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They Helped a Family Facing Discrimination 80 Years Ago. Now They’re Being Celebrated.

U.S.They Helped a Family Facing Discrimination 80 Years Ago. Now They’re Being Celebrated.

Ron Dong was only 2 years old when his Chinese American parents moved to Coronado, Calif., a change that had been possible only because of a Black couple who defied anti-Asian segregation to rent a house to his family.

More than 80 years later, Ron and his younger brother, Lloyd Dong Jr., 81, are carrying on the legacy of that couple, Gus and Emma Thompson, by donating part of the proceeds from the sale of the Coronado house and an apartment complex next door to support Black college students at San Diego State University.

The university said the brothers’ donation, which is expected to be $5 million, would be “by far” the largest ever made to its Black Resource Center. The center will be renamed to honor the Thompsons.

Ron Dong, 86, said it was “amazing” that the money would be able “to do things that we didn’t ever anticipate our assets be able to do.”

The brothers decided to donate the money to the university’s Black Resource Center after learning more about the Thompsons, who rented their house to the Dong family in 1939. The donation was earlier reported by NBC.

Lloyd Dong Jr., left, and his brother, Ron, stand outside of their childhood home in Coronado, Calif.Credit…San Diego State University

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