Bernie Wong, beloved Chicago social justice icon, remembered as pioneer in Asian American community

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Saturday, May 15, 2021
Beloved Chicago social justice icon remembered for advocacy in Asian American community
Bernarda 'Bernie' Wong, the founder of the Chinese American Service League in Chicago's Chinatown, was remembered Saturday as the city bid farewell to the beloved Chicago social ju

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The city bid its final farewell to beloved Chicago social justice icon Bernarda "Bernie" Wong Saturday.

"She was bold and audacious, but always in the name of the service of others to fill gaps and needs," said Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

Wong was remembered as a pioneer and fierce advocate for the Asian American community.

"Bernie never took 'no' for an answer. She just didn't know the word 'no,'" said Congressman Danny Davis (D). "She was one of the fiercest advocates that I've ever encountered."

Wong's family and friends paid their last respects and tributes to the woman who dedicated her life to service and community. The service was held at St. Barbara Catholic Church.

"Bernie was not simply an advocate for her community, she's somebody who set up an institution, an organization, to serve that community," said Toni Preckwinkle.

As the founder of the Chinese American Service League, or CASL, she was honored as a role model and beacon of hope for all lives she touched.

Bernarda Wong, the founder of the Chinese American Service League in Chicago's Chinatown, has passed away.

"Bernie Wong was a powerhouse of a person. She was small in stature but larger than life," said Representative Theresa Mah (D).

Her impact continued to be felt deep in the Chinatown community and beyond.

"She was fearless and dogged to enlist the help of everyone she encountered in order to fundraise and support CASL," Rep. Mah added.

Her life was celebrated through her service and her legacy, continuing through the organization and the people she lived to serve.

"Not only did she have tremendous love for her family, friends and community but a love and ability to inspire young people," Congressman. Davis said.

"Bernie Wong made a mark locally and nationally that will continue to help us and guide us for generations to come," Mayor Lightfoot added.

Wong passed away at the age of 77 after a battle with breast cancer.

The video featured is from a previous report.