Comments From Congressman Danny K. Davis on the Transition of One of the World's Greatest and Most Effective Social Workers Bernada "Bernie" Wong


April 27, 2021

I am saddened to join with countless others to acknowledge the life, work and legacy of Bernie Wong, Founder and Executive Director of the Chinese Service League.

It has been my great pleasure to work with, observe the work, and support the work of Bernie Wong who has written the book on Social Work in the Asian American Community of Chinatown and beyond, in Chicago and throughout America. Over a forty-five-year period Bernie developed CASL from an idea into a $12 million dollar a year operation with more than 400 staffers. She developed senior housing and every other kind of program for more people than one could imagine.

But more than developing programs she developed people. Nany young Asian American professionals got their starts at CASL and sat at the feet of Bernie Wong. Courtini Pugh who worked on my staff as Legislative Director and, ultimately Chief of Staff, came to me from Bernie Wong. The Asian American Community is going to miss her, Chinatown is going to miss her, I am going to miss her and all of America will miss her.

Bernie was a mainstay in the Chinatown Community. Everybody knew her and her sidekick of many years, Ester, who became Director of CASL upon Bernie's retirement and never missed a lick. Everybody knew Bernie's family and though she will be gone, she will continue to live in the hearts and minds of thousands of people who benefitted from her great work. Bernie, you've done your work, now rest in peace!