Judge Chen is a board
member of the
Samuel S. Fels Fund
Co-chair for the Martin Luther
King Day of Service
She previously served on
the following boards:
William Penn Foundation
BEBASHI (Blacks Education Blacks About Sexual Health Issues)
Free Library of Philadelphia
Hahnemann University Hospital
National Constitution Center
The Honorable Ida K. Chen
Born in Hong Kong, Judge Chen lived in Switzerland, Brazil and Indonesia.
She served as a Trial Attorney with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) from 1976 to 1986, where she litigated cases of employment discrimination based on sex, race, color, national origin, religion, pregnancy, age, and equal pay, in the various federal courts from Massachusetts to West Virginia. In 1986, she was appointed by Mayor W. Wilson Goode, as the first Asian American to serve on the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations (PCHR).
In 1987, she was appointed by Governor Robert Casey, as the first Asian American female to serve as a judge in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
and in l989, was the first Asian American female to be elected in a city-wide campaign in Philadelphia. Since 1984, she has been an Adjunct Professor at Temple University School of Law and since 1985, she has been an Adjunct Professor at Cornell University, the School of Industrial & Labor Relations.
In 2003, she was appointed by Mayor John Street to chair the Ethics
Committee of the Philadelphia 21st Century Review Forum, which issued a
report and recommendations regarding ethics rules and protocols for the
City of Philadelphia and resulted in the re-establishment of an Ethics Board
for the City of Philadelphia, with powers to investigate and impose sanctions.
In 2012, she chaired the United Way Ethics Task Force, which issued a report
and recommendations regarding ethics rules and protocols affecting the School District of Philadelphia.
As the co-founder of the Asian American Women’s Coalition, Judge Chen recommended that the AAWC Board establish an endowed fund to provide college scholarships for deserving Asian female high school students.
Currently, she serves in the Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia County,
as a judge in the Family Court Division, handling civil domestic violence cases.
Cecilia is a member of the
Mayor's Commission on
Asian American Affairs
Development Corporation (PCDC)
On Lok House for the Elderly
as Vice President
PNC Bank - Community
Urban Affairs Coalition (UAC)
Distinguished Daughters of Pennsylvania
Cecilia Moy Yep
Cecilia Moy Yep was born and raised in Philadelphia and has lived in
Chinatown most of her life. She attended St. John the Evangelist School and
the Holy Redeemer School. After graduating from the John W. Hallahan
High School, Cecilia began her career at Curriculum Materials as a film librarian.
In 1966, when the Holy Redeemer Church and School were scheduled for demolition by PADOT, for the Vine Street Expressway, Cecilia recognized
the irreparable damage this would do to the community. She formed a
grass-roots advocacy group which later incorporated into the Philadelphia
Chinatown Development Corporation (PCDC). The organization's mission
was successful as the Church and School still exists and remains a very
integral part of the community. PCDC, as an organization, continues to exists
and represent the community in matters of urban renewal and community
development for the past 47 years.
In 1976, Ms.Yep became the Executive Director of PCDC and was responsible
for 235 units of new residential and commercial developments in the
Chinatown community. Her last development, Hing Wah Yuen, received the
national Maxwell Award from the Fannie Mae Foundation for excellence in
community development. Among her many projects is the China Friendship
Gate, an internationally known project and landmark, located at 10th and
Arch Streets. Although formally retired as Director Emeritus of PCDC, she
continues to serve on the Board and many of its committees.
In 1987, she co-founded the Asian American Women’s Coalition (AAWC) an
organization dedicated to the advancement of Asian American women
through leadership and mutual support. AAWC honored her by establishing
a scholarship in her name. The scholarship program raises funds to assist
needy Asian American female high school students to pursue their
Cecilia Moy Yep continues to reside in Chinatown and although she is still
actively involved in community events, she makes time for family, her 3
grown children, who she is extremely proud of, her eight grandchildren
and her two great-granddaughters.