Bincheng Mao – New York Interview by Olivia Bush Photography by Angelina Lau Issue 36 of Inspiring Teens Magazine
The Nomination: Bincheng Mao founded the East Coast Coalition for Tolerance and Non-Discrimination (ECC), an nonprofit organization dedicated to serving marginalized communities in our society. ECC, under Bincheng's compassionate leadership, fundraised and donated over $30,000 of Personal Protective Equipment to frontline hospitals serving vulnerable communities. Today, ECC has over 3,000 members from 15 universities, launching 7 social equity initiatives to help minorities, especially African-Americans amid this pandemic. Bincheng's efforts have been featured by New York University and Yale University. (ECC website: eastcoastcoalition.com)
Image by Bincheng Mao, “Medical Supplies Donated by ECC to Frontline Hospitals
How did you get the idea to start your nonprofit East Coast Coalition for Tolerance and Non-Discrimination (ECC)? What steps a person must take to start a nonprofit from the ground up? In late 2019, I witnessed a wave of anti-Semitic and xenophobic incidents in New York. One of my closest friends’ room was vandalized simply because he spoke a foreign language in public. At that moment, I realized what I have to do to protect people who are marginalized in our society because they are minorities. I decided to stand up and combat this injustice by establishing the EEC.
Image by Sally French
Tell me more about ECC! What does ECC give back to society and help minority groups? Today, ECC has over 3,200 members from 15 colleges and universities on the east coast, promoting minority inclusion with 7+ social equity projects.
During this pandemic, as African-Americans and Asian-Americans are being disproportionately impacted, I led the ECC to fundraise and donate $30,000 in Personal Protective Equipment to frontline medical workers serving these vulnerable communities. We’ve donated to hospitals including Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital, Yale-New Haven Hospital, and more.
In addition, to combat the rise of anti-Asian racism amid this pandemic, ECC launched the Minority Defense Initiative and partnered with Asia Society, a Rockefeller institution, to hold the “Stand Against Racism in the Time of COVID” forum. I, as ECC President, was humbled to be a guest speaker along with Congressman Ted Lieu and LA Mayor Eric Garcetti. By doing so, I hope to break the echo chamber and truly raise public awareness against minority exclusion.
Bincheng Mao - Bottom Row fourth face
How did you get involved with fencing and basketball? For those who may not know, tell me a little bit more about fencing! In the past eleven years, fencing and basketball have been my constant source of motivation, confidence, strategic thinking training, and long-term friendship. My love for these two sports started when I was a child watching fencing and basketball games during the 2008 Olympics. The spirits that fencing and basketball athletes exhibited on their respective courts—perseverance, fair play, solidarity——really touched me, motivating me to start doing fencing and playing basketball competitively.
Four years ago, my arm was severely injured during a fencing match, but I strived to recover. Today, I still enjoy fencing and basketball in my free time. Looking back, I have become more self-disciplined, learned how to win or lose with grace, and how to channel pressure into positive energy. I am so grateful for my coaches and teammates who have taught me so much.
Image by Sally McCormick
What are some goals that you have for your future? Do you hope to expand your nonprofit? What do you want to be when you are older? In the future, I will remain dedicated to serving the vulnerable and the marginalized. I hope to, one day, become a civil rights lawyer to advocate for the vulnerable before the Supreme Court.
Image by Sally McCormick
Bincheng will be featured in issue 36 of Inspiring Teens Magazine!