Ethnic Ties hosting incoming freshmen from Mills/Northeastern University on their Chinatown Tour in front of the Oakland Asian Culture Center. Photo: Courtesy of the organization.

Acacia WoodsChan

Cultural histories of Oakland

Cultural histories of Oakland
A sweets break with Afro Culture Kids Camp at It’s All Good Bakery on Ethnic Ties’ Black Oakland tour. Photo: Courtesy of the organization.

Acacia WoodsChan is a mixed ethnicity African-Chinese-American cultural artist whose traditions include African religion, song, dance, and performance, as well as Daoism. In 2018, she was an apprentice in ACTA’s Apprenticeship Program. Her travel platform, Ethnic Ties, offers cultural tours of Oakland, including Black Oakland, Chinatown, and Fruitvale. Ethnic Ties values people, culture and connectedness, and acts as a liaison to all by leveraging tourism and community connectedness. They believe in inclusive and regenerative tourism that strengthens community bonds by investing in local and global communities by supporting cultural economies, intergenerational knowledge sharing, and cultural preservation efforts.

Ethnic Ties “Tour of the Town,” 2023.

Ethnic Ties at The Women of the Black Panther Party Mural and Mini Museum on the Black Oakland tour. Photo: Courtesy of the organization.

Living Cultures Grant


Intergenerational Testimonies within Cultural Histories

Ethnic Ties will create location-based, cultural and historical landmarks that will trigger audiovisual testimonies from Oakland elders on each of their tours. They will also offer free youth tours to newly-arrived, asylum-seeking students from countries such as Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Yemen, and Nigeria, inviting community elders to accompany them and share historical insights.


Apprenticeship Program


Lucumí sacred songs
with mentor Tobaji Stewart

During her apprenticeship, Woods-Chan studied the expressions and form of the sung liturgy of call-and-response Lucumí sacred songs.




Acacia WoodsChan | (510) 629-1439 |

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