The Chinese Historical and Cultural Project presents the Heinlen Awards annually to individuals outside the Chinese-American community who worked with CHCP and serve as “bridges between peoples.” The award commemorates John Heinlen, a local businessman who stood fast against public opinion and helped the Chinese rebuild after a disastrous fire destroyed San Jose Chinatown in 1887. This new Chinatown became known fondly as Heinlenville.
1995 Heinlen Award: Dave Thomas
The 1995 Chinese Summer Festival marked the presentation of the first annual Heinlen Award to Dave Thomas, owner and founder of the East West Kung Fu School. Dave’s interest in the art and culture of Asia is evident in his enthusiasm, which spearheaded the reconstruction of the San Jose Dragon.
1996 Heinlen Award: Irene Rutledge, CHCP Webmaster, 1995-10/2001
1997 Heinlen Award: 1997 Staff of San Jose Historical Museum (now History San Jose)
Mignon Gibson, Director
Monte Duran, Events Coordinator
Virginia Beck, Past Education Curator
Sara Nunes, Past Curator
Nancy Valby, Curator
1998 Heinlen Award: Duane and Marlene Heinz
Duane and Marlene have been longtime CHCP supporters and have worked tirelessly to make CHCP’s Chinese Summer Festivals a great success. They also participated vigorously in other projects, such as the “Reflections of the Chinese Exclusion” display, part of the community program in the “Respect Diversity: Learn from the Past & Forge the Future” exhibit in 1996. Duane is a chemistry professor at Foothill/DeAnza College and was a longtime advisor to the DeAnza College Chinese Students Club.
Alexander Weiss brought to public awareness the historical and cultural significance of the Angel Island Immigration Station’s Detention Barracks and the many Chinese poems carved upon its walls. He helped save it from destruction, resulting in its status today as a National Historical Landmark. Now retired, Weiss was State Park ranger for 17 years, serving and living on Angel Island from 1970 to 1974. Alexander Weiss was born in Vienna, Austria and came to this country in 1940 at the age of four. He was active in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.
1999 Heinlen Award: Chris Jochim
Chris Jochim, a CHCP board member, has been a CHCP supporter since the first Chinese Summer Festival, when his wife, Bau Chin, recruited him to help her with the children’s activities. As chair of CHCP’s Education Committee, Chris has helped distribute CHCP’s Golden Legacy curriculum to Santa Clara Valley schools and helped educators use these lesson plans. He was instrumental in obtaining a Hewlett-Packard Silicon Valley Grant in 1999 for the production of a CD-ROM version of the Golden Legacy materials. Chris is director of the Center for Asian Studies and heads the Comparative Religions Studies Program at San Jose State University. He has authored Chinese Religions: A Cultural Perspective in the Prentice Hall Series of World Religions.
2001 Heinlen Award: Mike Honda
U.S. House of Representative for California, 15th District, the Honorable Michael Honda, was presented with the 2001 Heinlen Award for his continued support of CHCP. He has attended past Festivals and participated in the fashion show at CHCP’s 10th anniversary Dragon Ball. In Congress, he has pressed for Japan’s acknowledgement of the Rape of Nanking atrocities during World War II.
2002 Heinlen Award: Dr. Martha Kantor, De Anza College President
2011 Heinlen Award: 2011 Staff of History San Jose
Alida Bray, CEO/President and Staff
"Just wanted to express my thanks to the volunteers...at the museum for their wonderful hospitality...Was a beautiful presentation of the history as well as a cultural imprint of chinese immigration in this valley...Thank you once again and it was such a pleasure."- James A.