Our Story

Saving Chinatown from Urban Renewal

In 1966, Cecilia Moy Yep took a stand against the demolitions threatening Holy Redeemer Church and School. Witnessing the rapid transformation of her neighborhood for the Vine Street Expressway, Cecilia’s activism marked the birth of the Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation (PCDC). Living at 832 Race Street, Yep became the last resident on her block amidst the urban upheaval. A single mother of three, she resisted leaving her home without assurances for her family’s housing. Her efforts spared Holy Redeemer and laid the foundation for her dynamic leadership. 

In collaboration with George Moy, Cecilia Yep founded PCDC, serving as its Executive Director for over three decades. The organization is a force in the community, embodying the spirit of activism and bridging the gap between the community. 

PCDC’s mission, vision, and values are driven by comprehensive planning. Beginning in 1975 with the Chadbourne Report and continuing to the present day with the 2017 Chinatown Neighborhood Plan, planning is pivotal to shaping our impact. Our organizational goals are; enhancing the quality of life for residents, businesses, and visitors, increasing Chinatown’s affordable housing stock, economic development for our small business community, advocating for our low-income immigrant community, and preserving Chinatown as a viable ethnic enclave.