The Chinese American Museum has received a $375,000 contribution from Rep. Judy Chu and her brother to be put toward the Los Angeles venue’s planned expansion, which will include 1,500 square feet of new exhibition space, it was announced Thursday.

“We wish to express our sincere gratitude to the Chu family for their generosity and support of CAM’s mission to foster a deeper understanding of, and appreciation for, America’s diverse heritage,” said Dr. Gay Yuen, president of the Friends of the Chinese American Museum.

Yuen said Chu, who in 2009 became the first Chinese American woman elected to Congress, “has been a tireless champion of our museum ever since we opened our doors in 2003. We greatly value the encouragement and inspiration she has provided through the years.”

Chu and her brother, Dean, made the donation in memory of their parents, May and Judson Chu.

“My father was a Chinese American veteran of World War II who brought my mother as a war bride from China to America. At that time, she did not know the language and did not have a high school degree. But she was so brilliant, she learned how to invest money, and was so successful, that she developed a trust to be used only for charity,” the lawmaker said. “The funds that Dean and I donate are from that trust.”

Chu added she was “pleased to honor my parents’ memory, while helping to ensure that the history of Chinese Americans will be preserved and shared for generations to come. It is so important that our stories are recognized as a significant component of America’s story.”

The museum at 425 N. Los Angeles St. is jointly operated by the group Yuen heads and the El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument, a department of the city of Los Angeles.

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