NüVoices Podcast #115: UBC Students Podcast Special! Yi Chien Jade Ho on Anti-Gentrification Activism in Vancouver’s Chinatown and Judith Shapiro on Environmentalism in China

Note: We are ending our spring 2024 season with a special collaboration between NüVoices and four students from the University of British Columbia’s Human Rights in a Globalized World class. Over the course of last semester, these students conducted interviews and tied their research into their coursework. Many thanks to UBC and course coordinator Gaylean Davies for working with us.

Yi Chien Jade Ho on Anti-Gentrification Activism in Vancouver’s Chinatown (1:25)

This episode is with Yi Chien Jade Ho, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Victoria, about her anti-gentrification efforts and tenant organizing in Vancouver’s Chinatown. With students Vanessa Matsubara and Kylla Castillo, Yi Chien discusses her work protesting the Keefer 105 Project.

Plans for a luxury condo development at 105 Keefer has been a contentious part of Vancouver’s Chinatown for nearly a decade, sparking protests from numerous activist groups over the years (part of a larger trend facing Chinatowns in the U.S. as well.) After a bid was rejected in 2017, the city board approved construction for a condo last summer.

Yi Chien breaks down her approach to tenant organizing, how she became interested in anti-displacement work, and the importance of highlighting Indigenous rights when it comes to Asian Canadian organizing.


Sense of Place of the Chinatown Grassroots: Aligning Anti-Racism Efforts with Decolonization” by Yi Chien Jade Ho

Vancouver permit board conditionally approves controversial Chinatown condo project (CBC)

Chinatowns nationwide resist gentrification (Axios)

About Yi Chien Jade Ho:

Yi Chien Jade Ho is and recently graduated with a PhD from Simon Fraser University and labor organizer. Her research project, “Sense of Place of the Chinatown Grassroots: Aligning Anti-Racism Efforts with Decolonization” combines her main academic and activist research interests. This project mainly focuses on the coalition created to fight against the 105 Keefer Campaign (discussed in this podcast episode.) She is also a part of the Vancouver Tenants Union.

Judith Shapiro on China’s Environmental Challenges (21:26) 

Dr. Judith Shapiro of American University discusses the intersection of social and political influences that shape current environmental challenges in China. 

In November 2023, both China and the U.S. pledged to work together to increase renewable energy sources and lower carbon emissions. But what are the unexamined effects of China’s environmental policy implementation? In this episode, students Jake Yuen and Ariyana Dina seek to answer these questions as they consult Dr. Shapiro’s expertise on China’s environmental movements and policy. 

From the changing role of Chinese civil society, to the responsibilities of the state in creating meaningful environmental regulations, Dr. Shapiro brings historical context to the conversation. She begins with the country’s economic rise in the 1980s, recent crackdowns on China’s environmental NGOs, and how ethnic minorities have been impacted by state strategies for wildlife and environmental protection. Lastly, Dr. Shapiro talks about the potential for collaboration between China, the U.S., and other countries to combat climate change. 


China Goes Green: Coercive Environmentalism for a Troubled Planet” by Judith Shapiro and Yi Fei Li

China’s Environmental Challenges” by Judith Shapiro

China’s ban on trash imports shifts waste crisis to Southeast Asia (National Geographic)

About Judith Shapiro:
Professor Judith Shapiro is the Director of Graduate Studies for the Department of Environment, Development & Health at American University’s School of International Service in Washington, D.C. She was one of the first Americans to live in China after U.S.-China relations were normalized in 1979. 

Professor Shapiro’s research and teaching focus on global environmental politics and policy, the environmental politics of Asia, and Chinese politics under Mao. She is the author, co-author, or editor of ten books. Dr. Shapiro earned her Ph.D. in International Relations from American University. She holds an M.A. in Asian Studies from the University of California at Berkeley and another M.A. in Comparative Literature from the University of Illinois at Urbana.