Wong’s multiculturalism effort noted
The 2015 Sierhey Khmara Ziniak Award was presented to Dr Joseph Wong, who has been involved in pioneering work in, and beyond, the Chinese community in Canada, at the 37th Annual Canadian Ethnic Media Association (CEMA) Awards Gala held on Nov 20 in Toronto.
The award, named for CEMA’s founder, is presented annually to an outstanding individual who, through his or her work, has encouraged and supported multiculturalism in Canada.
Wong began his community work in 1979, when he was so moved by the plight of the Vietnamese Boat People that he set up an organization to help Indo-Chinese refugees get settled in Toronto.
That same year he led a ChineseCanadian protest against a CTV program that portrayed Canadian students of Chinese descent as foreigners who were taking university spaces away from Canadians.
“Over the years, we have worked with many in the media to challenge politicians, to get everybody to come together to help each other, to promote the multiculturalism of Canada,” said Wong.
The United Way of Greater Toronto, where he has served as chairman of the board, is just one of the numerous causes he has devoted his time to. Since 1982 Wong has been a key player in the multicultural transformation of the United Way to better reflect Canadian society.
“Dr Wong has a deep respect for the ethnic media, has rallied the media to support and promote his causes,” said Madeline Ziniak, chairwoman of CEMA.
“He is seen as a shining example of a lifetime of dedication to the very principles CEMA represents.”
Among the many dignitaries attending CEMA’s Awards Gala were a number of diplomats and federal, provincial and local politicians. Awards were given in the categories of radio, print, television, Internet and innovation.
Dr Joseph Wong