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Chinese Family Donates $5M To Support Black College Students As A Thank You

The Dong family will donate $5 million to support Black college students, an act inspired by the bravery of a Black entrepreneurial couple.

The Chinese-American Dong family of Coronado, California, is set to donate $5 million to support Black college students, a gesture stemming from the generosity shown to them by Emma and Gus Thompson, a Black entrepreneurial couple, in 1939, according to NBC News.

Faced with racially restrictive housing laws that left them struggling to secure shelter, the Dongs found an unlikely ally in the Thompsons, who allowed them to rent and eventually buy their Coronado property when no one else would.

“It may enable some kids to go and flourish in college that might not have been able to otherwise,” Janice Dong, 86, said.

Lloyd Dong Jr., 81, emphasized the profound impact the Thompsons had on their family, providing them with a desperately needed foundation. “Without them, we would not have the education and everything else,” he said.

The Dong family, owners of the Thompsons’ original home at 832 C Ave. and an adjacent eight-unit apartment complex, estimates the combined value to be worth $8 million.

Lloyd Dong Jr. and his older brother, Ron Dong, plan to donate $5 million to Black college students, a testament to their belief in the transformative power of education. Ron Dong, 86, and his wife, Janice Dong, are retired teachers.

This act of philanthropy takes place against the backdrop of a national conversation on reparations. According to Coronado historian Kevin Ashley, this isn’t a story about atonement and repair but about honoring and recognizing the enduring impact of one family’s will to help another.

The Dong family’s roots in California date back to the late 19th century. The Thompsons defied racially restrictive housing covenants to provide shelter to marginalized individuals, setting an example of solidarity during times of discrimination. Similarly, the Dong family’s decision to contribute to San Diego State University’s Black Resource Center resonates as reminder of the importance of acknowledging and rectifying historical racial discrimination.

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