Motto: “Make a world a better place by telling a story or two through words and pictures.”
Dean Wong was born and raised in Seattle’s Chinatown. Becoming involved in the community as a journalist and activist “formed the basis for my life’s work,” he said.
“My formative years were spent honing my craft at the International Examiner. When I learned to write, I became known for my feature stories on people. Most of these were about regular folks doing interesting things.”
In the 1990s, he worked on community projects for the Wing Luke Asian Museum and volunteered for years with the International District Emergency Center. His curiosity to find out more about his heritage and community propelled his life journey. “Someone once told me, ‘Your work shows you care about the community.’ I think that summarizes what I do and the impact it has on people.”
Wong said he used his photographs and experiences to try to inspire and educate our young people. “When I recently spoke to a group of Franklin High School students to show them my work and discuss Asian American history, I felt I was giving back to the community in a different way.”
On a recent Saturday, while working at the Asian Counseling Referral Service, he held open the door for an elderly woman. She used a walker, slowly making her way in. She was headed to a naturalization class to earn her citizenship. “That was very inspiring to me. A simple moment like that left an impact on me.”
Dean Wong will receive our CVA Lifetime Achievement Award on May 16.
Read other 2012 CVA Awardee Spotlights: