On Mar 21, 2021, the BC Provincial Government awarded the Emerging Leader Award to Wang Mengdie, a volunteer from the Chinese Taoism Kuan-Kung Association in Canada (Tian-Jin Temple), on the International Day for Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The award was given as part of the province’s commitment to promoting cultural diversity and fostering intercultural dialogue. The Emerging Leader Award specifically recognizes outstanding individuals aged 15 to 30 who contributed to building trust among different ethnic groups, addressing racial discrimination, and/or reducing barriers in marginalized communities.
Wang Mengdie came to Vancouver from China in 2015 to pursue her post-secondary studies. In 2016, during her second year of university, she joined Vancouver Outreach, a volunteer organization under the Canadian Chinese Taoism Kuan-Kung Association. Every 2 weeks, volunteers distribute fresh sandwiches and fruits to vulnerable groups and homeless individuals in East Vancouver. During winter, they provide care packages with essential items like scarves, gloves, socks, and blankets to help them through the cold season.
Wang Mengdie shares that through her firsthand participation in these activities, she has shattered stereotypes and preconceptions about the vulnerable groups in East Vancouver. Each time they distribute food, the individuals experiencing homelessness line up in an ordered fashion. During one of Tian-jin Temple’s “winter warming” events, a homeless individual shook her hand and expressed gratitude, mentioning that they had seen her distributing food there two weeks prior. He shared that he couldn’t rely only on government assistance and would sometimes work in neighbors’ gardens in exchange for food. These touching experiences have motivated Wang Mengdie to further engage in this volunteer work and become a leader within the organization. She utilizes social media to encourage local and international students to participate.
On the other hand, Wang Mengdie has actively participated in various charity events organized by the Canadian Chinese Taoism Kuan-Kung Association. In the attached photo, she is seen attending the Lunar New Year gathering in Burnaby, showcasing the multicultural activities alongside the volunteers from Tian-jin Temple. (Wang Mengdie is pictured on the far right.)
During the summer vacation, the calligraphy students and volunteers from Tian-jin Temple participate in promoting Chinese traditional culture, specifically calligraphy, at the Burnaby Library. Under the guidance of Chairman Mr. Clement Yu and Calligraphy Teacher Qu, they showcase the art of calligraphy to visitors from around the world. (Wang Mengdie is pictured on the far left.)
Tian-jin Temple participates in the annual TaiwanFest, where they incorporate creative and themed activities to showcase Taiwanese culture and introduce Canadian audiences to Tian-jin Temple. The festival features performances such as the TJ Drum Formation and the Eight Generals, attracting people from diverse cultural backgrounds to learn about Taiwanese culture. (Wang Mengdie is pictured in the middle.)
Wang Mengdie expresses that the honour bestowed upon her by the provincial government belongs to every volunteer from the Canadian Chinese Taoism Kuan-Kung Association. Over the past 5 years, Wang Mengdie has encountered hundreds of exceptional international student volunteers. Currently, most of these volunteers are graduating from university. In the future, Wang Mengdie plans to continue collaborating with the Chinese Taoism Kuan-Kung Association to plan more student projects and provide free career guidance, allowing more student volunteers to become young leaders, integrate into Canadian society, and advocate for multiculturalism.