Spirituality & Health|July/August 2020
Wendy Chan, One Journey Alliance
WENDY CHAN WAS born in China into a family that had faced a long line of persecution and upheaval. A great-grandfather died as a political prisoner; a grandfather fled civil war; her parents lived through the Cultural Revolution. At age 12, she immigrated with her parents to California. Today she has a deep sense of gratitude and a desire to pay it forward. “For the most part, I have won life’s lottery,” she says, in contrast to the 70 million people who are either refugees or internally displaced, people who “were born in the wrong place and wrong time.”
Chan is an executive at global consulting firm Accenture. She is also a mom to two young children. Over the past few years, she witnessed growing attacks against immigrants and refugees. Even though her own life was packed, she knew she had to live up to her values by finding a way to do something. Initially unsure how to help, she leaned on her experience as a consultant and did research, deciding that what was most needed was to change the narrative around refugees by highlighting their contributions.
Together with Vanda Berninger, who escaped civil war in Croatia in the early 1990s as a young girl, Chan founded the One Journey Alliance.
“We wanted to raise the stories of resilience and hope, sharing how refugees contribute to the fabric of our society in a tremendous way,” says Chan.
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