Paul Li recently donated $1.2 million dollars to the University of Maryland’s Asian American Studies program to honor his late son, reports The Sentinel.
The money will go toward the founding of the Calvin J. Li Endowed Fellowship in Asian American Studies
The fellowship will fund a postdoctoral fellow or visiting scholar to study issues specific to second-generation Asian immigrants, including “Asian American identity, representation, family relationships, intergenerational conflicts and intergenerational communication,” due to cultural or language barriers.
Calvin Li was only 18 years old when he and his friend Alex Murk were killed by drunk driver Samuel Ellis.
As a son of immigrants, Calvin denied many aspects of his Chinese heritage and identity in order to avoid conforming the Chinese stereotypes. He dedicated himself to football rather than math and science, refused to eat at Chinese restaurants, and rejected the idea of ever visiting China, his father’s home country. This disconnect was a main source of conflict between Calvin and his father.
Paul says he regrets not having known how to support his son.
“Kids [in Calvin’s position] are not well understood by their parents and society,” the elder Li said. “This study hopefully provides parents understanding, insights and more social awareness.”
To donate to the fund, follow this link.
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