Community Stories

Celebrate and honor women leaders who inspire us from the past 100 years

100 years ago, the right to vote was first extended to women in this country. We celebrate it by taking the #WChallenge and honor women leaders who inspire us from the past 100 years.

Born in Zehjiang, China, Tien Fuh Wu arrived in San Francisco only to be forced to work in a brothel, then as a domestic slave. At age 8, San Francisco police found her severely beaten in a Chinatown gambling den, sold by her father two years earlier to pay a debt. She was taken to the Presbyterian Mission House (later the Donaldina Cameron House), a safe haven for girls entrapped in “yellow slavery.” When director Donaldina Cameron arrived at the house, the two became fearless liberators of Chinese girls held against their will. Rescuing upwards of 3,000 girls, some missions were so dangerous they took months to plan. Tien and Cameron developed a strong mother-daughter relationship and at 25, Tien was appointed Cameron House Superintendent. During rescues and court appearances, Tien provided translation and reassured the girls that their rescuers were not the “White Devils” brothel and slave owners had depicted. During the 1918 flu epidemic, Tien helped nurse all sick girls back to health. She took on greater responsibilities when Cameron retired, and when Tien retired herself, she moved to Palo Alto to be with Cameron, who she lovingly referred to as Lo Mo (“Old Mother”).