Dr. Joseph Y.K. Wong
Founder & Chair
Dr. Joseph Wong (C.M., M.D., D.Sc.) came to Canada in 1968 from Hong Kong and enrolled at Montreal’s McGill University, where he earned a degree in electrical engineering. He went to New York to study at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and opened his family practice in Toronto in 1982 after finished his post-doctoral training at the University of Toronto teaching hospitals from 1976 to 1981.
Inspired by the relentless effort of the Jewish community in revealing and remembering the horror of the Jewish Holocaust, and appalled by the absence of information and knowledge about the Asia Pacific War, he founded Toronto ALPHA in 1997 with the mandate to seek justice for the victims and foster humanity education. In the same year, he invited Iris Chang to come to Canada to promote her new book titled “The Forgotten Holocaust: Rape of Nanking”. In 2004, Dr. Wong invited a core group of volunteers to join him in planning ALPHA’s education and public awareness initiatives such as the annual study tour to Asia for Canadian educators. Dr. Wong spearheaded the film project “Iris Chang – the Rape of Nanking” which had aroused enormous public awareness of the atrocity when premiered in 2007, as well as the campaign leading to the unanimous passage of the Canadian Parliamentary Motion on “Comfort Women” in 2007.
Dr. Wong has been known as a fighter for social justice since 1979 when he started his 30 years of volunteering. Moved by the plight of the Vietnamese Boat People in this year, he set up an organization to help the refugees get settled in Metro Toronto. In the same year, he led the Chinese Canadian community protesting against a CTV program that discriminately portrayed Canadian students of Chinese descent as foreigners who took university places away from Canadians. He founded Yee Hong Centre for Geriatric Care in 1987, which provides culturally appropriate services to thousands of seniors of Chinese descent and other minority ethnic groups. Yee Hong is accredited as the world’s largest non-profit geriatric care centre with 4 centers located in Toronto and its vicinities, serving over 4,000 seniors every day. He was named Toronto Star Man of the Year in 1986; received an Hon. D. Sc. Degree from University of Toronto in 1992, Order of Canada in 1993, and the Canadian Red Cross Humanitarian Award in 2005.