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Creating positive change through empowerment: SFU alumnus making big waves in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside

Christina Wong, a SFU alumnus, Coast Capital Savings SFU Venture Connection® Idea Prize recipient and the executive director of Employ to Empower, with Marcel Mousseau, a DTES artist who designed The Cardboard Project.
January 22, 2019

Downtown Eastside homelessness reaching crisis levels: Carnegie reportCity on drugs: the dark pull of Vancouver’s Downtown EastsideVancouver police beef up foot patrol in Downtown Eastside: these are just a few news articles that have been written over the last two years on Vancouver, British Columbia’s Downtown Eastside (DTES). These types of stories depict part of the reality of the DTES and the challenges at hand. While captivating the public’s attention, they paint a not-so-pretty picture and do not necessarily highlight some of the positive initiatives that are happening. 

Whether you have heard about Vancouver’s DTES through media, seen it by passing through the city, or have experienced it firsthand because you live or work in the area, undoubtedly, the area has garnered attention on a local and international scale.

What is the connection to Simon Fraser University? As an Ashoka U Changemaker Campus, SFU continues in our commitment to social innovation and changemaking. As such, we continue to tell stories of our students, faculty and staff that share a similar dedication to take action and create positive change in society. 

Meet SFU alumnus, Christina Wong. Wong is a Coast Capital Savings SFU Venture Connection® client and Idea Prize  award recipient, as well as the executive director of  Employ to Empower — a non-profit organization that assists homeless people in obtaining long-term employment. Wong’s drive for community engagement and dedication to eradicate poverty and homelessness has put her at the forefront of a number of initiatives for the people of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.  

SFU Innovates staff recently connected with Wong to learn more about her work, what inspires her, as well as her goals and visions for the future.

Originally published at SFU Innovates. Read the full story here.


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