Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network (WAISN),  received the 2019 Visionary of the Year award from  Columbia Legal Services. Rodriguez, along with her WAISN colleague Monserrat Padilla, was honored on Oct. 16 at the Imagine Justice fundraiser.

The legal service honors leaders each year for their impact and commitment to racial equality, and for having inspiring and transformative » More …